THE IMPENDING ARRIVAL
Last night was one of those nights which seem to belong more to mid-Winter than late-Autumn, when the cold winds reach past your jacket and layers of clothes, chilling you to the bone.
You know, the kind of night where everyone on the street has their hands stuffed in their pockets, and their faces turned downwards to the ground in order to keep the cold from reaching them. Heavy showers from the day before had led to a drastic fall in temperatures, after an unusually humid and warm afternoon.
This was one of those dreadful nights that mark a before and an after, leaving no room for doubt that the change in seasons was nearing, ushering in the impending arrival of winter, my least favorite season.
A season when trees line the streets like empty shells, devoid of life or color; a period when the sun withdraws from the sky earlier than necessary; and when the only thing you look forward to is the passing of the months, to be able to transition into spring, where the ground brings forth new life again.
You probably know by now that my Asian upbringing and culture has trained me to prefer savory to sweet anytime, but every once in a while, I’m struck with the insane craving to eat something incredibly, decadently sweet and rich. Times when I’m feeling homesick or extremely tired and need a quick and potent boost of energy; times when I need a break from too many salty and savory foods (rarely); or times when it’s so cold out there, only something thick and warm and sugary can thaw me back to life.
The problem with these moments is that I barely have anything that sweet in my kitchen; it’s sort of like an emergency supply that you never think you’d need. So naturally when these sugar-craving moments unexpectedly strike; in the most forceful and random ways possible, I’m left searching around in vain for something to soothe the craving.
MOLTEN CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE
But, thank God for the Internet – probably the most marvelous and amazing invention of the last century.
Thank God for generous food bloggers who share their tried and tested recipes, so people like me can learn from them, and in case of emergencies, whip up something quick.
A couple of weeks ago, I chanced upon a recipe that seemed too good to be true – you know, just like the late-night advertisements that promise you weight loss in 7 days, or other ads that tell you it is possible to get a degree in 3 months.
When I first saw this recipe, I snickered to myself – who was the recipe trying to kid? I mean, it promised a molten chocolate cake in 5 minutes (too quick and too instant!), and wait, here comes the best part – all cooked in the microwave oven (real cooks don’t cook in the microwave oven, do they?!).
Ok, here’s my secret. I’ll be honest. Deep down, I’m quite the sucker for these kinda of ads, and easy, fuss-free recipes (in the microwave or not) – I’ll try them no matter how doubtful I am of their results!
So with the recipe bookmarked and saved for a future sugar-craving emergency, I promptly forgot about this molten chocolate cake.
The craving struck last night, unplanned, unforeseen and completely randomly again.
This time I was prepared – I went to the recipe I’d bookmarked in Melissa’s blog ChinDeep, and set about preparing this cake – timing myself to see if all it really took was five minutes to make.
Oh my word. My goodness. It held true to its promise.
In a world of never-ending advertisements that guarantee services and products that they eventually don’t deliver, this was a complete miracle. A MIRACLE!
It really took just all of FIVE MINUTES to create.
From batter to molten chocolate cake.
All in one mug.
Made in the microwave oven.
This was heaven.
Bliss in an instant.
Molten Lava Chocolate Mug Cake (Serves 1)
Adapted from ChinDeep’s Grand Marnier Molten Chocolate Mug Cake recipe
1) 4 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
2) 4 tablespoons of sugar
3) 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder
4) Pinch of salt
5) 3 tablespoons of whole milk
6) 3 tablespoons of neutral cooking oil (most cooking oils except olive oil)
7) 1 egg
8) 2 tablespoons of semi-sweet chocolate chips /chocolate shavings (plus a bit more for garnishing)
9) 1 mandarin orange (or any citrus fruit you fancy)
1) In a medium-sized microwave-safe mug, combine flour, sugar and cocoa powder
2) Mix well to get a homogenous mixture
3) Add milk, cooking oil, egg and chocolate chips/chocolate shavings
4) Mix all together until you get a thick, homogenous batter
5) Microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds
6) Peel mandarin orange (or any other fruits you like) and arrange the pieces of fruits above the mug cake and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips/chocolate shavings over
7) Serve immediately when still warm
In a medium-sized microwave-safe mug, combine flour, sugar and cocoa powder:
Mix well to get a homogenous mixture:
Add milk, cooking oil, egg and chocolate chips/chocolate shavings:
Mix all together until you get a thick, homogenous batter:
Microwave on high for 1 minute and 30 seconds, then peel mandarin orange and arrange the pieces of orange above the mug cake and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips/chocolate shavings over: