Tuesday, October 6, 2009

the thirty second cake.

This post is aptly named; thirty seconds is about as much time as I've got to post this. I know my lack of forethought has deprived the masses of pictures, and for that I send my due apologies. I really despise a retelling of food nary a single lighted culinary pose to tempt and tantalize, even if the resulting cross-section of a cake looks more like the cross-section of a carcass. And in all fairness, the thing just wasn't that pretty anyway.

I've been getting home very late this past week. In fact, I haven't been home much for the past two weeks, and it's taking a clear toll on my diet and mood. But alas, my complaints are for another day and have near wiped me out already. Only a few more days and a "normal" schedule will return...

But, I'm sure the claim that a cake can be made in the span of thirty seconds has intrigued. Of course, it is false; you cannot even open your cabinet and find the vanilla extract in under thirty seconds (perhaps that's just me and my disorganization...). But you can make a mini-cake - a CUPcake if you will - very, very quickly.

You remember Easy-Bake ovens? Of course you do, even if you didn't have one. They're the epitome of nostalgia, the crowning glory of kitsch! I had a Mrs. Field's oven. I fucking loved that thing. I went through the packages of sweets in mere hours, I'm sure, and insisted in keeping the lightbulb-powered convection in my room because although my room was barely a person's height away from the kitchen, it was like my own personal bakery. A year or so ago I wondered whatever happened to it and discovered my mother had sold it on eBay - not even a week before my inquiry! Needless to say a small fit was thrown then and there. After all I have a package of movie stubs from middle school - why wouldn't I want to keep my culinary passion's one tie to my childhood?! The poor schmuck of a children's toy never even saw the beauty of a cruelty-free brownie.

I was amused and delighted to find that The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek includes a small chapter dedicated to "Lil'" this-and-that desserts fit perfectly for the kitsch-tastic, retro-kitchen-chic appliance. However, as my previous anecdote explains, I am without such a "toy" (if it can even be called that... it's a childhood necessity). Instead, I glanced at the ingredients, threw them together, and popped it in the microwave for one minute. When it looked done (after about 30-40 seconds), I tested for moistness with a toothpick and voila - personal ramekin cake! (I did indeed bake my sweet in a cup-size ramekin.)

The microwave makes it significantly gummier than baked cake, though you can certain bake it in a countertop toaster oven or even a regular-sized convection oven (though why would you and waste all that energy?). The center however is still fluffy and cake like, and when all you have are those thirty seconds to satisfy a dessert craving there's no real harm done. This would never be something I'd serve, but in a sweet-less pinch I'd make it.

Baby Cakes in Thirty Seconds

More than 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
More than 1 tablespoon milk
A little pour oil

Grease one cup-size ramekin lightly with oil. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and sugar in the ramekin, create a small well, then add milk and oil. Stir quickly with a fork or small whisk. Microwave for 30 seconds, check, microwave for another thirty seconds. Center will be dry when done and a toothpick is inserted. The top should be spongy and will be a little gummy. Top with jam, ice cream, leftover frosting, whatever... it's your cake. All yours and none to share!


Monique a.k.a. Mo said...

I'm really glad I don't have a microwave right now. I'd probably make that for breakfast. ;)

Anonymous said...

Every microwave cake I've made has been hopelessly gummy and otherwise texturally compromised... But it sure is a fun idea, at least!