06 September 2011

Eats: 35-second chocolate cake

That’s right, chickadees! Two-parter eats! Because some things just belong together. Spaghetti and meatballs, coffee and donuts, and banana nut ice cream with chocolate cake.

Yesterday I told you how to make ice cream with one ingredient (though I technically cheated and used three, as is my wont, to overcomplicate things). Today I’m going to tell you how to make a cake in 35 seconds! Well, you bake it in 35 seconds. It takes, oh, three minutes start to finish. Yes, really!

As I mentioned yesterday, this was another Pinterest find. (Have you guys figured out yet that you can basically foresee the entire “Eats” lineup just by checking my Pinterest board? No? Well then forget I said that.) The original recipe called it a “mug cake” because, ostensibly, you make it in a microwavable coffee mug. However, I wanted to instead make use of these guys:

Those would be ramekins that are the same pattern as our wedding china (Lenox Aspen Ridge, if you’re interested in that sort of thing). Therefore, those would be overpriced ramkeins. That we almost never use. Of course, you can still make this in a mug if you don’t have overpriced ramekins that needed to be put to a chocolately use!

The original recipe touted this as a 100 calorie cake. Honestly, I was more interested in how it made ONE serving of cake. ONE. Because I don’t care if it’s a 300-calorie slice of cake, so long as I’m not eating a 300-calorie slice of cake every night for a week to finish up an entire cake. But still. 100 calories! If you're interested in that sort of thing!

My other favorite part of this cake is how it uses ingredients I always have in my kitchen – you don’t even need eggs. Perfect for those I’m-going-to-die-if-I-don’t-have-some-chocolate nights. Without this recipe, Mr. P would continue to silently disappear for twenty minutes and then reappear claiming he found that quart of Death By Chocolate ice cream by the mailbox left by the ice cream fairy.

That ice cream fairy. She always knows how to shut me up about wanting some chocolate.

Anyway, here’s how you can make your own single-serving chocolate cake with only 100 calories in three minutes!

First you assemble the dry ingredients. I loosely followed the original recipe and used two tablespoons of flour, one and a half tablespoons Splenda, two teaspoons cocoa, a quarter-teaspoon baking powder, and a pinch of salt. I went sugar-free this time just because, but you could use real sugar. And I left out the instant coffee, because I don't use instant and don't have it on hand, and because Mr. P doesn’t like coffee one bit.

Then you stir in the wet ingredients: two tablespoons of milk, a teaspoon of oil, and a scant teaspoon of vanilla. That’s certainly more vanilla than the recipe calls for, but when has a “drop” of vanilla done anyone any good?

And then they go in the microwave! Our high-power microwave took exactly 35 seconds, as the recipe called for. I didn’t take photos while it “baked” (I did them individually) because I was too busy smudging my nose on the microwave door to see if it would actually work. But lo and behold! With crusty bits of cooked chocolate batter all over the side of the ramekin because I am not a fancy food blogger, but a real food blogger, who shows you the imperfections you'll see when you imperfectly make it in your own imperfect kitchen!

Still! A cake baked in the microwave! In thirty-five seconds!

A... thin cake, that is. It puffed up a bit, sure, but the whole thing was maybe, oh, a quarter-inch thick? I don’t know what sort of mug she’s using in the source recipe photo, but our cake was certainly not as deep. If you folded it over on itself a few times to make it as thick as a real cake, you wouldn't have a “piece” of cake so much as a “bite” of cake. Which, you know, for three minutes of work isn’t bad. But in the future, I’ll be doubling or even tripling the recipe to make it a bit more satisfying. Like I said, I don’t mind if it’s three hundred calories, so long as there’s not more cake waiting for me tomorrow.

Anyway, as for taste? It was simple but fudgy and delicious, as the recipe promised. And it made an excellent base for the chocolate banana nut ice cream:

While eating this, I was momentarily distracted thinking about something else, but I discovered I was subconsciously thinking, wow, this is a decadent little treat. Especially for something nearly vegan (only the milk isn't)! And as stated, it can’t be more than a few hundred calories – the cake above, plus half a banana and a teaspoon or so of cocoa and peanut butter in the ice cream – and a few minutes preparation (if you make the ice cream in advance) for a rich, satisfying little dessert. So try it today, it's a piece of cake!

(See what I did there?)

(Like I could finish this post without making that pun!)