By Anja Trenkwalder
Elm Staff Writer
Chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, apples, and pumpkin spice sounds like fall, right? As the weather gets colder, we yearn for those typical fall flavors. Treating yourself to delicious fall favorites offers a fantastic way to relax and unwind from midterms and other stresses. The chillier those late fall evenings get, the less inclined we are to leave the comfort of our warm and cozy dorms.
The good thing is that you can cook your own treats right in your room even if your dorm does not have a kitchen. In order to prepare the following culinary masterpieces, the only pieces of equipment you need are a spoon, a mug, and a microwave. Most will be ready to serve within five minutes, and yes, that includes prep time.
When making mug-cakes, there are a few things to consider so that your in-dorm baking experience will be successful: always use self-rising flour, use eggs no larger than medium (larger eggs will make batter for more than one mug-cake), and never fill the mug more than half way. The cake will rise significantly during baking, and batter might end up spilling over if the mug is too full. Also, make sure to double-check that your mug is microwave safe.
It would not be fall without chocolate and peanut butter, so why not try a delicious Chocolate PB Mug-Cake. It is as simple to make as it is yummy. Mix two tablespoons Peanut Butter (preferably unsweetened) with one tablespoon each of brown sugar, flour, and cocoa powder. Add an egg, ¼ teaspoon baking powder, and a small handful of chocolate chips (sweet or semi-sweet). Pop it in the microwave for one minute on High.
My personal favorite is a nice, little, chocolate-nutty Nutella Mug-Cake. Simply stir four tablespoons of self-rising flour, four tablespoons of granulated sugar, three tablespoons cocoa powder (can be sweetened or unsweetened), three tablespoons of Nutella, three tablespoons of milk, three tablespoons of oil, and one egg together in a mug until the batter has a smooth texture. Microwave on high for one and a half to two minutes, and top it off with a dollop of whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, and/or a generous helping of Nutella fresh from the jar.
Get your Pumpkin Spice Mug-Cake by mixing seven tablespoons of self-rising flour with two tablespoons of skim milk, one egg, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup of pureed pumpkin (canned), a few drops of vanilla extract, and ½ a teaspoon mixed pumpkin spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg). Microwave on high for one and a half to two minutes, and serve with caramel sauce. This mug–cake is the perfect compliment to a good pumpkin spice latte.
Nothing screams “fall” like the scent of yummy apple cinnamon, which you can now smell by the cup. Try the aromatic Apple Cinnamon Mug-Cake. Mix three tablespoons of self-rising flour, one tablespoon of apple sauce (preferably unsweetened), one tablespoon of brown sugar, ½ tablespoons each of milk and vegetable oil, a generous dash of cinnamon, a few drops of vanilla extract, and ¼ teaspoon of baking powder. Microwave on high for 45 seconds to a minute, and serve with a scoop of caramel ice cream.
Once you get the hang of how to make great-tasting mug-cakes, it is time to get creative with them. Come up with your own fall flavors and mixtures, and substitute vanilla flavor for cocoa, add chocolate chips, or come up with your own recipes from scratch. Happy baking.
Photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk