Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Recipe for Happiness (aka Chocolate Mug Cake for One)

With Constitution Day coming up this Saturday, September 17th, I find this recipe extremely appropriate, as it provides the perfect opportunity to exercise your "right to the pursuit of happiness!"  Of course, if you lack any kind of emotional relationship with food, you will have to pursue elsewhere a.  However, if you are like me, finding out that you can make chocolate cake for just yourself not only provides you with all those moments of fleeting happiness every time you eat it, but it also incites a certain enduring happiness in knowing that you can have your own personal chocolate cake.  Within five minutes. Whenever you want.  As long as you have most of the ingredients and a microwave at hand.

My sister Stephanie found the original recipe, entitled "Chocolate Mug of Sadness," on the "Some Kitchen Stories" blog, and she recommended it to me. I've altered one little ingredient and added whipped cream to the top, but I can assure you that even without those alterations, there is nothing remotely sad about it.

My second cake... in a custard cup!
The happiest part of the recipe, of course, is that it is a single serving.  If you are feeling generous (or not very hungry), you can certainly split this recipe into two mini chocolate cakes so that you can share one with another person (or save it for yourself for later).

I have a large mug, but it is Christmas themed, so I instead choose the split-it-up-and-eat-it-in-two-servings method so that I could use my smiley-face mug for photography's sake.  I put the excess batter into a small custard cup.  Stephanie used a similar technique when she made it, by simply halving the recipe; she avoided the "half-an-egg" dilemma by using the vegan technique of substituting the half-egg for a tablespoon and a half of applesauce.

4 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder (I prefer Hershey's Special Dark)
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil (canola oil is reportedly better for your heart!)
3 tablespoons nutella
1 egg
Pinch of salt
Optional:  heavy whipping cream and extra granulated sugar.  Alternatively, you could top with Reddi Whip, Cool Whip, or ice cream, just to name a few.

  1. Using a fork, stir sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and just a pinch of salt together in a mug.  Ensure that the mug is large, as a too-small mug may result in overflow from mug during microwave time (something that has happened to me).
  2. Add milk, oil, and nutella.
  3. In a small bowl, scramble one egg and then add it to the mug.
  4. Using a fork, mix all ingredients together thoroughly!
  5. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes.  It is far better to check it more often rather than less often because there is no remedy for overly dry cake and because you can check to make sure your cake is not overflowing.
  6. Whip up some whipped cream to put on top!  Using a hand mixer, beat a small amount of heavy whipping cream on high until stiff peaks form, then add little spoonfuls of sugar until you are happy to the point that you could just eat it by itself.
  7. Put an extra large dollop of whipped cream (or cool whip or ice cream) on your "chocolate cake for one" and serve!
the end :)

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