chocolate fix, fixed
I have this horrible habit of attempting far more than is reasonable when I entertain. Lately, I’m trying to rein myself in.
I had a successful foray in restraint when I prepared an Easter dinner and decided to nix the homemade apricot custard tart I was planning in favor of a build-your-own-s’meeps station. The s’meeps were a hit (mainly for their sheer kookiness), and, quite frankly, a good lesson for me in successful-yet-totally feasible entertaining.
So when friends invited me over for dinner recently and gave me dessert duty, I decided to go interactive again. But this time with five-minute microwavable individual chocolate cakes.
First, I’ll give you the recipe—it’s from a forward my mother sent me that doesn’t list the original source of the recipe. (Sorry, Original Source Person—speak up if you’re out there!) Next, I’ll tell you how my friends and I fared on the project.
Five-Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
- A small splash of vanilla extract
- 1 large microwave-safe coffee mug
Add dry ingredients to mug; mix well. Add egg; mix thoroughly. Pour in milk and oil; mix. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract; mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1,000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug. Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
Makes one ginormous serving or two medium-sized servings. Despite lack of baking soda or salt, this sucker will totally rise.
Here's how I approached this dessert: To make it easier on my friends, I assembled the dry ingredients beforehand—which would be a good idea even if dessert will be at your place, just to make things a little easier. I used Tupperware since I was traveling, but if you’re at home, just put the ingredients in the mug. Have the wet ingredients on hand, along with tea/tablespoons, etc.
My friends and I mixed our cakes and did a little experimenting—one friend used no-fat milk and liquor instead of vanilla extract. That one didn’t turn out so well.
We then placed them in the microwave one at a time—watching them cook was pretty fascinating. They do some impressive puffing.
They fall a little once you take them out of the microwave, but you totally have cake at that point. I ate mine from the mug (not even bothering to spiffy up the presentation for the camera because I really wanted to eat my cake), but one friend dumped his out on a plate. We decided that one looked like dog food, though you could probably call it timbale-like if you're feeling kinder. And expect the majority of the chocolate chips to fall to the bottom of the mug.
As for taste, it’s slightly dense—cakier than your average brownie but brownier than your average cake. It won’t be the most amazing chocolate cake you’ve ever had, but it serves as a good base for additions. I added raspberries and whipped cream to mine.
All in all, it was a lively time and, I suspect, a fun activity for kids who would get an abbreviated cooking lesson and come away with their very own individual cakes. What’s not to like about that?