Tuesday, 18 November 2008

5 Minute Chocolate Cake

Here's a recipe that's going around on the email & noticeboards. I simply had to try it. Hat tip to Magdlyn at Talk Rational.
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 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 in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

OK, so let us disregard the irritating arch naughtiness of diet-obsessed Americans. (Virtue and danger?) This is simply a fabulous concept! But how well does it work, you may ask? I selflessly undertook to find out for my loyal readers. All five of them.

Here's the points I considered in using an American recipe.

First, the ingredients. You'll obviously want to use self-raising white flour, and regular white sugar. You could possibly drop the sugar a bit, since American tastes are super-sweet. But not too much, as sugar is important to the texture of baked goods.

A good Dutch cocoa is surely a good choice, and note that you may want to sift it. Though stirring cocoa in with the sugar can usually break up lumps quite successfully. If you make real cocoa at home, you probably know that. And you'll want a light flavoured oil: I keep sunflower oil around for general use. Maybe melted butter would be better, but I stuck with the original fairly closely.

Next, note that an American tablespoon is closer to 15ml than the standard Aussie 20ml, so use a 15ml one if you have it. Or just eyeball a reduced amount. Some of these are easy: 4 tablespoons US is 3 tablespoons Aus; 3 tablespoons US is 2 Aus plus a teaspoon. Keep them level, and lightly packed for the dry ingredients.

Finally, how big a mug? I had no idea - I mean, they sell coffee in those ridiculous milkshake and bucket sizes over there. I used a fairly standard one, and put a plate under it in case of spills.

How did it work? Like this:

Obviously I should have used a somewhat larger mug, but it unmoulded quite easily. I ran a knife around the inside of the mug and it just tipped out. The flavour was not bad at all - quality chocolate and vanilla will do that. The texture was moderately light, though it was a little dry. I didn't include the optional chocolate chips - perhaps spots of melted chocolate would have helped there.

I can't say it will be a great temptation - it's quite OK, and I suppose if ever a chocolate cake emergency arises, it will meet the need. I wouldn't want to eat the whole thing; it serves two easily. A dollop of icecream or cream would help stretch it to three serves, and also help with the slight dryness.


brazen's crafts said...

i made one a few months ago and i pretty much agree with your review. i won't be rushing to make it again. oh and the mess looks familiar too LOL

kazari said...

I made this too, with pictures here:

It was quite dry, and as one of my commenters said, all the chocolate chips ended up at the bottom. But it was fun, and I loved feeling like an evil magician, creating a swamp creature in the microwave. It was a lot of mess.

Roving Lemon said...

That seems like a LOT of sugar for a pretty small cake, says an American. Thanks for the review (and evocative picture). Probably not worth buying a microwave for, hmmm?

Cath said...

LOL, no!

Though I do love the microwave for other reasons - reheating leftovers, steaming veggies, melting butter and chocolate.

Kazari, thanks for the note about the choc-chips. I won't bother, then. The swamp monster effect was a lot of fun - I had to watch it all through the cooking.

BTW, it occurred to me only later than since it's ALL in tablespoons, you could just keep the original measurements and scale up. Just make sure it's a large egg. And an even larger coffee mug.

Gabriel said...

Very nice blog.I love cake! I am from Slovakia republic. I have also a blog focused on recipes for cooking. See. You need to translate the Google translate