By Terry Sovil from the February 2013 Edition
This recipe came to me in an email via the internet. It included photos. I was fascinated by the concept of a cake that could be made quickly and baked in a microwave. At the time I didn’t have a microwave to test it.
I did more internet research and found many naysayers. A few had tried it and claimed it be “rubbery”. They gave up. When I got a small microwave (700 watts) I found this size perfect, for making this cake. So I explored ways to correct it and found the biggest cause of “rubbery” cake is cooking it too long. Why is it the most dangerous cake in the world? The only thing separating you from a warm chocolate cake is 5 minutes and some basic ingredients. Are you ready for this?
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
In Mexico, where flour is flour, a good dose of ROYAL baking powder 1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
Small splash of vanilla extract (this is Mexico and it’s cheap, use a capful) 1 large coffee mug or measuring cup (Microwave Safe) to microwave it
Capful of Almond extract (optional but I add every time WITH the vanilla)
A circle of Hershey’s syrup on the plate (optional but I do this often, you could probably eat an actual rubber circle with chocolate syrup)
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional) Simple frosting (optional)
Powdered Sugar sprinkle (optional) Fruit, like raspberries (optional) Whipped Cream (optional)
Ice Cream (optional)
Coffee or other flavoring (optional)
Add dry ingredients to the measuring cup/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 extracts, and mix again.
Put your mug/cup in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts
The cake may 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 could serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous. But why should you feel virtuous when chocolate is involved? This is also the kind of cake that you don’t make a day ahead. Eat it NOW!
It is critical that you follow the directions exactly as written. When it says
“Add dry ingredients and mix well” that is exactly what you need to do.
Put in the flour, sugar, cocoa, Royal and mix them well. Then put in the egg and mix it well. All dry ingredients must get wet. It will be a big ball. Then add the milk, oil and again mix it well. It becomes more like typical cake batter.
Note the bolded line “Put your mug/cup in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts”. Don’t take this to be the same for every microwave! The power of the microwave is as important as the time. My little 700 watt unit does an adequate job at 2 minutes and 30 seconds. No more. I think this is the problem most people have when making this cake. This isn’t a conventional cake in a conventional oven. The wattage of your microwave makes a big difference and 3 minutes at 1000 watts is probably too much! What you should do the first time you make it is to cook for 2 minutes and then stop and check. When it appears cake like and still has some wet areas it is probably done. If you cook until it is dry rather than slightly wet and gooey around the edges it will probably be overdone and rubbery. Understand this still is not going to be exactly like a traditional cake. But it is pretty good and easy to make!
- Self rising flour/cake flour is better than all-purpose but just use ROYAL baking powder to offset the lack of a self rising flour.
- Use a smaller egg as the egg helps make it dry
- You could try no egg, just more oil and perhaps an olive oil instead of a canola or vegetable oil.
- This does rise, especially if you have self-rising flour, so use something big enough.
- I used a Pyrex measuring cup to start so I could see what was going on. A big coffee mug should also work fine but a clear cup may help you the first few times you try this.
- I use 4-cup measuring cup and it helps in dividing the cake into two portions.
- Don’t give up after a first attempt! You will figure out the ideal cook time for your microwave.
- If the cake comes out rubbery just supplement with Hershey’s syrup, whipped cream or fruit.
Terry is a founding partner and scuba instructor for Aquatic Sports and Adventures (Deportes y Aventuras Acuáticas) in Manzanillo. A PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) Master Instructor in his 36th year as a PADI Professional. He also holds 15 Specialty Instructor Course ratings. Terry held a US Coast Guard 50-Ton Masters (Captain's) License. In his past corporate life, he worked in computers from 1973 to 2005 from a computer operator to a project manager for companies including GE Capital Fleet Services and Target. From 2005 to 2008, he developed and oversaw delivery of training to Target's Loss Prevention (Asset Protection) employees on the West Coast, USA. He led a network of 80+ instructors, evaluated training, performed needs assessments and gathered feedback on the delivery of training, conducted training in Crisis Leadership and Non-Violent Crisis Intervention to Target executives. Independently, he has taught hundreds of hours of skills-based training in American Red Cross CPR, First Aid, SCUBA and sailing and managed a staff of Project Managers at LogicBay in the production of multi-media training and web sites in a fast-paced environment of artists, instructional designers, writers and developers, creating a variety of interactive training and support products for Fortune 1000 companies.