Barbara Kafka’s Microwave Chocolate Cake

Here is my ideal chocolate cake: it’s moist, dense but not concretish, and seriously chocolaty but still edible in big bites. It’s a little gooey, but never actually runny, and it’s warm enough to melt fresh whipped cream.

Here is the secret to my ideal chocolate cake, which found me last weekend at a culinary vacation at Deborah Krasner’s house in Vermont: a microwave.

Yes, I, too, was horrified when Deborah revealed our dessert plan. We’d whip up a quick MICROWAVE chocolate cake for lunch (recipe by Barbara Kafka), and it would be delicious. I might have blanched. Who cooks cake in a microwave?

Well, the sad truth is that we all should. Cooked in a traditional English pudding bowl, the cake ends up just gooey enough on the bottom that when you invert it, a thin, shiny glaze drizzles itself down the sides of the dome-shaped cake for a presentation that matches the deliciousness of the cake itself.

I still hate the microwave. But this cake is a miracle: it takes 20 minutes. It tastes great. You can make it with 5 minutes’ notice. It’s beautiful. And most of all, like some of the best things in life, it’s surprising.


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