This is a great last-minute dessert I’m talking about here. I learned it by accident.
This is the story of how I got intimately acquainted with “Chocolate Cake in a Mug” from my newest cookbook, Fix-It and Enjoy-It Potluck Heaven.
On Monday morning I was booked to appear on “The 10 Show!”, produced by Channel 10, the major NBC affiliate station in Philadelphia.
My food-stylist suggested that I get to the studio by 9:00 a.m.; the show broadcasts from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
I trucked out of the house around 7:15 and survived the Schuylkill (affectionately known by locals as the “Sure-Kill”) Expressway without any big delays. So far so good.
When I got into the studio kitchen, my food-stylist was already cooking, surrounded by 2 dozen containers of ingredients and 2 dollies loaded with props and dishware and bags with more containers of food.
I was going to demo “Chicken Curry” and “Chocolate Cake in a Mug” on air—so we needed to have each of these dishes prepared in several stages of completion.
The food-stylist was going full steam—sautéing onions in a big skillet, pouring a half dozen or so toppings for the finished Curry into individual bowls, warming the rice as a base for the Curry, baking the Turkey and Green Bean Casserole, frying the Mexican Egg Rolls.
Things were a little wild with all of the camera guys, producers, and director drifting in and out, grabbing little samples of the food.
The food-stylist and I went out to the set to make sure I could easily reach the skillet to stir the Curry broth, that the platter of Egg Rolls wouldn’t tip, and that there were 2 spoons for the 2 hosts to taste the Cakes in Mugs.
It was only 9:30, but the studio audience was all in place. Then I noticed that the hosts were there, all made up and miked, checking details. Boy, they get set up early, I thought.
I strolled back into the kitchen, memorizing the ingredients in each of the dishes in case Bill, the host, asked.
“Hey, Phyllis,” the food-stylist called, “would you mind mixing the cake batter—right now?” I was happy for a little distraction right then; I always get the jitters as camera-time gets closer.
I sensed some urgency from the stylist, so I stepped up my stirring. We quickly divided the batter among the mugs.
“Mic them NOW,” said the stylist.
“Let me mike you,” said one of the technicians, suddenly at my elbow.
“Why all the hurry?” I asked. “We have an hour and a half ‘til show-time.”
“NO,” everyone said at once. “We film at 10:00 and play at 11:30. We need you on the set NOW.”
The stylist was testing the now-microwaved Cakes in Mugs to make sure they were “baked” through. Then she scattered a few fresh raspberries on top of each one, handed me the mugs, and gave me a little push toward the stage.
Still steaming, the mugs and I hustled onto the set. I found a good spot for them and then picked up the wooden spoon to make sure the Curry wasn’t bubbling too boisterously, just as the host joined me.
Somehow I had missed that little piece of information about filming at 10:00 and not at 11:30. Oh, well. Less time to be nervous. And a great chance to discover that Cake in a Mug goes from batter to cake in 3 minutes flat in the microwave.
Chocolate Cake in a Mug
Fix-It and Enjoy-It Potluck Heaven., pg. 243
Makes 1-2 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Microwaving Time: 3 minutes
4 Tbsp. cake flour
4 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. milk
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
dash of vanilla
3 Tbsp. small chocolate chips
1. Place flour, sugar, and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Stir together well.
2. Add egg and mix thoroughly.
3. Pour in milk, oil, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Mix well.
4. Pour into one large mug, or divide between 2 mugs.
5. Microwave on high for about 3 minutes. Cake may rise over top of mug.
6. Test for firmness by pressing on the top with a spoon.
7. If not done, microwave in 30-second increments until done.
8. Allow to cool a little before eating.
If you want to top off the cake with ice cream, divide the batter between 3 mugs.