ON FOOD: Zap your cake and eat it, too

By: TERESA FARNEY
February 8, 2010
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MMC. What if you picked this up on your Blackberry as a text message, would you know what it means?

Neither did I until I found “101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes — Single-Serving Snacks in Less than 10 Minutes,” by Stacey J. Miller.

In her cookbook, she shortens Microwave Mug Cakes to MMC because, “When you’re writing 101 recipes you get tired of typing out the same thing over and over.”

So what’s the point of making a cake in a mug?

Of the 17 reasons she lists in her book, to me the top one would be, “When you’re trying to impress someone.”
What better time to try to impress than for Valentine’s Day?

Not only might someone be impressed with the fact you can make a cake in a mug with record speed, but they, for sure, will be impressed with how great the cake tastes.

So how did Miller become the queen of microwave mug cakes?

“One night I was hungry for a brownie but I didn’t want a whole pan of brownies. I just wanted one,” said the Massachusetts-based author. “A friend e-mailed a recipe she’d found online, by an anonymous source, for a single-serving chocolate mug cake.”

Miller loved the cake. Then a light bulb flashed on.

“It was sheer greed,” she said. “These little snack cakes are so good I wanted more options.”

Liking instant gratification – or almost instant – she started thinking inside the mug. She developed recipes for Chocolate Caramel MMC, Lemon Poppy Seed MMC, Blueberry Muffin MMC, and she even took a turn to savory for the Pizza MMC.

The cake recipes are designed to fill a 16 ounce microwave-safe mug and make enough to serve two. Just the right sweet ending for a special someone this coming Sunday.

The cookbook is available at Barnes & Noble Booksellers for $15.25, or get an autographed copy directly from Miller at microwavemugcakes.com. On the cover and this page are three of the cake recipes mentioned above.

CHOCOLATE-CARAMEL MICROWAVE MUG CAKE

Yield: 1 (16-ounce) cake

1 egg
1 tablespoon caramel sundae topping
1 tablespoon oil
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Procedure:
1.
Prepare mug by coating inside lightly with cooking spray.
2. In small bowl, beat egg first with a spoon and mix in sundae topping, oil and vanilla. Then add dry ingredients and mix until you’ve removed all lumps.
3. Pour batter into mug (do not fill more than halfway) and smooth top with a spoon. Thump mug firmly on tabletop six times to remove excess air bubbles. Place mug on small microwavable plate or saucer.
4. Cook on high 3-4 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5. Wait 2 minutes, then run a butter knife along inside of mug, and tip cake into plate. Position mug cake so that the slightly rounded top is on top. Your microwave mug cake will now look like a slightly overgrown muffin.
6. Fancy stuff: Frost the whole Chocolate-Caramel Microwave Mug Cake with chocolate frosting, or split the cake in half and frost each half individually (in which case you’ll end up with two separate cakes — or you can reassemble the frosted halves to create a layered cake). Decorate, if you wish, with caramel sundae topping.

Source: “101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes: Single-Serving Snacks in Less Than 10 Minutes,” by Stacey J. Miller

LEMON-POPPY SEED MICROWAVE MUG CAKE

Yield: 1 (16-ounce) cake

1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon yogurt
1 tablespoon oil
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant lemon pudding powder (not prepared)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Procedure:
1.
Prepare mug by coating inside lightly with cooking spray.
2. In small bowl, beat egg first with a spoon and mix in yogurt, oil and vanilla. Then add dry ingredients and mix until you’ve removed all lumps.
3. Pour batter into mug (do not fill more than halfway) and smooth top with a spoon. Thump mug firmly on tabletop six times to remove excess air bubbles. Place mug on small microwavable plate or saucer.
4. Cook on high 3-4 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5. Wait 2 minutes, then run a butter knife along inside of mug, and tip cake into plate. Position mug cake so that the slightly rounded top is on top. Your microwave mug cake will now look like a slightly overgrown muffin.
6. Fancy stuff: Frost the whole Lemon-Poppy Seed Microwave Mug Cake with lemon yogurt or lemon pie filling, or split the cake in half and frost each half individually (in which case you’ll end up with two separate cakes — or you can reassemble the frosted halves to create a layered cake). Decorate, if you wish, with fruit, or sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Source: “101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes: Single-Serving Snacks in Less Than 10 Minutes,” by Stacey J. Miller

BLUEBERRY MUFFIN MICROWAVE MUG CAKE

Yield: 1 (16-ounce) cake

1 egg
2 tablespoons mixed blueberry yogurt (fruit stirred in)
1 tablespoon oil
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant vanilla pudding powder (not prepared)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Procedure:
1.
Prepare mug by coating inside lightly with cooking spray.
2. In small bowl, beat egg first with a spoon and mix in yogurt, oil and vanilla. Then add dry ingredients and mix until you’ve removed all lumps.
3. Pour batter into mug (do not fill more than halfway) and smooth top with a spoon. Thump mug firmly on tabletop six times to remove excess air bubbles. Place mug on small microwavable plate or saucer.
4. Cook on high 3-4 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5. Wait 2 minutes, then run a butter knife along inside of mug, and tip cake into plate. Position mug cake so that the slightly rounded top is on top. Your microwave mug cake will now look like a slightly overgrown muffin.
6. Fancy stuff: Frost the whole Blueberry Muffin Microwave Mug Cake with blueberry pie filling, blueberry jelly or the remaining blueberry yogurt, or split the cake in half and frost each half individually (in which case you’ll end up with two separate cakes — or you can reassemble the frosted halves to create a layered cake). Decorate, if you wish, with fresh or frozen blueberries.

Source: “101 Recipes for Microwave Mug Cakes: Single-Serving Snacks in Less Than 10 Minutes,” by Stacey J. Miller


Farney appears Tuesdays on KOAA’s Comcast Channel 5 at noon.

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