Sunday, August 21, 2011

Undecided, so help me

So I’m in the middle of making enough applesauce to last a year (that's a good thing) and my feet are killing me (that's a bad thing) so I plunk down at the computer for just a sec to catch my breath (that's a stupid thing) and then I spy a post for a two-minute peanut butter chocolate cake (that's an exciting thing). (And now I'm going to stop with the parenthesis. That's a smart thing.) Quick like, I (mostly) commit the recipe to memory, and then, all sneaky like so my husband who has been working even harder than me for even longer doesn’t see, I grab a bowl and some measuring spoons and set to. When the phone rings and my friend—the one who has spent her whole day putting up all the juice tomatoes I threw at her the night before—chirps, “Whatcha doin’,” I hiss into the phone real quiet like and say, “Making peanut butter chocolate cake,” and then I cringe while she screams in my ear, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAKING A PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE CAKE ON A DAY WHEN YOU’RE MAKING APPLESAUCE? WHEN YOU MAKE APPLESAUCE YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE! DON’T YOU KNOW THAT?”

“But it’s two-minute peanut butter chocolate cake,” I whisper defensively. “I’m almost done right now!”

A measure, stir, and beep-beep-beep later, I am dumping the ramekin of cake onto a plate, and the kids and I are stuffing it into our mouths. My husband never even knew enough to bleet. Shazaam!

Later, after the mountains of clean-up (most of which my husband did while I took the kids to the pool for a little blow-off-steam time), I turned out another two-minute cake. I was rather tickled with my new skill, but there were drawbacks, too.

Like the little problem of texture. The cake is kind of spongy and boing-oing-oingy, like what I’d expect microwave baked goods to taste like and thus the reason I’ve never baked with microwaves before. Perhaps it needed less time in the zapper? Forty-five seconds? Thirty?

Also, the cake turned an unappetizing gray—perhaps due to the type of cocoa I used?

But the flavor was yummy, and the pockets of melty chocolate were pretty close to glorious. And then I realized that, hey, the cake is practically GOOD for me what with the egg, peanut butter, and only one tablespoon of brown sugar, whoa baby.


So this afternoon I made it again, but this time without the cocoa. The cake was much easier on the eye, but the texture was still spongy, and the insides were drier while the edges were gooey. Weird. But good? Maybe?

I’m still not sure what to think. Is this cake a good idea, or a super-duper bad one and I’m just too mired in applesauce to see clearly? Am I going all cliché on the world if I start nuking my desserts? Is it like getting giddy over jello? (No offense, jello lovers. Jello's just not my thang.)


I can’t seem to get a grip on the matter, so I’m passing it off to you. Pretty please, go hang out in your kitchen for two minutes, make a cake, and then report back here so we can talk about this microwave baking phenomenon, will you? It’s all for the noble sake of science (and my insatiable curiosity).

Thank you, darlings. I’m much obliged.


Two-Minute Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Dinner with Julie and Back To Her Roots

I’d like to try whole wheat flour next. Also, a much higher ratio of chocolate chips might be a good thing, like maybe ½ cup?

This is supposed to make one serving, but I think it should be divided between two small ramekins, or maybe even three.

1 egg
1 rounded tablespoon flour
1 tablespoons brown sugar1 tablespoon cocoa, optional
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2-4 tablespoons chocolate chips

Dump all ingredients into a cereal bowl and stir with a fork. Dump into a greased ramekin and “bake” (zap, nuke...) in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds. Invert onto a plate and top with a scoop of ice cream or some whipped cream.

Eat and report back. Thanks.

My updated version, August 28, 2001
After multiple experiments and reading through your comments, I've come up with the perfect recipe. It is GOOD! The recipe is as follows: 2 tablespoons beaten egg, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Divide the batter between two small, greased ramekins and microwave on high for 30 seconds.

This same time, years previous: red raspberry ice cream, oven-roasted Roma tomatoes, earthy ponderations, part one

12 comments:

  1. One whole egg for this tiny cake? Maybe that's why it's all boingy-oingy. I've already brushed my teeth tonight. This will have to be a breakfast cake. It's got an egg and peanut butter, it's practically a breakfast food right there.

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  2. Teekaroo, Now THAT'S an idea---maybe if I used just the yolk instead of the whole egg, mmm? But then it'd turn into a 3-minute cake and that would ruin the whole effect, so I don't know...

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  3. I just tried this with my boys because I figured this is kinda something fun & easy they can do themselves when they are whining that they are hungry. I put it in a whole minute because I wanted to be sure it was fully 'cooked'. Yeah, I think I would do less time because it came out rather dry. But, the flavor is good. I would do it again!

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  4. I was wondering what it might taste like without the cocoa! I had pondered using half an egg.. but what would one do with a leftover half egg? The dog would be happy to have it I'm sure! just the yolk is a great idea!

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  5. I read on another blog that 2T of beaten egg was just right - sorry, I don't have the name of the blog offhand. I remember making the choco cake and loving it. I made it in a coffee cup and it had choco chips in it too.

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  6. did you see this on Pinterest? I think I just recently pinned that too! :)

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  7. Ok, well. I doubled this (my sister is here doing tomatoes and nectarines). I used one egg (total), 1 1/2 tbsp. cocoa (total)and natural peanut butter. It was just a tad on the dry side, but a little milk drizzled over the top did the trick. We made ours in mugs. I had NO idea you could make cake in the microwave. Where have I been?

    I'm going to forget that I tried this and liked it, okay? It's too quick and easy. I need hurdles.

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  8. Well I made this strange recipe today.
    Method: Half whole wheat, no cocoa, 45 seconds. UNgreased ramekin.

    Opinion: It IS boing-oingy and I briefly considered dropping it on the floor to see if it'd bounce. Instead, I ate it. The flavor is great, the texture is.... rubbery. But if you're feeling like I-need-chocolate-and-p.b.-NOW, this might be your fix. I couldn't tell there was w.w. in it, and there was definitely no need to grease the ramekin. Still debating as to whether to keep the recipe.

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  9. Rof lol - just found your blog and am in love. I tried Boing-Oing and immediately fell in love - personally, I rank it right up there with instant pudding .... one of those things you *never* want to use, but invariably have in your cupboard. Thanks so much for the recipe!

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  10. Now it's MY turn to report back. I made it again, this time with just the yolk of one egg and no cocoa. It was cr-cr-crumbly (but moist). I chucked it. Then I added a little whipping cream to the other portion (I divided the batch into two little ramekins) and it was moist but has less flavor...and was still too crumbly. I chucked that, too. Bottom line: it needs some of that egg white. I'm going to try Aimee's suggestion next---just 2 tablespoons of beaten egg.

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  11. I did it! I figured it out! I made the new and improved recipe changes in the post (scroll down to the bottom). Go try it and see what you think! (It's all in the name of research...)

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