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April 22, 2009 at 10:44 AM

5-minute masterpiece? Chocolate mug cake recipe gets nuked

My friend and longtime reader Dick Fike sent me a little gift this morning: a recipe for Five Minute Chocolate Mug Cake — a “dangerous” microwave dessert that’s had its 15 minutes of fame on many other food and cooking blogs, where it’s beloved and ridiculed in varying measure. So, two mugs into my morning coffee, with a good half-hour before I had to wake Nate for school, I headed into the kitchen to see what all the fuss was about. The five minutes, by the way, accounts for mixing and nuking, but not for the gathering of ingredients (I know that Hershey’s cocoa’s hiding in this cabinet somewhere!) nor picture-taking:

The recipe calls for mixing the ingredients right in your (microwave safe) mug, and I had exactly the right one for the job. Following the directions, I mixed the dry ingredients and the egg:

Then poured in the milk and oil (I used canola oil, though the recipe didn’t specify), later adding the (optional) chocolate chips and, as directed, a “splash” of vanilla extract:

Then I popped it into the microwave, putting a layer of “the quicker picker-upper” under the mug, just in case:

OK, so far so good. The recipe says to cook it at 1000 watts for three minutes, noting you shouldn’t have a fit if it starts to rise above the top:

Ready. . .set. . .

Rise ‘n shine


I’ve got to say, this smelled spectacular, and frankly, it looked pretty good too, if you’re into chocolate (which I’m not — as I’m sure you know by now):

Verdict? Well, it was a tad dry (turns out my nuke-o-later nukes at 1100-watts, slightly higher than called for), and the texture was a bit rubbery, but knocked back with the proper garnish, it wasn’t half-bad:

Rest assured: I wouldn’t, say, pay $7 for one at the farmers market (as I gladly would for the molten chocolate cakes Autumn Martin’s pushing in this photo):

But if I was a chocolate fiend in need of a quick fix, or looking for a fun cooking project with kids, I’d certainly make it again. Though next time I’d tweak the recipe, perhaps using cake flour to make it less rubbery — as some of the blog-posts I’ve seen on the subject suggest, or give it a slightly shorter bake-time. Be sure to eat it while it’s warm: let it sit and, well, blecch!

So, dare I ask you Eaters to give this cake a try, tinker with the recipe if you wish and suggest some changes? The whole process took next-to-no time, there wasn’t much clean up and it’s made with ingredients most of us keep on hand (don’t have choco-chips? leave ’em out, or try nuts). I’d be curious to see how yours comes out and what you think of the end-result. And if you do it, consider taking a digital photo of the final product. Send the pic — and your name — to and I’ll post your five-minute masterpiece right here.

Updated 4/23/09 — to impress upon my Eaters how I really feel about Theo chocolatier Autumn Martin’s darling little molten chocolate cakes!

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