I was never a big fan of microwave ovens. I honestly never saw the need for one. Even as a kid growing up the lack of a microwave oven in our house did not get added to the list of injustices that I had to suffer through in agony while all of my friends were living large. I remember the short time when we did have one in the house I would use it mostly for melting butter inside of a flour tortilla.
This trend continued into my adult years. When I moved out my first act of rebellion was not to run to the nearest appliance store and splurge on some fancy microwave. I did not make popcorn and pump my fist wildly in the air in the general direction of my mother. Trust me, there was rebellion a-plenty just not in the area of microwave radiation.
So when I got married and my husband to be insisted that we "had to" have a microwave I guffawed the idea. After a brief debate I quickly came to the realization that this was not a topic that was open for discussion. With a sigh and a down-turned head I scanned a shiny stainless steel microwave onto our wedding registry, silently vowing that I would never be caught using such an abomination in our kitchen.
For the most part I have upheld that silent promise I made to myself over six years ago. As good of a cook as my family says that I am, my one main short coming occurs when it comes to the microwave. I can never figure out how long to re-heat food in it. It seems I am only able to under-cook the food so the center is ice cold, or heat it up to the point where the family is patiently waiting for whatever I nuked to cool off to something less than the temperature of the sun. There is no middle ground when it comes to me and the microwave. I am able to melt butter successfully, but, the only thing I use it for consistently is heating up the corm bag that I use to keep my feet toasty warm at night.
So when I saw a recipe for making muffins in the microwave in a minute, I liked the idea, but lacked the confidence that I would be able to pull it off. In the end I was able to tweak the recipe and come up with my own microwave muffin in a minute that although was not going to make the cover of any magazine, packed a tasty punch. You can get the recipe for my flax seed muffins here.
A month or two later I saw a recipe for a 35 second chocolate cake on the blog Eating Well...Living Thin. I rushed to the kitchen and whipped one up. It was good, and gave me a plethora of ideas for my own mini desserts in less than a minute. I wrote down a list of ideas and then promptly forgot about them. Then today I was in the mood for a sweet treat and I saw the list of variations I had jotted down and posted to the refrigerator. I decided to pull out a spice that I've been using a lot lately and come up with a little late winter snack.
There are a few things I like about these little sweet snacks:
- They make just one. This is great news for me because I am a terrible when it comes to restraining myself from not eating several cookies when they come out fresh from the oven. I just don't think it's in my genetic code.
- They don't take a whole lot of commitment. After all it's a very small amount of ingredients so it's not like you're investing tons of money into a bunch of stuff praying that you'll actually like the end result.
- They don't take a whole lot of commitment part two...They take less than five minutes from start to finish so you don't have to clear your day to make them.
- I can make these without screwing them up. Plus there are so many ways to play with the recipe.
- You get to have a sweet treat, anytime of day, and get this...it's always fresh, soft, and warm.
Have I laid out enough reasons to peak your interest? Alrighty then, let's move onto the recipe part of this post.
40-Second Cardamom Walnut Cake in a Cup
Adapted from Eating Well...Living Thin's recipe for a 35-second Chocolate Cake
- 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour or plain all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground cardamom (or just a nice sized pinch)
- A small pinch of salt
- 1/2 tablespoon of chopped walnuts
- 2 tablespoons of whole milk
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon of vanilla
- Spray the inside of a small coffee cup or ramekin with cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a small bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cardamom, salt, and walnuts. Add in the milk, olive oil, and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
- Spoon the batter into the coffee cup. Microwave on high for 40 seconds. It may need another five seconds but I found it took exactly 40 seconds in my microwave.
- Enjoy while it's still warm.