Microwave mug brownie and cake

I’ve made microwave mug cake a fair number of times since my friend introduced me to it at uni last year – it’s dead easy and perfect student food for when you really can’t be bothered to wait for the oven (yep, I’m that lazy sometimes!). I’d never tried microwave brownie until last night, but it was sooooo goooood, easier than the cake and (whisper it) maybe even nicer… The brownie doesn’t look like much (and I don’t even have a photo of the cake), but that is no reflection on the taste!

Mug brownie (recipe adapted from here)

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This makes a decent-sized brownie for one, although it is half of the original recipe which must be massive! Cook it for less time if you like it gooey, more if you like it more cooked!

2 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp sugar

1 scant tbsp cocoa

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp water

– Mix ingredients in a mug.

– Microwave for approx. 45 seconds.

– That’s it! I put some ice-cream on top for extra yum!

 

Mug cake

This makes a cake big enough for two, but it’s tricky to halve because of the egg, so make it with a friend! You can adapt it in a million ways – the recipe here is for plain or chocolate, but we’ve also added mashed banana, or a spoonful of nutella, and everything seems to work!

6 tbsp flour (plain or self-raising) (or 5 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp cocoa, for chocolate cake)

4 tbsp sugar

1 egg

3 tbsp milk

3 tbsp oil

– Mix the dry ingredients in a reasonably large mug.

– Add the egg and mix, then add milk and oil and mix some more.

– Microwave for approx. 3 minutes

Sugar-free banana bread with raisins

This bake came about when we wanted to make a birthday cake for a friend who’s given up sweet treats for Lent… I was a bit dubious about finding anything, but came across this recipe which doesn’t add any sugar. In fact, as it doesn’t add any fat either, I’m choosing to count it as health food! Traditionally it should be made in a loaf tin, but we didn’t have one so just used a round one. And I can’t take any credit for the icing, that was my far-more-artistic friend! The original recipe is here.

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Ingredients:

2 cups plain flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup raisins

Zest of 1 lemon

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3) – if you only have underripe bananas see the tip below

3/4 cup orange juice

2 eggs, beaten

– Preheat oven to 175c and grease and line a loaf tin or 9 inch round tin.

– Mix flour, baking powder, cinnamon, raisins and lemon zest.

– In another bowl, beat the eggs, orange juice and bananas together.

– Add the dry ingredients to this and mix until just combined.

– Transfer to tin and bake for approx. 40 mins.

If you only have underripe bananas (as we did), place them in an oven on the lowest setting – approx. 50c – until you see the first brown spots appear, probably after half an hour or more. We accidentally left them in until the skins had turned entirely black but the insides were fine, if this happens you can just put them straight in the fridge to stop them ripening any further!

Chocolate and red wine cake

So I’m not sure why we decided to make an alcoholic cake, but somehow we did (and are now left with most of a bottle of nasty red wine, but it tastes fine in the cake!). Initially we were planning on cupcakes, but came across this recipe on smittenkitchen.com and had most of the ingredients already (plus it didn’t call for icing sugar, which doesn’t seem to be available here). It turned out really well – rich and dark, with a great chewy crust, wine-y, chocolate-y and cinnamon-y in equal parts. We ate it warm with ice-cream, and then had some more cold. Also with ice-cream…

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Ingredients:

85g (6 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature

1 cup brown granulated sugar (original calls for a mix of dark brown and white granulated, but this was all we could get; it worked fine)

1 egg + 1 egg yolk

3/4 cup red wine (cheap is fine, but you will be left with the rest of the bottle)

1 cup + 1 tbsp plain flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 – 1 tsp cinnamon

 

– Preheat oven to 160c and grease and line a 9-inch cake tine.

– Beat the butter and then add the sugar and cream together. The combination of granulated sugar + doing it by hand meant ours didn’t cream very well and the cake was a bit speckley, but it didn’t seem to affect the taste!

– Beat in the eggs and then the wine.

– Sift over the flour, baking powder, cocoa and cinnamon and mix well.

– Pour into tin and bake for around 45 minutes (the original says 25-30 but ours was nowhere near done by then).

– Eat hot or cold, with ice-cream (or see the original recipe page for a marscapone-cream that we couldn’t face beating by hand).