Cake in a Mug or Adventures in the Kitchen
“Mom, is the microwave supposed to be smoking like that?” my oldest son asked.
“I don’t think so,” I said.
And so what had begun as quality time spent cooking (read experimenting) together for me and my sons rapidly turned into a quick lesson in kitchen safety, or more accurately fire safety.
We were cooking a recipe my mother-in-law had emailed us, knowing my weakness for all things chocolate. It is called 5 minute chocolate cake and it is supposed to be a cure for those midnight chocolate cake cravings. Sounds like an urban legend? Sounds too good to be true? I know. So, of course, we had to try it.
This is the original recipe sent to us and posted in a variety of places on the web.
“5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons chocolate chips ( optional )
3 tablespoons oil
a small splash of vanilla extract
1 coffee mug
“Add dry ingredients to mug and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug into the microwave for three minutes at 1000 watts (vary the time just a little either way according to the wattage of your microwave). The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed. Allow to cool and tip out onto a plate if desired. EAT! (This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).
“Why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night.”
The boys and I measured out the ingredients into our mugs, chatting while we mixed. Without reading the rest of the recipe, I put mine in the microwave and set it to cook for five minutes. My thinking was that if it’s called five minute chocolate cake, it must take five minutes to cook. Yeah, I know, I need to work on my ability to follow directions. This is not news to anyone who knows me.
Four and a half minutes in and the smoking started. I stopped the microwave and pulled out the charred remnants of cake. It wouldn’t stop smoking. The house was beginning to smell. I poured water on it. Did I mention this recipe has oil in it? Yeah, oil and water are not friends and now
tiny flames were poking out of the charred holes in the cake.
I ran out the back door with my sons on my heels, dumped the cake into the grass and stomped on it. The lawn still bears the scorch marks, which my younger son likes to point out -- frequently.
My husband followed us outside (probably, to prevent smoke inhalation) with the recipe in his hand.
“Darling, it says here you’re only supposed to cook it for three minutes,” he said.
Determined to try again, we waited for the smoke to clear and then trooped back inside and cooked the boys’ cakes for three minutes. They came out well. They had a nice chocolate flavor, but they were a bit on the rubbery side.We decided the egg was to blame. So, we started to play with the original recipe. And this is what we came up with:
Chocolate Mug Cake
4 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
Mix dry ingredients then add the following
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate chips (I could say these are optional, but in our
world chocolate chips are mandatory).
Microwave for 1 minute.
It came out a little dry, so we tried making it with 4 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream instead of milk. This came out moister but almost too rich to eat (if that’s possible).
A scoop of ice cream or a squirt of whip cream and I do think this could cure the midnight chocolate cake craving, but it will never replace the real deal.
If anyone has a more successful microwave cake recipe, please
share. In the meantime, keep experimenting but remember to keep
your fire extinguisher handy!
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Jenn McKinlay SPRNKLE WITH MURDER -- March 2010
(also writing as Lucy Lawrence -- STUCK ON MURDER -- Sept 2009)
For more recipes and information visit: http://www.jennmckinlay.com/