On Friday, it was almost midnight and I had a slight itch for something sweet. I thought about baking something rich and chocolatey, but it would’ve been a while before I would be able sink my teeth into it. The ‘5-Minute Chocolate Cake’ recipe which is ever so popular in the blogosphere was one I had yet to try. I was very skeptical about a cake “baked” in a microwave, and that was the main reason I hadn’t tried it. But this time I couldn’t be bothered to bake a whole batch of something, and after looking at some recipes I really needed a dessert. Bad.
Okay, so not exactly a looker. In fact, it looks like a creature from the black lagoon walked through the snow and showed up for dessert, but let’s get past all the superficial details. I would say that the flavour of the cake was better than most cake mixes, even though it was a bit sweet. I feared that it would’ve turned out very gluey and wet, but the cake was neither wet nor dry. What it was lacking was in the structure. It had rather large pockets of air (as it is clearly shown in the photo above) and was rather dense in some areas where a traditionally baked cake would have a fine and light texture throughout. The centre of this cake was dry and hard, due to overcooking, but this was something that is likely to be solved by adjusting the cooking time.
Whoever invented this recipe was either very smart or very desperate. Overall, I think this is a great recipe for anyone who is in a predicament such as I was, but I wouldn’t serve it to The Queen or The Pope if they show up at my house for an impromptu dinner. It was good enough to say that I would make it again with a few minor adjustments. But, a glass of milk or a scoop of ice cream is an absolute necessity to serve alongside this recipe.
5-Minute Chocolate Cake
Makes 1 Cake
- 4 Tbsp Flour
- 4 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I used Dutch Processed Cocoa)
- Pinch of Salt
- 2 Tbsp Egg, Beaten
- 3 Tbsp Milk
- 3 Tbsp Oil (I used Butter)
- 3 Tbsp Chocolate Chips
- Splash of vanilla
- In a mug, combine dry ingredients followed by egg, milk, and oil/butter.
- Add chocolate chips, and vanilla and mix together.
- Microwave on high for two and a half to three minutes on high.
- Cool cake slightly before serving.
I don’t think much of Valentine’s Day, especially since I work during the “holiday” each year. But I do think Valentine’s, hallmark holiday or not, is a good excuse to bake something sweet. My milk was about to expire, so I tried my hand at making creme brulee which was about as successful as my 2011 resolution to floss daily. After making the creme brulee, I was left with almost a dozen egg whites which I didn’t want to simply throw away.
I contemplated the idea of making cupcakes, but the thought of making cupcakes and having to frost them deflated my enthusiasm like a nail to a tire. A financier recipe which I came across intrigued me because it included blanched almonds, an ingredient leftover in my pantry from when I made almond thumbprint cookies. Unfortunately, I lacked the proper equipment, so that was out.
Finally, I settled on angel food cake which doesn’t require frosting, and used all of my leftover egg whites. As an added bonus, it’s fat free! I scrambled to bake it a couple of nights ago before going to bed and brought it into work today for my co-workers to snack on.
Angel Food Cake
Like the creme brulee, I did have a few hiccups when I was making the cake because I was rushing through the process. Number one: I didn’t read the instructions thoroughly, and added flour to the egg whites too soon, which made for a less airy cake. Number two: I didn’t mix the flour in well enough because I found several hard chalky lumps fused to the white cotton-like cake. I’m not sure if anybody noticed since nobody said anything about lumpy cake.
Since my grandmother celebrates her birthday according to the Chinese calendar, the day we celebrate her birthday changes dates from year to year. This year, her birthday fell within a week of my sister’s, so they both celebrated their birthday together. I wanted to make a cake that was a little more Asian inspired, so I infused jasmine tea into an ATK recipe.
Jasmine Tea Cake
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This past week I graduated from my Wilton Fondant and Gumpaste course. Our final project (surprise, surprise) was to make a fondant cake adorned with gumpaste and use any other cake decorating skills we might possess. Since my final project was after Halloween, I couldn’t think of any appropriate theme to decorate the cake with.
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