Warning: Contents are Extremely Delicious

Many months ago, I came across a website that claimed something so outlandish and crazy, I knew it had to be true. This website, this heretical blog, claimed that chocolate cake could be made in a microwave. In three minutes.

Knowing that playing with knowledge like this would be like playing with fire, I stored the link safely away in my toolbar, where I could observe it from afar. Periodically, I checked on it. The post was full of comments, with things like, “No no no, cachocolatey desserts arent supposed to be this easy. You have thrown off the natural order of things.” I knew this was confirmed dangerous stuff.

So one Sunday, sitting around with little to do and a sweet tooth hollering for some peace, I decided to risk it. I armed myself with my household’s largest coffee mug. I mixed the ingredients. I brazenly substituted applesauce for eggs and soy milk for regular milk. (Hey, it was a Sunday, okay? I was low on ingredients.) And I mixed. Slowly, the cup went from looking like a oily mess to… a cake batter mess. I tasted the batter—it was a bit appley, but okay. I stuck it in the microwave, set the timer to 3 minutes, and left the room, lest it explode.

Approximately 2 minutes and 55 seconds later, I heard a beep. It was done. For a moment, I was too frightened to go in the kitchen and see what had happened. Could it be possible that a microwave could really yield such amazingness? In three minutes?! What would it mean for the world, the universe, and my caloric intake, never mind things like my dentist bills?

I took a deep breath and opened the microwave. No carnage was to be seen. I picked up the mug and looked inside. Why, it looked just like chocolate cake! I dumped it out onto a plate. Its mostly-cylindrical form was moist and smelled sweet. I took a bite. It was good. Not amazing, I mean, you could tell the substitutions, but pretty damn good. Would’ve been excellent with vanilla ice cream. And maybe some chocolate mini-chips added to the batter. And a darker, richer, cocoa powder.

All of a sudden, it struck me: It had worked. And now nothing would ever be the same. I’m tempted to make comparisons to the discovery of the structure of DNA, or penicillin, or the lightbulb, or the telephone. I mean, it’s not like Edison got stellar in-room reception on his first call… but it got better. Once the first breakthrough was achieved, a new chapter in history was begun.

And so, my friends, I give you: The Most Dangerous Chocolate Cake Recipe. Go forth and zap your way to chocolatey bliss.

Red Velvet Fail

Well that didn’t go so well.

I went to my local Shaw’s to pick up some red velvet cake mix, as called for in the recipe for easy valentine’s treats by Bakerella. But there was none! My friend Anna says that red velvet cake is something special and that I shouldn’t just try the recipe with, say, angel food cake mix. But I’m kind of at a loss—either I get more complicated or I try for something different.

Anyone have any advice?

Piece of cake?

When I look at recipes online—especially things that are visually stunning—I play a simple game of “could I make that?”

Not that I’m a terrible cook, but I’m a cook, not a baker, which means that I think all amounts are suggestions, and have difficulty following precise directions. So before I even think about hitting the grocery store for the required items (where do you get fondant, anyhow?), I put each recipe through the test of “Could I misread this, drop half of it on the floor, skip an ingredient, miss a line of instructions, and STILL get this right?” Basically: Is this idiot proof?

So, this, for instance, fails the test big time:

While utterly gorgeous and stunning, Bakerella’s Valentine’s Gift Box is totally beyond me. She gives blow-by-blow pictures that break down the process, and this, initially, gave me hope. Sadly, I think it would be decorating the chocolates that would kill me. I just would never get them that pretty, and that’s really key to making this a stunning cake.

These, however? THESE I COULD DO.

I can totally make them! The recipe is literally cake mix plus a few things and then cream cheese plus a few things. The recipe is here, and I am thinking about bringing them to a party with me on Friday. How cute are they!?!