Saturday, 15 November 2014
Chocolate, Toffee and Pear Mug Cake and Fruit Bow Review
The Dot Com Gift Shop is one of my favourite online retailers as they have such a broad range of gifts and so many of them are themed around cooking, baking and kitchenware - I have a few gifts earmarked to purchase this Christmas!
They recently sent me a fruit bowl to review, that I think would make a great Christmas gift. It comes in two parts but it's very easy to screw on the base - you don't even need a screwdriver. It's a large bowl so would be good for people with families or who eat a lot of fruit - though it's also a good way to encourage people to get their five a day!
I love the design; the white wire work would fit in almost any kitchen décor and it looks both modern and a bit vintage at the same time, if such a thing is possible! It costs £19.95 which I think is a good price for the size and quality.
I filled my fruit bowl as soon as I received it, leaving me to wonder afterwards what to do with all the fruit! I recently came across a lovely little cookery book called Mug Cakes by Mima Sinclair - I knew you could make cakes in a microwave as I remembered a girl called Kate doing it at university as we didn't have an oven in halls - and a while back I made my own chocolate mug cake. It never occurred to me there could be a whole book of recipes dedicated to microwaving cakes in a mug or that so many flavours and ingredients would work!
I love pears and bought a few for my fruit bowl so when I saw a recipe for chocolate, ginger and pear cake in a mug I decided to try it. I changed it though as I left out the ginger and added toffee sauce instead; the original recipes uses both ground and stem ginger but I had all the other ingredients in the house and liked the idea of just throwing the cake together from what I had. I also used milk chocolate instead of plain which I think gave a more fudgy taste. So this is what I did:
1 tbsp. softened butter
20g milk chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 an egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. semi-skimmed milk
2 tbsp. caster sugar
2 tbsp. self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1 ripe pear, peeled
1 tbsp. toffee sauce
You need to make sure your mug is big enough - the recipe book recommends a 350ml mug. The easiest way to check is to fill a measuring jug with water, pour it into the mug and you will see if it holds 350ml!
Place the butter and chocolate in the mug and microwave for 10-20 seconds until melted.
Add the egg and milk and beat together with a fork.
Add the sugar, flour and salt and mix carefully with the fork until smooth.
Slice the base off the pear so it will sit in the mug and press down gently so it is in the middle of the cake mixture.
Microwave for between 1.5 and 2 minutes depending on the power of your microwave (2 mins for 700 watts, 1 min 50 seconds for 800 watt, 1 min 40 for 900 watt etc). Leave to cool before you eat! To serve, spoon a little toffee sauce over the top - I used a jar of ready made toffee sauce I found in Lidl or you could use the squeezy toffee sauce you can buy to go over ice cream, or Carnation caramel, or make your own.
I wasn't expecting much from a cake made in a mug in a microwave but this was amazing. The cake was just the right consistency and the pear softened beautifully; the flavours worked well together and this is definitely something I would make again.