Saturday, April 3, 2010
The title of this post says it all. Really! This is a chocolate cake that you can mix and cook in a mug with less than five minutes in the microwave. You can also eat it right out of the mug if you choose to, which means only a mug (and a whisk) and a spoon to wash up after eating.
I would like to forewarn you if you’re a bit of a chocolate snob (I am, a lot of the time), that if you are looking for a soft and spongy sort of chocolate cake that usually comes out of an oven, then this post is not for you. Surely you do not expect something of that sort within 5 minutes and with so little effort?
As you can see from the pictures, this cake is not all that great on the eyes either. I really tried to get a better picture of it, but this was the best I could do. Anyone have any ideas on how to make this brown mass of fudgy cake look appealing?
Baking a cake in an oven and in a microwave are really two very different things and it is too much to expect a cake made in a microwave oven to be like that baked in a conventional oven.
Yet think of a situation when you’re overcome with a craving for the comfort of a fudgy chocolate cake and you cannot be bothered to make one. There’s no one else to make one for you either. Or perhaps, you have unexpected guests and you want a quick chocolatey dessert.
Or just by chance you landed on the sets of Hell’s Kitchen and all you have is 5 minutes to make dessert! Just be prepared for Gordon Ramsay to take one look at your offering and chuck it into the bin! And if he’s feeling particularly nastier than usual, you could be out of his kitchen!!
I came across this cake when I was trawling the net for something else. I had never heard of a cake in a mug before. Apparently, some time back, a recipe for this cake was doing the rounds by e-mail. Whatever the reason, this is one mail which never reached my inbox.
This cake discovery brought back a conversation I had with one of my cousins the other day. She was telling me she didn’t see too many recipes on my blog, for cooking in the microwave. This happens to be true.
I use my microwave extensively but do not cook exclusively in it. I tend to do part of my everyday cooking in it but finish off the cooking on the stove, so those recipes don’t qualify for a “cooked in the microwave” tag.
I had promised my cousin I would remedy the lack of microwaved recipes on my blog and thought I would further investigate this cake in a mug.
I saw plenty of sites/ blogs with this cake which were all more or less using the same recipe. I also read a lot of opinions about the awfulness of this cake which made me think I ought to forget all about it. Then I saw this recipe and also this discussion thread.
Taking some of those opinions into consideration, I used a slightly adapted version of the original recipe. You can mix the ingredients in the individual mugs, but I prefer to mix them in bowls even though it means washing up an extra bowl or two. Mixing in the bowl makes it easier to whip up the batter well.
I would suggest using large microwave safe coffee mugs to make these cakes. The cake batter tends to bubble up while cooking, and could leave a mess on the mugs and in your microwave. Since the idea of making these cakes is expending minimum effort, I think a lot of cleaning up defeat the intended purpose.
The mugs I used here can contain about 250 ml of liquid. This size mugs are useful also because there’s room for some ice-cream if you want it with your cake.
Also do place the mug on a plate as insurance against a mess in the microwave.
This cake is not very sweet and so is good if served with ice-cream or sweetened whipped cream. If you would prefer a sweeter cake, please increase the sugar to your taste.
8 tbsp cake flour (not all purpose flour)*
4 tbsp granulated sugar
5 tbsp demerara (or brown) sugar
3 tbsp dark cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp pinch of salt
2 tbsp strong coffee decoction
7 tbsp milk
6 tbsp oil
6 tbsp grated dark chocolate
1 tsp vanilla extract
About 2 tbsp more of grated dark chocolate
You will also need 4 microwave safe mugs.
* If you do not have cake flour you can make your own by adding 2 tbsp corn starch to 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour.
As I mentioned before, when I have to make more servings I find it easier to mix up the batter in a bowl.
Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk well to mix. Add the grated chocolate to this and whisk again to mix well.
Put all the wet ingredients in another bowl and whisk very well to incorporate a bit of air. Now add to the dry ingredients and whisk well some more.
Divide the batter equally between four microwave safe mugs. Sprinkle the extra grated chocolate on the batter, equally among the four mugs. Cook the cakes, one mug at a time, for 2 minutes 20 seconds at 60% power. When done, the cakes should look slightly dry on the top.
This is the time it took for the cakes in my microwave. How long the cakes take to cook would depend upon the wattage of your oven. It should take anything from about 1 1/2 minutes. Check the time with the first cake and adjust as required.
It is important to cook the cakes longer at a lower power; otherwise the cakes will become rubbery in texture. Also remember the cakes will continue to cook after the microwave oven has switched off.
Serve these cakes warm with vanilla, strawberry, coffee or any other flavour of ice-cream which would pair well with chocolate. This recipe serves 4.
This chocolate cake in a mug is also my contribution to this month’s “This Book Makes Me Cook” club. The book chosen for this month was “Can You Keep A Secret?” by Sophie Kinsella.
A light hearted fiction about Emma Corrigan, who is scared of flying and is convinced that air turbulence means she is about to die. She spills out her innermost secrets to the stranger in the seat next to her in her moments of anxiety, only to have the stranger unexpectedly become a permanent fixture in her life.
I wasn’t really inspired by this book to cook anything, but there is a part in the book which mentions that Emma drops into juice bar every morning on the way to work to pick up her daily dose of a mango smoothie. She also tends to pick up a brownie from there, ever so often.
Since this cake in a mug has a rather brownie-like texture of fudginess, I thought it perfect for the book club submission.
A special thank you to Simran who made it possible for me to read that book. You can see what the other book club members have been inspired to cook this month, on her blog.