How not to make a chocolate mug cake

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It was a Wednesday evening, and settling down to catch up on an episode of Bake Off, my sweet tooth had started to throb. The sight of Genoese sponge and chocolate ganache was almost always too much to bear during an episode of this beloved programme, and it wasn’t long before my mind began to drift, not to thoughts of dreamy Selasi and the fantasy of him baking cakes for me all day long, but the sweet treats lurking in my kitchen cupboards only metres away from my seat. I was already quite certain that there wouldn’t be much to satisfy these cravings (we hadn’t been for our weekly shop yet), but regardless I got up from the sofa in a quest for something sugary.

Alas, much like those of Old Mother Hubbard, the cupboards were bare. Still, there were bananas in the fruit bowl I could probably snack on, and perhaps a stale cereal bar if I really wanted to push the boat out – but no. I wanted to be wild and spontaneous. I decided it was time to make one of those mug cakes you often see featured in BuzzFeed listicles and student recipe books – demonstrably a lazy-person food designed for the can’t-be-arsed. How hard could it really be?

You’ve seen pictures of these cute cupcake delights – perfectly rounded sponge molded to the shape of your favourite coffee cup, and if you’re really instragamable you’ll probably chuck a couple of strawberries or cherries on the top with just a sprinkle of icing sugar. If you really nail it, yours might turn into something a little like this:

 

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After googling a recipe I started to throw in the ingredients, knowing full well I was adding too much but it had been a long and difficult day, and dividing everything up into smaller measurements seemed like far too much work for a task that was supposed to be piss-easy. I was also starving and Mary Bezza had already been sat patiently on pause in the living room for 10 minutes at least, poised and waiting to judge a scone or something of that kind.

My mug sat in the microwave for two minutes while I hurried around clearing up the small amount of carnage I had created – flour is messy as hell – and before long the little beeper beeped and the cake was ready to eat.

Nothing could quite prepare me for the monstrosity that met my eyes as I opened that microwave door. The mixture was bubbling and erupting furiously from the inside of the mug like some kind of crazed cake volcano on drugs. Having just cleaned up the mess from making the damn thing, this gloopy chocolate goo was now pouring all over the work surfaces and onto the floor, sticking to every fucking thing in its path in an attempt to turn this already disastrous episode into a culinary experience from hell.

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Finally taking a bite into my chocolate-based freak-of-nature I discovered it didn’t even taste very nice, and placing my spoon down I marched back to the kitchen – this time leaving Paul Hollywood on pause (no bad thing I suppose) – and slowly dumped the contents of the mug into the bin, wishing that past-me had just picked the fucking bananas.

Sometimes lazy-person-food really can be too much for the truly lazy.

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