Sunday, February 27, 2011

Microwave experiments

This is not, I repeat not, about dying yarn. This is about cooking food.
I have never learned how to properly use a microwave oven. I heat water, melt butter, warm leftovers, thaw last minute meats but I have never really maximized the Microwave Oven. So to that fact, we have the smallest microwave they make, hidden in the pantry.
But, a couple of weeks ago, a knitting friend told me about something remarkable that you can make in a microwave and I have been wanting to try it since she mentioned it. I just was having difficulty finding all the ingredients and making the time. I needed $2 worth of stuff and 2 1/2 minutes. Well, actually, the first time takes a little longer, but after that 4 minutes will do it.
This is what it is - Microwave Chocolate Cake. Really, a cake. And it is a single, low fat, low calorie serving.
It starts with a box of Angel Food cake mix. And a box of Devil's food cake mix. Put them together is a large mixing bowl and whisk them with a dry whisk until they are well blended. I am unable to leave a good recipe alone so I added 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
Measure out 1/2 cup of the dry ingredients into a microwave safe bowl that can hold about 1 1/2 cups. Add 1/3 cup of water and stir with a fork until really smooth- about a minute. Remove the fork- don't cover the top- stick the bowl in the microwave for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes (depends on how powerful your machine is). Cake is done. Don't burn yourself eating it.
Put the rest of the mix in a zipper bag for later.
This is great, really. I like a piece of cake once and awhile, but not a whole cake. Not 24 cup cakes. Not a store bought piece of cake for $3 with 4 ounces of frosting. Just a plain and simple piece of cake. Now I can have my cake and eat it, too. And make a new piece next week or next month.
So why did it take so long? Well, I had to find an Angel food cake mix. My local store was down to three boxes and they were $4 each. I didn't want to pay that much, because I believed it was a rip off for a cake mix. So I eventually went to a different store and they had them for $1- I bought 3. One mix was for a party I was going to so it didn't count. The other 2 were for this experiment.
You see, my friend was a bit lax on the details of this cake thing. She said. " You mix them together, then measure out some, and mix it with some water and cook it in the microwave." So, like, well, how much cake mix, how much water, and how long? She is one of those cook by sight and feel people. She doesn't measure stuff, or time stuff, she just knows. I, on the other hand, am clueless about mixes and microwaves. I cook almost everything from scratch and measure most of it. I like details. SO, I had to wing it, and mixed this based on a rough estimate of what the box measures would have been in the smaller quantities. Then I had to cook it based on pure luck and the spring back test. At two minutes in my machine, I tested and it was a bit sticky on the top, so I added 15 seconds and tested again. Then one more time and it looked and felt right. So on my low watt, weak and underpowered little tiny microwave- 2 1/2 minutes. IF you have one of the big, honken, power guzzling microwaves- maybe 1 1/2 minutes. You will need to test for yourself.
Well, so much for my kitchen fun. Not much mess to clean up. Not lots of cake to hide or freeze. Just time to make some dinner. At this house, cake is uncertain so we eat dessert first.

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