Thursday, September 27, 2007

Quick Fix In A Mug

This has been a long day of waiting. Seems I'm long overdue for some Microsoft downloads, which I hadn't noticed because I've been using Firefox as a browser. Today, because I needed to download a program that allowed me to view Excel files from versions newer than mine, I also had to update the Service Packs. Oh woe.

I do not believe these people in Redmond. I mean, they have to peek into the innards of your computer so they'll know what you need to download, right? So they lined up the three packages I needed and assured me that with the connection I had, it should take less than a minute.

Excuse me? They can't tell I'm on dial-up? Really? Just one of the three downloads I'm supposed to have was 108MB. My connection speed averages 5k/sec -- and that's when it's running hot! It took almost six hours to get all those megabytes in the barn! One minute, my ass-terisk.

Somewhere in the middle of all that download angst I got an overwhelming urge for a quick chocolate fix. Now, I have succumbed to that temptation more than once, whupping up a batch of wonderful brownies or maybe a couple dozen cookies. Unless I'm able to share the bounty with others, invariably the better part of the goodies goes to waste. What I needed was something large in satisfaction and small in volume. The thought of cake in a coffee mug, nuked in the microwave, floated across my inner vision.

Ah, no. I've done that. Microwave "baked" goodies just don't quite get it. No. I don't want to do that.

I fidgeted. I casually browsed along with Google, pretending I wasn't really looking at the recipes for cake in a mug. Just slumming, you know? Then there was this one site with photos of different experimental cakes. She used plastic freezer containers but I don't think that's a good idea. Still, there didn't seem to be any reason why the same recipes couldn't work in mugs.

If I was going to do that, I mean. Not that I was.

Then there was another choccy cake in a mug recipe that looked to be in just the right proportions for a quick fix. I mean, if it turned out as bad as I remembered that sort of thing, I wouldn't have wasted much. On the other hand, if I got lucky, my jones for choccy would be temporarily appeased and I would be fit for human company again.

So I sort of mixed and matched a couple of different recipes and techniques and went for the gusto. One thing I think I can dispense with next time -- although some recipes say to use a loose lid or covering, I would suggest not. The first minute I forgot the lid, so I put it on for the second minute -- and that's when my cake ran over. Screw the lid, okay?

The mug I used is actually a soup bowl that holds about 1 and 2/3 cups of whatever. I'm not sure how much batter I got out of this recipe but I might have been better served to divide it between 2 smaller mugs. In any case, this is how it goes:

Lightly oil or butter the inside of your mug(s). In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (or melted butter), 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1/4 cup brewed coffee. Whisk together well. Add 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 4 heaping tablespoons baking cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix together just until blended. (One source said if you beat the batter too much, you get rubbery cake from the microwave.) Pour the batter into the mug(s) and microwave 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. You'll have to experiment with your own setup. I continued to nuke it in 30-second increments for a total of 3 1/2 minutes and it was perfect. In spite of the run over. With 2 mugs going simultaneously, it might take longer. Or not.

I was amazed at the result. Not just the flavor -- which was great -- but the texture. It was firm but softly fluffy. It was moist without being gooshy. The part that sort of ran over looks raw but is really a bit on the fudgey side so it's like have just a touch of frosting. Which you don't need. The cake is fine, bare-nekkid-nude. And the amount is perfect for me. I munched away at half of it over the course of the afternoon. I'll probably finish it off in the wee hours. And nothing will go to waste.

Gee, I like happy surprises like that. It will sustain me as I wearily continue with the Download From Hell tonight.


Jo said...

Ohmigod, Dee, you had to go and done it, didn't you! I have been craving brownie-like sustenance for a month and now you've given me the quick fix. Quick and small enough not to feel guilty about. Small enough not to overeat on. And small enough to mabye make another one real quick, LOL.

John Bailey said...

"What has she done to that poor mug?" was my first reaction. Subsequent reactions were a lot closer to slavering than is suitable for polite company. Thanks, Dee!

As to the MS dial-up downloads... it isn't going to get any easier, I fear. I don't know who you should lobby -- MS to provide a more sensible update method, or you local authorities to ease/enable broadband to the outer limits. Sympathetic hugs... :-)

Bex said...

Is it that you can't GET broadband and are stuck with dial-up forever? or that you just haven't decided to take the plunge and change over to it? I resisted for a long time and my dialup was a nightmare. It was all but useless really... after I got broadband, the difference is like night and day. If you CAN get it, I highly recommend you consider it!

Anonymous said...

I haven't had dial up in a while and am completely spoiled to DSL. It would be awful to have to go back to the other.

As for the cake, well, in a word----YUM! Haven't tried it yet, but copied it. One question. Ever tried baking with artificial sweetener? Yeah, I know that's not a good thing to you, but my diabetic ol bod demands it. yawn Boring, but true and so inconvenient when I am hungry for something sweet.


bonnie said...

Well that certainly explains why I couldn't get you on the phone. :-)

bonnie said...

Couldn't resist, clicked on the sidebar Amazon "Anybody Here Want to Try My Cabbage" as curiosity got the best of me. No wonder it is 89 cents. lol

Mage And George said...

That looks so good. I have to make two giant batches first, get back to pre 10 homestand weight, then I will give it a go.

Dee said...

Hi, everyone! To answer the questions about dial-up, I seem to live in a pocket bereft of any other option. Which allows me to whine and snivel without guilt, you see? Bonnie, sorry about the continuous busy signal!

The cake-in-a-mug: Ava, I think using the artificial sweeteners makes a difference in texture but I'm not clear on that. I do have some packets of Stevia and I think I'll try experimenting to see what possibilities I can discover. I'll keep y'all posted, okay?

Kate said...

I'm gonna get you for this! I didn't need to know that cake can be made in a mug! Now those nights when I've got a wandering sweet tooth -- I'll know how to appease it. And keep right on growing when I should be shrinking. Darn you, anyway! [grin]