Q. What does "MMC"
A. It stands for Microwave Mug Cake. Repeatedly typing, and saying, "Microwave Mug Cake" became too taxing for us after awhile, so we came up with MMC.
Q. What's the difference between an MMC and a
A. An MMC looks a lot like a muffin, and when it's fresh from the microwave oven, it tastes just as good as a warm muffin. But an MMC takes far less time, energy, and equipment to prepare than a muffin does.
Q. What type of mug should I use?
A. You need a mug that can hold 16 ounces of liquid and, to create a solid MMC that can stand on its own, we suggest that you use a mug that's shaped like a cylinder. However, you may use a cone-shaped mug instead as long as you position the fattest part of the MMC on the bottom so that it will rest solidly on the plate.
Q. Do I have to remove my MMC from the mug before
I eat it?
A. This has been a source of heated debate among intrepid MMC testers. There are two schools of thought. The first school of thought holds that fewer dishes are better, and as long as you wait about 5 minutes for a baked MMC to cool off, you can eat it directly from the mug. The second school of frosting holds that you simply can't fit enough frosting on an MMC that's trapped in a mug, and unmolding the MMC before you eat it is a must. The choice is yours. Be warmed, though, that since this is such a volatile subject, it's best not to bring the topic up anyplace where the volume of the conversation can be an issue.
Q. What do I do if my microwave mug cake breaks
in half while I'm removing it from the mug?
A. Use frosting to "glue" it back together again, and relax. No one will care.
Q. Do I have to use the frosting and decoration
combinations that you suggest in the "fancy stuff" portion of the
A. No. The suggestions are just that. Create your own favorite frostings and decorations, or eat the microwave mug cake bare. Have it the way you like it -- it's your MMC!
Q. Do I have to measure the
A. Please do. Because it only takes a small amount of ingredients to make an MMC, the proportions matter more than in other types of making. "Eyeballing" the orange juice and pouring in a couple of "glops" may be fine if you're making a cake. But the same glopping instead of precise measuring can cause the batter to spill over the mug and run all over your microwave. We're not trying to make your life difficult here. We're just trying to save your microwave oven -- and your mug.
Q. Do I have to use a mixer and have a perfectly
A. No mixer is required, but do thoroughly mix the batter with a spoon or a whisk, and remove as many of the lumps as you can.
Q. Is it okay to use an egg substitute instead of
A. We'd say "no." Our intrepid MMC testers couldn't get egg substitutes to work, and they made many messes trying.
Q. What happens if I substitute, say, rye flour
or buckwheat flour for all-purpose flour?
A. Try it, and let us know!
Q. How can I store an uneaten portion of the
microwave mug cake for another day?
A. Don't. By the next day, you can use the leftover cake as a paperweight. Besides, you're always less than 10 minutes away from a new one. If you want to save some of your MMC for later the same day, however you can try plastic wrap (or plastic ware) and hope for the best.
Q. Why do you suggest that I thump the
batter-filled mug six times before baking it?
A. Because we felt that, on the seventh thump, you might break the mug. Seriously, thumping the mug firmly several times removes excess air bubbles and ensures that your finished microwave mug cake won't end up lopsided.
Q. Should I add salt to the
A. No. Microwave mug cakes don't require any salt.
Q. Vanilla extract: real or imitation?
A. We'd go with the real stuff. It's more expensive, but we think that it tastes better than the artificial flavoring.
Q. What type of milk do your recipes require?
A. We used 1% milk. But it's okay to substitute other types. Soy milk and rice milk will work, too.
Q. What type of oil should I use?
A. We used canola oil, and that turned out just fine. It's okay to use your favorite cooking oil, but we'd steer clear of olive oil because of its pungent flavor.
Q. Is it okay to substitute white sugar in
recipes that require light brown sugar?
A. We wouldn't, especially if you plan to eat your cake without frosting it (or to serve it to someone else). Since the microwave oven doesn't brown baked goods, the light brown sugar gives your cakes a finished look.
Q. What if I run out of an ingredient?
A. You can always substitute one flavor for another flavor of the same food type. For example, you can use vanilla or tapioca pudding powder in place of pistachio pudding powder; you can swap lemon or blueberry yogurt for strawberry yogurt; or you can go with cherry or blueberry pie filling instead of lemon pie filling. In fact, making these substitutions is a great way to unleash your creativity. Try it, and let us know what you come up with!
Q. What happens if I want to get really creative
-- say, adding an extra two tablespoons of pie filling to a recipe, squirting in
some pickle juice, or mixing together three different flavors of
A. Good luck with that -- and really get ready to thoroughly clean up your microwave oven or forfeit your mug after your experiments in the event that things go wrong. In our experience, they probably will.
Q. Is this real baking, or is it a
A. You're using real ingredients just like any pastry chef would. You're just reducing the time and portion size.
Q. Is it selfish to bake a microwave mug cake for
A. Yes, but "selfish" isn't always a bad thing. Your loved ones want to see you happy, and if a microwave mug cake can make your day, then go for it.
Q. How hot does the mug get once the cake is
A. Extremely hot. Wait two minutes before you unmold the cake from the mug. And wait about five more minutes before you wash out the mug. Clean mugs are good. Burns are not.
Q. Must I use a fork to eat my
A. Not unless you sense the neighbors are watching. Finger foods can be fun.
Q. What can I use to frost my
A. In the first place, you can eat every cake "as is." But, if you want to get into the fancy stuff, you can top your cake with frosting (store bought is fine, and an unopened canister of it will last nearly forever), jelly, jam, pie filling, yogurt, or pudding (the single-serving pudding containers you buy in the supermarket are perfect, and you'll only need a couple of spoonfuls).
Q. What can I use to decorate my frosted MMC?
A. You can dust on powdered sugar or graham cracker crumbs, or you can sprinkle your frosted cake with shredded coconut, chopped nuts, small chewable candies such as gumdrops or sprinkles, or hot fudge (or your favorite flavor) sundae sauce.
Q. When should I make a mug
A. When you're bored . . . when you want a snack . . . when you want something fun to do with your kids . . . when everyone wants a different flavor . . . when you deserve a reward . . . when you want something homemade without great effort . . . when it's too hot to turn on the oven and bake something . . . when it's too cold to go out and buy something . . . when a whole cake is too much . . . when you want to make office workers jealous . . . when you're trying to impress somebody . . . when you have a late night . . . when you want to make somebody feel special . . . when you need a lift . . . on Monday morning . . . when someone drops by unexpectedly and you have nothing to serve . . . when you want to cheer someone up . . . when you want to say well done . . . when you want to say thank you . . . when you want to say I'm sorry . . . when you want to cheer someone up . . . when you want to say "well done."