After a long day at work or running around with the kids, spending hours preparing a aromatic chocolate cake for Valentine's Day may stress out even the most romantic baker.
Many home cooks are looking for shortcuts to fit baking into their hectic schedules, but the reality is that is takes a while to bake a cake. Isn't there any way to speed up the process to have your cake and time to eat it too?
The speedy microwave oven is a calming friend in a frantic kitchen. In a matter of seconds, microwave ovens can be relied upon to thaw, melt, reheat, boil, toast, and cook exactly what we need.
Ah, but can it bake?
Most of us would laugh and say no, but specialists in this field are now saying an enthusiastic, yes!
"Our baking specialists have formulated a way for you to microwave a beautiful home-baked cake in just 10 minutes," says Linda Fox, spokesperson for Duncan Hines.
"Just follow the package instructions and you can count on a perfect, fresh-baked cake for family, or unexpected guests, every time. In fact, it's so easy to do, teenagers and college students are now making warm and delicious snack cake after school."
Here's a handy guideline:
Prepare your choice of any DH mix according
to package instructions. You'll need eggs, oil, and water, as well as the frosting, and utensils.
Chocolate mixes or dark cakes turn out particularly
well. Microwave cooking doesn't 'brown' when baking, so a light vanilla or white cake may remain
a little too light. If you do prefer light cakes, just plan a pretty coat of frosting for contrast.
To get the best results, use a round, silicon
bundt pan designed for more even baking. If you don't have one, choose any round, straight-sided,
microwave-safe dish. Remember, the shape of the dish will be the shape of your finished cake.
If you bake your cake in a microwave-safe heart-shaped dish, you'll have a heart-shaped chocolate
cake in 10 minutes!
Here's a tip to help the cake slip out more
easily and give your cake a lovely glaze at the same time. Take a scoop of frosting (about 1/3
of a can) and line the inside of the bundt pan. Use a thin layer of frosting. If it's too thick
in the pan, it will be very messy when you turn out the cake.
Place in microwave. Bake on high heat for
10 minutes. Microwave ovens vary so test for doneness after about 8-1/2 minutes, continuing
to bake further only if necessary. Turn the cake out onto a decorative plate. Let it cool for
about 10 minutes while you do a quick cleanup and then frost or glaze your Valentine's Day cake.
If you've made a bundt cake, you can add
canned or fresh cherries or strawberries to fill the center hole for a pretty presentation.
The total preparation, baking, and cleanup time
should clock-in at about 20 minutes. That means you'll have plenty of time to enjoy the romantic
dessert you've prepared!
More information, plus a helpful recipe resource, is available online at www.duncanhines.ca.