I’ve always been a little hesitant about using my microwave to cook food. I mean, heating things up is one thing but cooking something from scratch in that slightly scary buzzing box of I-don’t-know-what-goes-on-in-there just seems a bit off putting. It might have been my traumatising memories of accidental burnt spoons from back in my kiddy years (or even adult years every so often…I know, I’m a klutz) or the fact that the light in my microwave died a few years back and now it’s even harder to determine exactly what goes on in there…and if you haven’t ever accidentally put metal objects in your microwave, I would suggest to never attempt it. It’s S.C.A.R.Y.
Okay, so I’ve made myself out to be a wimp who’s scared of my microwave but I actually attempted my first cook from scratch cake in there a few weeks ago! That’s right, I walked out of that scaredy-hole of mine and did something about it, urged on by the many 2 minute mug cake recipes I’ve been gawking at online and having all the right ingredients in the pantry. The recipe that I used here came from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe which I accidentally found while I was researching recipes for the huge jar of Nutella I had. It seemed like a good idea, and it was!
The recipe was surprisingly very flexible and accommodating. I didn’t really measure any of the ingredients out and being the microwave baking novice that I am, the super fast and exciting rising of the cake made me panic and I actually opened the microwave in an attempt to slow it down. Go figure. In actual fact, I also overfilled my ramekins (I used ramekins instead of mugs) so opening the door stopped it from overflowing and making an unsightly mess (in Yuye’s microwave, mine doesn’t have a light to even see that it’s overflowing).
Anyway, I can say that the recipe was a success, if you really like chocolatey desserts. I had made 2 ramekins of cake but was left with way too much batter and we didn’t even finish the cakes anyway as it was super rich (but delicious of course).
Feel free to use mugs, or anything that’s microwaveable really. You can also sub the Nutella for peanut butter or leave it out altogether, or put in other ingredients you see fit.
If you don’t like super rich chocolate desserts, you might want to decrease the amount of ingredients you use and fill less in each ramekin or mug. I also found that the chocolate chips weren’t really necessary and if you eat the cake when it’s cold, the chips become all solid again.
The texture of the cake is similar to a self saucing pudding, except without the sauce. I think it’s best consumed warm and fresh out of the microwave, but I did eat it when it was cold and although it turned hard, it was still very chocolatey and yummy. In fact, when it was cold, it was similar to a chocolate brownie except slightly more dense. I even ate the cake batter just like that. The options are limitless. For extra indulgence (and to cut the richness), add a scoop of ice cream on top.
Oh and I forgot to put the eggs in the ingredients photo, I’ve been so forgetful lately, maybe it’s the old age…
Chocolate Nutella 2 minute microwave cakes
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
• 1/2 cup plain flour
• 8 tbsp caster sugar
• 4 tbsp cocoa powder
• 2 eggs
• 80g melted butter
• 3 tbsp semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
• 2 tbsp Nutella (slightly melted)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• Pinch of salt
1. Place all the ingredients in a medium to large whisking bowl and whisk on medium until all mixed through. You can also attempt this using a spoon and your hands, but it’s a lot harder to do this way.
2. Fill 4 ramekins or mugs with batter (to about less than half full).
3. Microwave on high for roughly 2 minutes each or until puffy, keeping a close eye on them as different microwaves have varying strengths.
4. Serve immediately with a scoop of ice cream or cream on top.
Question time: Have you ever used your microwave to bake cakes? How did the turn out and how would you compare them to oven baked cakes?