Minutes of Your Time

Afternoon ‘pick-me-up,’ ring a bell?  How about that late night sudden urge for a guilty pleasure – usually chocolate.  Why delivery service – for a “desserts-only” menu – is still non-existent, is beyond my comprehension?  While someone somewhere, decides to someday draft up a much desired business plan to fulfill bouts of unshakable cravings, there is an immediate solution.  Next time you’re overcome by that snack attack, here’s an easy – satisfaction guaranteed – fix:  zap it!

MC final arrBlinding lasers absent, behold a magic spectacle with your very own microwave.  Love it or hate it, this electrical cooking device creates cake in minutes.  Proud owner of an “Easy-bake Oven” – from childhood – it’s been long lost, in the basement.  Given the grown-up alternative, however, find no love lost for greasing of Bundt pans or replacing of burnt light bulbs.  Getting ready to de-rumble – my stomach – I collect the necessities for CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE.

“Microwave-safe?”  These two words – other than health/safety – can’t be stressed enough!  Regardless of colour, size or shape please ensure your mug is viable to withstand heat, and safe for microwave use.   Proactive and avoiding all disaster, then, it’s time to go pantry hunting.  ‘Collectibles’ in hand, first add the ‘dry’ ingredients, and follow with the ‘wet’ into your “microwave-safe” mug:  four tablespoons – each – of all-purpose flour and caster/granulated sugar, two tablespoons of cocoa powder, a quarter teaspoon of baking powder, three tablespoons of chocolate chips, a pinch of salt; and now mix in one egg, three tablespoons – each – of milk and vegetable oil; and finally, a dash of vanilla essence.   Well-combined – in the mug – this mess-free recipe is now ready to be ‘radiated.’MC mug arr

Grand entry made, sit the mug onto the middle of the microwave and set the time.   Eyes fixated and fingers-crossed, my ‘greased-lightening’ puffs to a gooey chocolate pudding dessert.  FYI:  microwaves – as you’re aware – vary in power.  As such, laser spectacles may last up to two minutes.  Only enduring one minute and forty-five seconds, at ‘100 power,’ my end result is revealing of a speedy bargain – bolted cake, and show!

Taking minutes of your time, cake-making – in a mug – doesn’t get more convenient than this.  Better yet, sky’s the limit with flavour options.  Catering to your palette, easily customize this recipe with creative additions and/or replacements:  peppermint, orange or almond extracts; chopped nuts or butterscotch bits, in place or combination with chocolate chips; and, if you must, a spoonful of peanut butter or Nutella – possibilities are endless!  Clearly effortless, guiltless devouring of this luscious cake knocks-out any midnight impulse.  Unapologetically caving into temptation, how can one not be all smiles? – take a ‘mug shot!’

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

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Eat Your Heart Out!

“Hearts, hearts everywhere – I’m seeing red!”  Fuchsia pink, sultry crimson and every lipstick rouge shade imaginable, it’s abundantly clear 2.14 – V-Day – is upon us.  Aiming to please, hopeless romantics will likely splurge on the – obvious-to-me – “works”:  handwritten poem-inscribed cards, long-stem Ecuadorian roses, and Godiva chocolate truffles.  Arrow-stricken or not, give the little cherub – that could/would/should – a break!  Valentine’s still remains a day – like any other – for all to love, be loved, and most definitely to love what you do.  And for foodies, this calendar day is reason enough to celebrate fabulous eats – cheers to delicious!

VDay Molten Lava arrLove-struck, I require no unofficial holiday reminders for a match-made pairing.  Simply stated, “I can’t help falling in love with you…” – dessert recipes.  ‘LOL’ indeed!  Revamping a passion for baking, I rightfully designate the “Look of Love” at two enticing treats:  decadent molten chocolate lava cake, and strawberry-filled thumbprint cookies.  In the spirit of Saint Valentine, then, preheat the oven and keep – stove – flames burning with the creation of tantalizingly sweets.

VDay Cookies arr“So happy together?” – always!  In suit of a delectable chocolate cake, these ingredients get along best when mixed in a bowl:  melted dark chocolate, caster sugar, eggs, butter, flour, and a pinch of salt.  Once prepared, evenly distribute the batter into a greased and cocoa-dusted muffin tin, and bake.  In the meantime, the lure of motifs leads me to prepare decorative stencils.  Easy to make and highly transferable, love – of parchment – is truly all you need.  To create heart-shaped cut-outs, simply:  tear a piece of paper, draw onto the sheet, and use scissors to cut around markings.  When ready for use, place the template on top of the cooled cakes, and finish with a generous dusting of icing sugar.  Love-stamped, be certain not to miss any marks in aesthetic appeal and intoxicating aroma with this ‘heart-felt’ cake.  Equally impressive, a properly-timed – not overdone – cakelette is moist, can be cut with a fork and, in doing so, will release a rich semi-liquid chocolatey interior.  Sinfully irresistible, breaking this ache-free ‘heart’ is easy to do and destined for repeat devouring – seconds, please!

VDay PB&J Cookies arrAs for the cookies, adhere to a trusted shortbread-like or peanut butter thumbprint recipe.  Contents mixed and dough made, bake the cookies half-way through.  At this point, remove the tray and using the back of a wooden spoon make impressions of choice – hearts, x’s or o’s.  Designs made, return the ‘blushing dozens’ back to the oven for the remaining bake time.  Cooled and ready for a reunion, no ‘hug’ or ‘kiss’ would be complete without an added touch of sweetness – spoonful of fruit preserve.  Just add desired jam filling into the indentations, and allow the cookies to set prior to enjoyment.  Saving ribbons and bows for another occasion, offerings of your darling’s ‘love’ – baked indulgences – need not be masked or hidden in fancy packaging.  Ultimately expressive of thought and care, a baker’s dozen comes with more than an extra surprise – ‘homemade’ genuinely is where the heart is.

© DISHFUL, 2014.  All Rights Reserved.