Friday, August 25, 2006

Friday Food #29: Microwave Chocolate Cake

This is a fabulous recipe stolen from a blog I keep forgetting to link to, but love: Now Norma Knits. I think I saw it when she first posted it, but didn't make it for a while. Frankly, I was skeptical: microwave cake? It just didn't sound...right.

Well, it isn't really cake. Or, it is, but if you think of it more like British steamed pudding you might be closer. The main thing is, it's quick, it's chocolate, and it's dessert in under fifteen minutes. Not only worth a try, but worth saving the recipe. I have lightly edited this, but if you click the title you'll get the original.

Norma's Microwave Chocolate Cake

1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder (I still have some Valrhona left...mmm!)

2/3 cup hot water, divided in two 1/3-cup portions

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Norma swears this makes the cake, but I've left it out both times I made it and everyone was still very happy. I just get a little nervous putting cayenne in things for the kids, who seem to have an unerring instinct for all "weird" ingredients.)

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Grease or spray a round microwave-proof baking dish. My 1-1/2 quart Corningware casserole is perfect for this. A glass pie plate would do, but it will spill over the edges a little.

Line the dish with plastic wrap.

In small microwaveable bowl, mix 1/3 cup hot water with the cocoa powder; microwave on high 45-50 seconds or until slightly thickened.

In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add oil, remaining 1/3 cup water, egg, vanilla and chocolate mixture. Beat by hand until batter is smooth and well blended. Pour into prepared dish.

Microwave on high 5-6 minutes, until cake begins to pull away from side of dish. Some moist spots might remain but will finish cooking on standing. Let stand 5 minutes; invert onto serving plate. Peel off plastic wrap and devour.

You can get eight decent-sized portions out of this: we ate it two nights in a row. It's good hot, room temperature, or cold. The other night we had it with raspberries--perfection! (Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream would have been good, too, but that would have required going to the store, and the whole point of the cake was how quick and easy it, no ice cream.)

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