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So a few people have been asking me to write out my adaptations to the 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake.  And you know me – I aim to please.  So, without further ado, by popular demand, here it is:

Bernadette’s Chocolate Mug Cake Goodness
  • 3 T butter (yes, you need to use the real stuff)
  • 4 T flour
  • 3 T Splenda©
  • 3 T cocoa
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T milk or buttermilk (I like the slight tang of buttermilk, but use what you have on hand)
  • 1/2 t vanilla or Kahlua or flavoring of your choice
  • a large coffee mug
  • milk (optional)
  1. Melt the butter in your coffee mug of choice by microwaving it for a few seconds.
  2. Add the dry ingredients in the order listed, and stir to blend.  Add the egg, and mix thoroughly, then add the milk or buttermilk and flavoring.  Make sure all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, but it’s ok to still have a few lumps.  I find a fork works best for this.
  3. Stick the mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high. (The original recipe specifies that you’re cooking it at 1000 watts – I have no earthly idea how you would know that, but it might be important for someone, so I’m keeping it in.)
  4. Take the mug out of the microwave, and let it cool for a minute or two on the counter.  You can turn the cake out onto a plate if you like, or just eat it straight from the mug.  If you don’t want to wait for it to cool, pouring cold milk over it makes it ready to eat right away, plus the combination of warm chocolate and cool, creamy milk is a classic winner.
  5. The original recipe says that it serves two, but I don’t believe it.  Sure, there’s enough cake that you could technically share, but why?

In other news, I went to go see Julie & Julia this weekend with my mom and sisters.  I really liked the movie, though I have to admit that all the really excellent bits were the flashbacks to Julia Child.  The parts about the modern blogger came across as kinda whiny.  I blame this on the script.  Amy Adams did her level best to make that character endearing (and God knows no one does endearing like Amy Adams), but there just wasn’t enough material for her to work with.  Also, for a movie supposedly all about food, they didn’t really show much food – just random shots of people eating something and cooing about how good whatever they were eating was.  Meryl Streep as Julia Child, however, was seriously awesome.  She nailed the voice, which is half of it right there.  But the very, very best part was Stanley Tucci as Paul Child.  He took a part which could have been Standard Supportive Male, and turned it into a delight.  Whenever he looked at Julia you could see exactly how much Paul was utterly in love with his wife, how much of a wonder and a joy she was to him.  It made me melt a little bit every time.

As I was watching the movie, I became embarrassingly aware that, although I have owned a copy of Mastering The Art of French Cooking for years, I didn’t think I had actually cooked anything out of it.  When I got home, I pulled my copy off the shelves and peeked between its pages for the first time (yes, I know, shame).  That whole boned duck recipe looks… actually doable.  In fact, it may be a good idea for our Annual Family New Years Bash.  And the How To Unmold An Aspic part?  Hilarious.  And then I realized that I have too cooked a recipe from that book.  Years ago I made Reine de Saba (Queen of Sheba), a formidably delectable chocolate almond cake, for my brother Jacob.  Someone had checked out a couple of episodes of Julia Child’s tv show out of the library, and we were watching the one about desserts.  There was this part where she told you, in that awesomely fruity voice, “And now add just a little very fine orange liqueur!” as she (glug, glug, glug) poured in half the bottle.  It was wonderful, and it made Jacob very hungry to try some.  So he asked me to make Queen of Sheba cake, and I did.  In fact, I did a few times.  That was one killer cake.

I miss my brother.