When there’s just Speedy and me at home — and that’s five days out of every week — I try to refrain from baking. And it’s so darn hard to control myself especially when the itch to patter in the kitchen strikes. But a whole cake or pie (even small ones), a whole tray of cookies or brownies, an entire bunch of cupcakes or muffins… that’s too much for two people.
But you know how most recipes are… A cookie recipe calls for one egg only and the yield is 24 cookies. How does one halve a recipe like that? Even if it were possible to halve the recipe, can you imagine pre-heating the oven just to bake 12 cookies? With the cost of power — electric or gas — well, it just seems too wasteful.
One alternative, of course, is to just go ahead and bake a full recipe and store the bulk for the girls when they come home on weekends. But not all baked products benefit from freezing or storing at room temperature. Some baked goodies just don’t taste and look right after a couple of days. As a result, I rarely bake during weekdays. I wait for the girls to come home and then bake whatever they request.
Then, I discovered the world of microwave cupcakes. Mug cakes, actually, because they are baked in coffee mugs. Baking time? Two and a half minutes. No kidding.
These cupcakes are my first attempt with microwave baking. Really easy. No mixing bowls needed. Just a fork to stir. And the really wonderful thing? My trepidation was that they’d come out hard and dry. But they were soft and moist. Granted, the texture is coarser than that of a cake or cupcake that had been mixed using the regular procedure. But, oh, the effect is really rustic and I love it. The cupcakes rose higher on one side but they were uniformly baked.
For this recipe, you’ll need a measuring spoon with a 1 tablespoon capacity (except for the salt, all the ingredients are measured by tablespoonful) and a microwave safe mug with a one-cup capacity.
Based on a recipe from Steller Kitchen.
Recipe: Microwave chocolate cupcakes
- 8 tbsps. of cake flour
- 8 tbsps. of white sugar
- 4 tbsps. of unsweetened cocoa
- 1 tbsp. of instant coffee granules
- 2 pinches of salt
- 4 tbsps. of whisked egg (I discovered that a medium egg is equal to 4 tbsps.)
- 6 tbsps. of milk (the kind you’d drink)
- 6 tbsps. of oil (I used palm oil)
- Into each cup place 4 tbsps. of flour, 4 tbsps. of sugar, 2 tbsps. of cocoa, 1/2 tbsp. of coffee granules and a pinch of salt. Stir well to combine.
- Pour in 2 tbsps. of whisked egg into each cup. Mix. The batter will look like bread dough at this point but that’s how it should be.
- Pour in 3 tbsps. of milk and 3 tbsps. of oil into each cup. Mix until smooth. Now you have cake batter that looks like regular cake batter.
- Bake on HIGH for two and a half minutes. One cup at a time. I don’t know how the cakes will turn out if you cook two cups at the same time.
- Note, too, that the two minute baking time is for a 1000W microwave oven. If your microwave’s wattage is lower, you’ll have to increase the baking time. By how much, I have no idea.
- Once the cake is out of the microwave, just take a dessert spoon and dig in.
- By the time I was almost finished with my cake, I discovered that the bottom was still slightly wet. That was fine with me. But if you prefer not to have that slightly wet bottom, you might want to increase the baking time by another 30 seconds.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 2 minute(s) per cup
Number of servings (yield): 2