Anytime Microwave Chocolate Cake

I don’t think many people would be inclined to argue if I were to say we all need a little chocolate cake from time to time…

Ever since watching a cooking show where a chef popped a tiny ramekin of batter into a microwave and seconds later had a fluffy little cake, I’ve been thinking about this post.

I’m way behind this year. It was my intention to post this well in advance of the holiday season, because I think it’s a great addition to a food basket, or a nifty gift on its own to the chocolate lovers in your life. But life gets away from us… That said, there’s still time for something this simple.

In short, it is a handy little jar of powder that requires nothing more than a little water, oil and vinegar to transform it into six rich and chocolaty little cakes, either all at once for a gathering, or one at a time, as needed.

The chocolate chips aren’t necessary, but the little bits of melted chocolate throughout–because they sink as the cake cooks–add a little something extra in terms of texture and flavor.

Anytime Microwave Chocolate Cake (makes six single-serving cakes)

For the mix:
1 pint (480ml) jar or container
1-1/2 cups (360ml) all-purpose flour
1 cup (240ml) superfine sugar (caster sugar)
1/2 cup (120ml) cocoa powder
1-1/4 teaspoon (6.25ml) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt*
120 bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
1 Tbsp. (15ml) instant espresso or coffee powder (optional)*

*To make sure the mix works from the first cake to the last, you want the ingredients to stay well blended. Heavier ingredients, like large grain sugars will sink to the bottom over time. If using something like turbinado sugar, I would give it a whiz in the food processor to break it down to a powder. Ditto the salt and coffee powder.

Combine all of the ingredients except the chocolate chips. Store the mix in an airtight container. If giving as a gift, put the chocolate chips in a decorative bag along with instructions on how to put everything together.

To make the cake (per cake):
In a small bowl, combine:
7 tablespoons (105ml) cake mix
1 tablespoon (15ml) vegetable oil (canola, sunflower, corn–not olive oil)
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (20ml) warm water

Mix until thoroughly combined. Add a splash of vanilla if you have it and 1/4 teaspoon vinegar (apple cider or white), and stir until well blended. It will foam a little.

Pour the mixture into a ramekin, coffee mug, or tea cup with enough room for the batter to puff up 2 inches or so without spilling over the edges.

Sprinkle the top with 20 chocolate chips.

Microwave on high for 1 minute. Serve immediately, maybe with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream…