All this week I’ve been wracking my brain for the perfect first bake to post on here. I wanted to start with a bake that was simple, cheap and didn’t take much time, basically so it suited students perfectly. I had loads of ideas, but it was actually a birthday present from my family that gave me the idea in the end. If there’s one bake that perfectly defines the student lifestyle, it’s the cake in a mug. For those of you that haven’t come across this wonderful creation before, it’s exactly as it sounds- you bake a cake in a mug! For the student baker, the mug cake is a blessing- they require minimal washing up, contain cheap ingredients and are fully baked in a few minutes. This isn’t the best thing about them though- the best thing is that all this can be accomplished in the microwave. For many students (sometimes including myself) the microwave is where all meals are cooked, so why not cook pudding in there too?
I realise for all you more experienced bakers out there, this may seen a little too basic, but I wanted to start small with the ultimate lazy bake. Much though I love baking, sometimes we all feel lazy or don’t have much time, so for me this is the ultimate bake for those occasions. If baking was a sport, this would be the warm-up, or maybe even just the walk to the gym. For anyone that’s not used to baking, this is the perfect start. This recipe is also perfect for students as you can buy mugs specifically for making mug cakes, which have the recipe written round the outside, and have lines inside marking how much of the ingredients you need. Not surprisingly, this is the birthday present that inspired this post. The one I have is from Lakeland and can be found in their stores or online at this link: http://www.lakeland.co.uk/43746/Cake-in-a-Mug
This year I have tried many recipes for mug cakes, all of which have ended in disaster. One particular attempt looked like this and exploded all over our microwave, which took a lot of cleaning up! Not what you want when you were just after an easy bake.
The best recipe I’ve found in all my efforts is by far the one on the cake in a mug from Lakeland, so I worked out the amount of each ingredient you need and the price. So, here it is!
Cake in a mug
Overall price to make: 58p (yep really)
Time taken: Overall= 6 minutes
Preparation= 3 minutes
Baking= 3 minutes
50g Self- raising Flour
52g Caster Sugar
18g Cocoa Powder
9tsp (45ml) milk
9tsp (45ml) oil (I used vegetable oil)
2 Squares of milk chocolate
1. Put all the dry ingredients into the mug (the flour, the sugar and the cocoa powder)
2. Add the egg (I found it was easier if the egg was beaten first) and mix around. At this stage it’s easiest to incorporate all dry ingredients so make sure you get right to the bottom and mix it all in- the last thing you want is a mouthful of flour when you get to the bottom of the mug!
3. Add the milk and the oil and mix again until all the ingredients are well mixed. I found that mixing with a fork was easier than a spoon as you could mix the ingredients more easily.
4. Push the pieces of chocolate into the middle of the mix (this gives the cake a gooey centre, which is amazingly tasty!)
5. Put the mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on the highest setting (not on defrost which I accidentally cook things on all the time).
6. Voila, your easy-peasy bake is done!
Firstly, when baking with cocoa powder, I like to get the Bournville one, so you can bake this for slightly cheaper then I’ve put. Also, because this is my first post I’d like to point out now that the price is worked out by the grams needed of each ingredient, so to buy say, a whole pack of flour will be more expensive, but the price when you have all these ingredients is the one above. I hope that makes sense, please comment if it doesn’t!
A note about cocoa powder: I rarely have cocoa powder in stock, so if you can’t get your hands on cocoa powder you can use hot chocolate, or so I’ve been told. If you do however, you need to reduce slightly the amount of sugar that you add to the recipe. The maths can be worked out by the fact that hot chocolate powder is usually 2/3 cocoa and 1/3 sugar. So, you need to add one and a half the amount of cocoa powder in this recipe (so 27g) and reduce the amount of sugar by half the amount of cocoa (so reduce by 9g in this recipe, making the overall total sugar amount needed 43g).
Finally, this cake with ice cream would be amazing! (Ben and Jerry’s is currently £2 in Asda- stock up while you can!)
Sorry this post has ended up quite long, it seems to have become a bit chatty, future recipes will usually be shorter, sometimes with just the recipe and sometimes with some added chat at the start or end. Let me know by commenting if you think the chat is useful or interesting, or even just kind of amuses you or whether you think I should cut down on it- I welcome constructive criticism! I hope you enjoy baking this recipe!