Experiments with a microwave

Friday, June 7, 2013

(Day 7  of the blogging blitz. If you’ve just joined us, I’m on a mission to get that ol’ blogging mojo back by attempting to post daily for 30 days).

Microwave cake - yay or nay?

Am I the only one not convinced?

It’s been raining heavily the last couple of nights which lowered the temperature a little. Suddenly, it was cool enough to crave pudding. Yes, I know, it never really gets cold here in the tropics but any excuse for pudding right?

Since it was late and I really didn’t feel like turning on the oven, I scoured the internet for ideas. It seems that the go-to recipe when you’re in a hurry for cake is to make a microwave mug thingy.

I’d seen these recipes around but they had never really appealed because I’m not a big fan of “baking” with the microwave. The couple of times I’ve tried to warm up bread in the microwave, it goes rubbery.

But the craving wouldn’t go away and since I had nothing to lose apart from 10 minutes of my time and a handful of ingredients, I gave it a go.

First I read quite a few different microwave recipes for cake or pudding. In my mind was a very clear picture of the type of pudding I wanted - it had to be chocolatey, light and slightly gooey. I also knew I didn’t want any eggs because microwaved egg is sort of foul. After carefully calculating different recipe ratios, I cobbled together a recipe using flour, milk, chocolate and sugar.

At first, it looked promising. But after a few bites, I just wasn’t feeling the love. It was edible  enough, actually it tasted quite good. However,  the texture just wasn’t right. It started off quite light but it still had that unmistakeable rubber edge to it.

Attempt number 1: Not bad but a bit too rubbery for my tastes

So I tried again, but this time increased the liquid ratio considerably. The end result is a cross between a mousse and a pudding. I like the flavour, but again, I’m not sold on the texture. This time it’s not rubbery, but it’s not quite right either.

I have to say, for a super quick dessert that can be made in the space of an ad break, it’s actually quite good. So I’ll post the recipe and if you do give it a try, let me know if it works for you. If I had a choice, I would much rather eat a proper chocolate mousse, or a baked or steamed pudding made the slow way.

 Attempt no. 2. Slightly more mousse-y than cake-y

Perhaps I’m just a microwave snob?

Microwave pudding that will tide you over if there’s nothing else to satisfy a craving

1/4 cup milk (I used full fat)
1/8 cup water
dash of vanilla extract
pinch of salt
approx. 1 tbsp butter (10g)
30 g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
20g sugar (approx. 2 level tbsp)
10g flour (approx. 1 tbsp) - best to use self raising but if unavailable, use AP flour with a smidge of baking powder added to it. (Your smidge and my smidge will be different)

Place the water, milk, vanilla, salt, butter and chocolate in a microwave safe jug and heat in 30 second bursts until the butter and chocolate are melted. Stir well. (I needed 2 x 30 seconds).

Mix together, flour and sugar in a bowl, pour the chocolate mixture in and stir gently to mix. Pour batter into a microwave safe cup or bowl, don’t overfill. I stopped 3/4 of the way from the rim.

This is the tricky part - everyone’s microwave is different so I’ll tell you what worked for me. I cooked he batter for 45 seconds, then removed it from the microwave and gave it a good stir.

 Stir it once during cooking

Then I returned it to cook for 2 x 15 second bursts. After it was done, I let it stand for 2 minutes.

The pudding will still be quite wobbly when it is done. It will solidify a little upon cooling but still retain a rather mousse like texture (but not as airy).