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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

chestnut mug cake.

dessert - an autumn parfait (chestnut mug cake, sweet potato, chestnut cream)

Autumn, factually speaking, lasts three months. It didn't feel that way to me, however; the first few days of the season still bore the lingering heat of summer like a reluctant goodbye, then all of a sudden the leaves of trees all around burst into hues of fire and gold - a pretty picture too fleeting as strong unrelenting gusts of autumnal wind scattered them to the ground and stripped the branches bare. Alas, winter has arrived.

I wanted to make something to mark my first experience of autumn and it took me a while to decide on what, considering that my options are severely limited by the lack of an oven. I felt that a parfait was an obvious choice since I could easily combine multiple flavours representative of fall into one dessert. So to explain its contents starting from the bottom: maple walnut granola (though barely visible - apologies), yogurt, sweet potato chunks, cubes of chestnut cake, chestnut and regular whipped cream.

It was only recently that I realised that I could still bake - albeit with still numerous constraints - with a microwave and I can't stop obsessing over mug cakes, so much that I created a Pinterest board dedicated to them. I'm so glad that this one turned out wonderfully because its success means dozens more dessert possibilities I can play around with before I get my own apartment and oven. The texture of the cake was most interesting - spongy and moist like that of a steamed cake. I was expecting it to have (for the lack of a better word) a more cakey texture but I rather like the way it turned out. If you prefer a more fluffy open crumb you might want to increase the baking powder to a third of a teaspoon.

And thus I conclude my ode to fall in hopes that winter would pass as swiftly.

See you in 2016.

Chestnut Mug Cake
recipe loosely adapted from here

4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 ~ 1/3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
3 tbsp chestnut paste

Combine the brown sugar, milk and chestnut paste together in a large microwave-safe mug and whisk until combined. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Cook in the microwave for around two minutes. You may have to adjust the cooking time depending on your microwave. Let cake cool slightly before eating.

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