With a microwave and a mug, you can be a pastry chef


FOOD_MugCakes

With just five minutes and a microwave, you can become a gourmet pastry chef.

That’s what certified master baker Leslie Bilderback shows us in her new book, “Mug Cakes.”

“One of the things I came across repeatedly is that people are really afraid of baking,” says Bilderback, a longtime culinary instructor. So she came up with a solution: write an accessible, funny book that guides readers through quick microwaveable cake recipes without sacrificing creativity.

“I really want to get people to start thinking about ingredients, flavor pairings and using unusual things in sweet desserts,” she says.

For those still squeamish about tackling dessert, Bilderback has some advice: “Just relax. It’s only food; it’s not that expensive food. And if you screw it up, you didn’t lose very much, and you learned something in the process.”

Plus, a scoop of ice cream makes everything taste better.

FOOD_MexicanChocolateCake

Weekend Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Mug Cakes
Makes 2 servings

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ wheel Mexican chocolate, chopped
1 large egg
3 ½ tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons self-rising flour
Pinch of kosher salt

Topping ideas:
Whipped cream, crema, caramel sauce, cajeta, shaved chocolate, a dusting of ground cinnamon or chopped pecans.

DIRECTIONS
Combine the butter and Mexican chocolate in a large mug. Microwave for 30 to 60 seconds until melted. Whisk with a fork to combine, then whisk in the egg. Stir in the milk, vanilla, brown sugar and cocoa. Add the flour and salt. Beat the batter until smooth. Divide the batter between two mugs. Microwave separately for 1 ½ to 2 ½ minutes each until risen and firm.

Note: If you are simulating Mexican chocolate by adding cinnamon to chocolate, be sure to pick the right cinnamon. There are actually two types of bark sold as cinnamon: cassia, which is very hard and difficult to break or grind, and cinnamon (sometimes called Mexican cinnamon), which is very brittle. Most ground cinnamon sold in the United States comes from cassia bark. But true cinnamon is the one used in Mexican chocolate. It has a spicier flavor, like Red Hots candies, and it is readily available in sticks at Mexican markets. It is very easy to pulverize in a coffee grinder or with a mortar.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

City Council to vote on bill banning anonymous…

One of the two bills would make it so any type of communication paid for or okayed by a campaign disclose that they are involved in any way.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Movies

Interview: Robert Rodriguez doesn't mind that Jessica Alba…

In making a Hollywood-friendly adaptation of Frank Miller's gritty "Sin City" graphic novel series, Robert Rodriguez learned that some things have to go — namely…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Aug. 20: 'Extant,' 'Legends'…

See a two hour block of Halle Berry's scifi show, "Extant."

The Word

The Word: Mischa Barton in trouble, not that…

  People are really, really worried about Mischa Barton. Again. The former "O.C." star is reportedly in deep financial trouble and can't seem to get…

NFL

Jace Amaro continues to deal with issue dropping…

Jets second-round pick Jace Amaro has been plagued by drops since minicamp in June.

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Food

The Chic Wife tells us how to use…

Kris Schoels, aka The Chic Wife, grew up on a farm with peach trees. August is National Peach Month, but Kris Schoels doesn’t need a reason…