Three minute cake

10Feb09

It all started 2 months ago when I, as usual, was strolling though a Chinese supermarket for fun. I found an intriguing box called ‘Easy Cake‘ in the shape of a mini-size microwave oven, which claimed on the box to produce a lovely chocolate cake in the microwave in just 2,5 minutes. Of course I found it irrestistible and bought it right away. I took it home, much to the delight of my daughter. We made the cake a few weeks back. All it said on the package was to mix the ingredients with some milk, oil and a fresh egg, pop it in the microwave and then to see it rise. It was very exciting to see it go up, almost going over the plastic bowl provided, and then set. Indeed, after 2.5 minutes we had a chocolate-y, puddinglike cake which tasted surprisingly OK. Child’s play.

In the back of my head the riddle kept coming bak what the ingredients were. Surely there couldn’t be that many secret ingredients, could there? What did they put inside anyway? Then, quite unexpectedly, I found the recipe of a similar cake on the web. It wasn’t called ‘easy cake’ but ‘mug cake’. All over YouTube and other places I found movies of people making chocolate cakes in large coffee mugs, sometimes with self raising flour, sometimes with chocolate powder instead of cocoa, sometimes with extra chocolate chips or marshmellows added… They looked pretty much the same as the ‘easy cake’ from the Chinese store to me. So I tried the mug cake recipe – and it worked beautifully. Anyone can make a chocolate cake in 3 minutes flat!

For the 3 minute cake, you will need:
1 large mug (I used a ‘soup mug’ for this)
some oil to grease the mug with
3 tablespoons of cake flour or self-rising flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of milk
1 egg

Grease the mug. Then put in all dry ingredients and mix together. Add oil, milk and mix again. Finally, break the egg and stir it in until everything is a smooth batter. Put microwave on highest setting (mine was on 800 watt) and put the mug inside. Put it on a plate or something in case something goes wrong. Put the microwave on 3 minutes. After about 1.40 minutes the mixture will rise to the rim of the cup, then it will rise spectacularly above the rim, looking as if it might wobble and spill over any minute. If all goes well, it won’t. Although high above the rim of the cup, it will set and cook.

After 3 minutes take out your mug (hot!) and spoon out the cake. Cut up in slices and eat with whipped cream. Of course you can bake a cake the traditional way in the oven and get probably better results. But there is something truly satisfying in knowing it takes as long to make a chocolate cake as it takes to brew a cup of coffee, so you can enjoy both of them at the same time. Or get this together for a last-minute dessert !



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