10 December 2008

Amazingly Fast Chocolate Cake

Last night I hit a brick wall in my studying. All I wanted was something sweet and chocolatey and sugary to make me feel a bit better about my research paper that is currently in more trouble than a certain governor who thought he could sell a Senate appointment to the highest bidder. I hadn't gone shopping this weekend so we had no treats to speak of in the house. In fact we didn't have much of anything. I was about ready to sacrifice my principles and make a run to 7-11 when I remembered a post I had read a while ago on Food Network Musings that mentioned a microwave chocolate cake.

I ran to the computer, found the
recipe and scaled it back to an individual serving. It came together in about 2 minutes and after 1:20 in the microwave I had a mug of chocolate cake. Was it perfect? No- it didn't have the deep chocolate flavor I was looking for. The texture was a bit strange too, it didn't have the tender crumb of a baked cake, more of a spongy, baked pudding consistency but it did in a pinch. I feel like I can conquer the recipe though. Maybe it's the lack of progress in my paper, but I really just wanted to get something right...

A day elapsed since I wrote the previous section and I've had another go at the cake and...VICTORY!!! I decided to make a few modifications that really improved the flavor and texture of the cake. To boost the cocoa flavor, I heated the milk and butter in the microwave then stirred i the cocoa powder and nuked it for another 10 seconds. Since the first cake was sort of spongy I cut the amount of flour in half, which I hoped would give it a finer crumb and more tender texture. Last- I used only about a quarter of an egg, to keep it from getting a firm, baked pudding texture and slightly reduced the sugar, as I like my chocolate less sweet. I took it out of the microwave after only 45 seconds, when the center was clearly set but the sides were still very moist and dug in.

The cake turned out amazingly well. It had a deep chocolate flavor and color and a crumb strikingly similar to a real baked cake. It only takes about 4 minutes to put together though and uses 1 mug and set of measuring spoons (or kitchen scale)-- I don't know what else to say about it, other than that I would actually serve it to guests- it was that good.

Amazingly Fast Chocolate Cake
Serves 1, or 2 if you're feeling generous

I've made this in both a cafe au lait style wide mug with a rounded bottom and a ramekin- both worked perfectly. If you use a regular mug, be sure to mix very well so there's no dry ingredients stuck in the bottom edges.  

20g (1 and 1/3 T.) butter
30g (2T) milk
7g (1T) cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed)
30 g (2T plus 1t.) sugar
10g egg, lightly beaten (about 1/4 of the egg)
splash vanilla or other extract
15g (1T) flour
pinch baking powder (less than 1/8t., so little it didn't even register on the scale)
tiny pinch of salt

- Heat butter and milk in mug in microwave until butter is melted. Stir in cocoa powder and microwave on high for 10 seconds.

- Stir sugar, egg and extract into the cocoa mixture than add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. If you've got room in the mug you could beat a little air into the batter it too.

- Now it's time to cook the cake. This part will depend a lot on your microwave oven. Mine is nuclear powered and the cake cooked in only 45 seconds but yours might take longer. I suggest starting with 45 and adding more time if needed. The cake is done when the center is set but the sides haven't pulled away from the mug and are still a bit shiny and moist looking. You could turn the cake out onto a plate... or you could just grab a spoon and enjoy right from the mug.

15 comments:

Sue said...

Wow! That's amazing. Smart idea to melt the butter, instead of using oil. I think 10g of egg is 2 teaspoons, right?

I love that you got the texture right and it's not like a steamed pudding. I wonder, though, if the same kid that's desperate for coffee mug cake has the same dedication to excellence that you have or the ability to measure in such minute quantitites. Maybe you should package this in a mug and sell it to dorm dwellers. Isn't that a great idea?

kat said...

What a great idea for a quick dessert, I bet it would be good with a little whipped cream on top!

Vera said...

This is certainly one amazing cake! Done in 4 minutes!

Jen said...

Sue- I think you're right on the 2t to 10g of egg, I honestly just splashed a bit in with the fork I used to beat the egg. I think Betty Crocker beat me to the mass production idea-- I saw those 'warm delight' things in the grocery store selling for almost $3...

Kat- Whipped cream or ice cream would have been amazing on top... but I don't usually keep them in the house for the obvious reason that I would then try to put them on top of everything.

ARLENE said...

I love playing like this and with the $3 you save on those Betty Crocker things you can buy better chocolate, lol.

katskitchen said...

That's hilarious, I've actually made the same thing (not sure if it was the exact recipe). It was different, not horrible, but not the best brownie/cake I've had.

Jess said...

this cake is RIDICULOUSLY good!! I added some chocolate chips at the end for a ltitle extra chocolate kick and topped it with whipped cream! I use the Land-O-Lakes sugar free kind... it tastes SOO good, and believe me, I'm not one to skimp on flavor for less calories. It makes me feel better about keeping it in the house at all times! Anyhoo, fantastic recipe, although dangerous for my New Years resolutions...I could see myself making this daily...

Tia said...

O.M.G. I just made this in my oversized coffee mug, and am kicking myself for not doubling everything! The cake is actually CAKE and not pudding cake or brownie-texture... The chocolate is just enough and not too overwhelming (although, I'm a chocolate addict, so I can tolerate ridiculous amounts of chocolate). The cake is light and soft, just the right combination between moist and dry...

This is dangerous. I may end up making this daily for myself now. :-X

Erica said...

Thanks for posting this version-- I made one of the other posted versions and it was pretty bad, but this was amazing! :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with the person that posted right before my comment--I also made one of the other versions on the internet...it was okay, but would definitely benefit from frosting or something added to enhance it...but this version ("Amazingly Fast Chocolate Cake") was DELICIOUS--it kept moist even after hours of cooling! Didn't need anything to spruce it up...you could just eat it "as is" and totally enjoy it! Gonna try quadrupling the recipe & put it in a microwaveable dish...Thanks so much for this quick & yummy recipe!

Anonymous said...

Wow... Just typed "quick chocolate cake amazing" into google and got here. And seriously, that *was* amazing, thank you! :)

Kati said...

ooh i am totaly goin 2 try this right now, it is 9pm and me n my partner r watchng a movie nd feel like sumthng sweet n chocalatey, with minimum amount ingred in th cupboard, this sounds just perfect, from my google search for "fast cake" lol b bak with verdict!!

Anonymous said...

I did this backwards - needed for 4 so did 4 times the quantity in 5 ramekins. Put the first in the microwave and it was enormous - like an entire cake sticking out of the top of the ramekin. Much appreciated by the eater though! The others are currently in the oven, to try an alternative cooking method.

Thank you for an easy one.

Cat said...

Oh. My. God. Absolutely delicious!!! I followed the recipe exactly how it read and it was perfect! (i did sneakily add two squares of chopped up dark chocolate to the mix before microwaving). SO GOOD!!!

Phostructor said...

Spur of the moment. I Googled "fast cake". I was so lucky to find this! Simple, efficient and a very tasty result. The only tricky part was constantly cleaning my single Tablespoon! I'll have to buy extra measuring spoons just to make this again!

Thank you for posting this.