Now that the holiday season is in full swing, there’s bound to be a number of social gatherings in everyone’s calendar. Often these gatherings are potluck affairs, with guests expected to bring a dish or two.
For busy people, this could be a challenge. Who has time to cook when there are manuscripts to be submitted, deadlines to meet and Christmas lights and ornaments to hang up?
Luckily there are shortcuts. You can order a dish from your favorite caterer or restaurant, for example, or just bake an easy dish at home, one that won’t take up half your day in the kitchen.
I myself am thinking of using the latest cake mix from Maya’s line of premium cake mixes: the Maya Decadence Red Velvet Premium Mix.
With red velvet seeming to be the flavor of the season, Maya has decided to launch this premium mix just in time for the holidays.
There are so many things you can create from this mix. You can turn it into a conventional cake by adding vegetable oil, eggs and water, or you can be more adventurous and make it into a stunning swirl cream cheesecake.
The mix can also yield four dozen fancy cookies studded with white chocolate chips and drizzled with dark chocolate, or you can even mold the mix into cake pops—cakes on sticks like lollipops (another popular trend). What’s more, with an envelope of whipping cream powder already included in the package, you can have the frosting all ready within minutes.
For a gathering I’m attending next week, I’m making Maya’s red velvet cupcakes with semisweet chocolate chips. They’re such a delightful treat, and because they look and taste so good, guests will think you’re such an expert in the kitchen. Here’s the recipe.
Maya Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
1/3 c vegetable oil
¾ c + 1 tbsp water
1 pack (400 g) Maya Decadence Red Velvet Cake Mix
1 ½ – 2 c semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºc – 180ºC). Line two muffin/cupcake pans with baking paper cups. Set aside.
In a bowl, combine the vegetable oil, water and eggs. Gradually add the red velvet cake mix to the bowl and mix lightly with a wooden spoon or a wire whisk until well-blended. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking cups, filling each cup until about half-full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out almost clean (a few crumbs may stick to the toothpick because of the chocolate chips).
Let cool then frost with the easy frosting, using the whipping cream powder included in the package (recipe follows). If desired, top each cupcake with a long-stemmed maraschino cherry.
1 pack instant whipping cream powder (included in the package)
1/3 c cold water
20-24 maraschino cherries with stems
In a bowl, combine the instant whipping cream powder and cold water. Beat the mixture with a wire whisk or with an electric mixer (using a wire whisk attachment) until the mixture becomes fully aerated or doubles in volume.
Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and pipe on the cupcakes with decorative swirls. If desired, top each cupcake with a maraschino cherry. Makes about 20-24 cupcakes.
Make sure the cupcakes are completely cooled before frosting them.
Maya Decadence Red Velvet Premium Mix is available in leading supermarkets.
Likewise you can buy semisweet chocolate chips in the baking section of supermarkets. But even if you don’t add chocolate chips to the mix, the cupcakes will still taste good.
For more recipes, visit www.themayakitchen.com
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