There are loads of microwave cake recipes on the internet, but this is the one that’s worked the best for me so far. Many recipes contain far too much egg, which gives a rubbery result. Microwaves vary so it’s a bit unpredictable – sometimes it comes out more like brownie than cake, but usually still way, way better than anything you can buy in a supermarket in most of Asia (Eurocake, anyone?!).
Obviously you won’t have a proper measuring cup, but approximately half a normal sized mug = 1 standard 125ml cup.
3 tblsp butter, melted (or vegetable oil if butter is unobtainable, but butter is much nicer)
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
Few drops of vanilla essence (not essential).
1/2 cup plain or all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder (NB baking powder, not baking soda which is just bicarb)
2-3 tblsp cocoa powder*
Mix the melted butter and sugar, and stir in the beaten egg and milk. Mix well. Gently fold in the dry ingredients (sifted, ideally, as cocoa tends to be lumpy) – it will be a fairly wet batter. Pour into a flat bottomed microwavable dish (if it’s not flat bottomed it the edges will cook too quickly – I’ve succesfully used an old ice-cream carton, one of those thick plastic oval ones). You can butter the dish first, to help it turn out. Cook the cake on medium power for about 2.5 minutes or until the top is set. It’s best to do it in short bursts and keep checking. Allow to cool a while before turning out.
You can vary the flavour by omitting the cocoa and instead dissolving 2 tsp instant coffee in the milk, or use orange or lemon juice instead of the milk and add the zest as well, or use a couple of mashed bananas and no milk, or add a handful of desiccated coconut or some sultanas. I like a chocolate and coffee mix, especially if I don’t have any vanilla.
I’ve tried doubling the quanties (but still only 1 egg), but you need a fairly big bowl for this to work, otherwise it will take too long to cook the centre, by which time the rest will be overcooked and dry**. The batter shouldn’t be more than 1.5″ deep when it’s in the bowl.
*If you’ve only got drinking chocolate, not cocoa, you’ll need to recalculate the amount and the amount of sugar, based on the cocoa/sugar ratio of the drinking chocolate.
**If that does happen, just make an appropriately flavoured thick syrup from sugar, a little water and lemon juice/coffee/rum etc, stab holes in the cake and drizzle it over, and eat it warm with ice cream!