An email has been making the rounds that offers a delicious cake in only 5 minutes, thereby making it the "World's Most Dangerous Cake Recipe." The cakie is "baked" in the microwave. My husband forwarded the email to me and although I was skeptical, I decided to give it a whirl.
The cake ingredients are fairly standard, but I did note that there was no leavening called for in the recipe, which I found odd. Nevertheless, I proceeded exactly as the directions indicated. I combined the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt) in a large mug, and mixed in vegetable oil as directed. The oil didn't incorporate very well, but I soldiered on. Next I mixed together the egg and milk called for in the recipe, along with a little vanilla extract. This was then whisked in to the oil/flour mixture until the batter was smooth. As you can see, it looked (and tasted) pretty good.
Now it was time for the step about which I was very, very skeptical. I put the mug into the microwave and set it to cook on high for 3 minutes, as the recipe directed for a 1000-watt microwave. After about 2 minutes the cake started to rise, and in fact, before it settled down upon removal from the microwave, the batter rose above the lip of the very generous mug (the directions did warn about this). I pity the poor person who made this cake in a standard-sized mug - I'm sure she had a lot of cleanup to do.
The cake didn't even look too bad sitting in the mug, but upon turning it out onto the plate, my fears were confirmed. The cake had a very gummy, rubbery texture that was quite off-putting. The flavor was muted, but not terrible, but I just couldn't get past that rubbery, dense texture.
My husband gamely tried a piece, and declared it edible. In fact, he decided it wasn't that bad and proceeded to eat most of the cake. Another friend who was visiting tried it and he didn't like it much but said it was better than no cake at all. I disagreed, and a lively discussion ensued on the merits of having a cake, regardless of the quality, ready in five minutes. We didn't reach a consensus, with my husband sticking by his argument that it wasn't THAT bad and would do in a pinch. I, however, would rather not have any cake than try to force down this rubbery, bland concoction. One point that my friend brought up was that it might not be that bad with ice cream or a chocolate syrup to serve with it. I argued that would only mask the awfulness of the cake, so why not just eat some ice cream with chocolate sauce and skip the cake?
If I were seriously craving chocolate, I'd much rather just eat a handful of chocolate chips than to waste the ingredients to make this cake. Or, if speed were of the essence and I wanted something warm, I would make a pudding in the microwave (a recipe much better suited to the cooking methods of microwave radiation). Actually, after making the cake I did just that, making a small batch of pudding in a mug. I need to tweak the recipe somewhat, as it turned out a bit thin, but the potential is there. It took about 6 minutes, not a terribly long time. However, I had to wait to eat it so I didn't burn my tongue. That is the biggest drawback to making microwave pudding - it smells so good it's hard to wait for it to cool.