Mug Cakes In The Microwave
Tartan Boy got this book for his Christmas. I had heard of cooking cakes in the microwave and was, frankly, a bit sceptical. Tartan Boy did not share my cynicism and so on Boxing Day set out to make his first mug cake. What can I say? After two minutes of slightly volcanic activity in the microwave, one minute of sweet, vanilla-scented impatience and a slightly burnt tongue, I am a convert.
In less than five minutes, with minimal washing up created and almost zero risk of personal injury, Tartan Boy can now rustle up a delicious cake for himself, his brother, and his grateful mother. When we all stumbled in from an afternoon’s sledging last weekend and I realised I had nothing but breakfast cereal to offer as a snack he made four mini-mug cakes in the same amount of time it took Tiny Tartan to get his boots off. Which is a lot thriftier than stopping at a cafe on the way home.
Mug cakes are too good to be true – pop the ingredients in a mug, stir, cook, eat. They are not beautiful enough to win prizes in the Great British Bake Off, but if greed and speed are your driving aesthetics, they are perfect. They are almost instant – but they don’t last. If you don’t eat them hot, within a few hours they will dry out. (Which is nature’s way of telling you to pour on sherry, custard and cream and call it a mug trifle in my opinion.)
Lunch Box Mug Cake
With the zeal of the convert I started tinkering with the recipes and with the receptacle. If it can bake in a mug, I reasoned, it can bake in a Tupperware cup. And then, with its lid on, the cup of cake can go in the freezer for lunches or snacks. And so Choc Prune Mug Cake was born. It’s not quite cake: it has an oozy gooeyness somewhere between a brownie and a pudding. Topped with a simple cream cheese frosting it makes a welcome treat in a winter lunch box. And so far, Tartan Boy has not worked out that it contains two prunes a portion. Which practically makes it health food…
(It is not a health food though. While dried fruit can give you one of your 5-a-day, the high sugar content here means this is a treat and needs to be offset by a lower amount of sugar in the kids’ diet the rest of the day. It would be much healthier for me just to give them a couple if prunes to munch. Except that they wouldn’t…)
How To Make A Batch Of Chocolate Prune Cakes
- Make your topping. Put the syrup and cream cheese in a food processor and blitz till smooth. Pour into a jug and put aside.
- Now put the prunes in the food processor with the sugar, milk, oil, eggs and vanilla essence and process until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa and baking powder and whizz until no white flour remains visible. Stop as soon as this stage is reached. Spoon the mixture into 18 little tubs. I used a mixture of mini plastic jelly moulds, individual silicone cupcake moulds with lids and plastic food storage tubs – they all worked fine. Microwave them on High, six at a time, for 2 minutes each batch.
- That’s the baking done. When they are completely cooled, pour in the cream cheese topping, stick on the lids and pop in the freezer.
If You Want To Eat Chocolate Prune Cake Right Now
Omit the cream cheese topping. Divide all the quantities by 3. Pour the batter into two mugs and microwave on High for 2 minutes. Leave to stand for 1 minute. Eat. Give the other mug to someone special… or eat that too.
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