After yesterday’s complete brain dump post I really didn’t know what to expect to wake up to this morning. A few of unsubscribes came to mind. There have already been several since I started my month long attempt to blog every day to get myself back on track and in the habit of sharing my life and not bottling it all up inside. I sincerely hoped you would stick around for the ride and I’m so incredibly touched that you have. Several of you even gave me some positive feedback and was so encouraging and just what I needed to hear and to know that I’m not alone in this crazy life.
Thank you once again a million times over for letting me share my life with you and for being interested in my little corner of the web. You are the reason I blog and continue to stick with it. Even if I’m not reaching millions, as my friend Krista and I discussed today, even if by sharing my experiences I help or touch the lives of even one person, I have value and can mean something to that person. I hope that is how you feel as well. In fact, I think I’m that starfish perhaps even more and it is YOU who save me!
Because I truly love you, I made this cake today. It’s chocolate – my other favorite form of therapy! I figure we can all use a little pick-me-up and this cake really fits the bill! It is a special little treat for those times when we want to give ourselves a break in a world that never allows for such luxuries. We have to find our own ways to take little pleasures when and where we can and really enjoy the small and simple things in life.
In fact, it is a decadent and rich chocolate cake that is like a baked chocolate mousse. It is so smooth, creamy, rich and amazing that on the first bite I fell in love and thought I was going to slide into a chocolate induced coma. It’s that good. Epic good.
What if I told you this cake also has no flour in it, only uses four ingredients, is made by hand (though you could use a hand mixer) and bakes right in the dish you’ll eat it from? I’m not saying it is quick though because although it only took about 5 minutes to mix, it takes around 30 minutes to bake.
Here’s the thing though 1) I’ve yet to find a fast microwave mug cake that I actually liked and 2) this cake is all about incentive for me.
When it comes to cooking and baking, I absolutely LOVE spending my time in the kitchen. The unfortunate truth is that I then also have to clean the kitchen. I can’t begin to explain to you the depths to which I will stoop to avoid this chore as much and as long as possible. In my perfect next life I will have a massive kitchen (though, I admit, the one I have isn’t really so bad). In that massive kitchen I will have at least two dishwashers so I can keep everything loaded and cleaned at all times. As it is, my sink is NEVER empty.
I try to clean it out, I really do. But with three kids, none of which who can or will eat the same thing at the same time, it just doesn’t happen. Ever. At all. Even a little.
Add to the fact that I like to avoid the chore, I invariably start a new mess every time I’m in there by deciding that while I’m there anyway and cleaning, I might as well whip something up to put in the oven. It is my way of having a little reward all ready to go for myself once I’ve done the work. This cake is my new favorite thing. I might just do the dishes so that I have this as my reward at the end of the 30 minutes it takes me to straighten up the kitchen. It would make doing the dishes worth it!
The recipe is based off a 1/4 portion of this recipe found recently in the Wall Street Journal. While making four of these wouldn’t be a bad idea, quite frankly I think having 4 of them around when I’m the only one who will eat it is definitely over kill. Plus, this is my decadent little reward. Something just for me as an atta girl for getting the work done.
The recipe uses good chocolate, a bit of butter and sugar and one egg. That’s it. Nothin’ else. The original recipes directions are rather fussy in my opinion, though if I were making a whole batch I would follow them. Sometimes though, I like to find another way around a recipe that simplifies and makes it a bit easier, lazier and quicker to mix. That is what happened here.
In the original recipe you have to melt the butter and chocolate over a water bath, whisk the eggs over a water bath till warm, and then beat them some more before you fold in the chocolate mixture, divide it between your mugs and then bake it in a water bath in the oven. I wanted to be able to make it all by hand, use fewer bowls, and only use a water bath for baking.
Guess what? It worked!
So, if you are like me then the next time you have to do chores you really hate, get one of these started and use it as your light at the end of the tunnel for when you’ve put in your time. It will be well worth the little bit of effort!
3 ounce bar of good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped (it should be a chocolate bar you love to eat – it is the star of this show!)
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a small loaf pan by placing a piece of paper towel into it, set the pan aside.
To melt the chocolate and butter, use an oven proof / microwave safe mug, place your chopped chocolate and butter. Put the mug in the microwave and heat it on high in 10 second bursts (10 seconds, then wait 5 seconds, then 10 seconds, then wait 5, 10 seconds) until the butter is melted and most of the chocolate is melted. Stir the mixture till the chocolate is completely melted and set aside.
Place the whole egg, still in its shell into a small bowl of hot water to sit and warm up while the melted chocolate cools to lukewarm.
Take the warmed egg (it won’t cook it at all, just take the chill out of it so that it is closer to room temperature and beats up quicker and easier) out of the bowl of water and separate it into two small bowls – white in one, yolk in the other. Add a little of the sugar to the yolk and the rest of the sugar to the white. Use a small whisk to beat the yolk and sugar until smooth. Use a rotary egg beater to beat the whites until frothy and then on until they start to form soft peaks. Add the yolk to the whites and continue to whisk vigorously or use the egg beater until the mixture is very thick and very light (you could use a hand mixer for this part too).
Scrape the chocolate mixture out of the mug and into the egg mixture. Use a small spatula to very gently fold the chocolate mixture until it is light, fluffy and evenly mixed but without losing it’s light and fluffy texture (the beaten egg is the only leavening rise the cake is going to get, which won’t be much anyway, but makes for an incredible cloud-like texture to the cake).
Once it is mixed, scrape the batter bake into the same mug you melted the chocolate and butter in. It won’t hurt a thing and it’s one less dish to deal with. Place the batter filled mug into the prepared paper towel lined loaf pan. Fill the pan with hot water until it is about 1 inch from the rim of the dish and as far up the sides of the mug as possible. Place the loaf pan into the oven and bake the mug cake until the top is set and starts to lose its glossy color – about 25 minutes for a texture that is cake on top, then thick mousse, then runny hot chocolate in the bottom, or 28-30 minutes if you want a texture that is a small layer of cake with a thick, light, creamy and airy mousse like texture all the way to the bottom.
Eat the mug cake warm and, for an extra special touch, add a little whipped cream or marshmallow fluff and some sprinkles or chocolate shavings.
Keep a cold glass of milk handy and prepare for your chocolate coma.