Monday, February 15, 2021

Microwave Baking Win!

My gas oven has been giving me trouble - sometimes it doesn't heat up, and sometimes it does. The inconsistency and unreliability of it makes food preparation stressful and difficult to plan. It appears to be a problem with the glow-bar, something we experienced countless times in our previous home, and until the new one arrives, I shall soldier on ... 

Well, I had pledged to bake muffins for a virtual meeting, and had encouraged others to do the same, but I couldn't be sure that my oven would cook them that day. I prepped myself psychologically for failure and frustration. I got out my old microwave recipe books (I had taken advantage of the free microwave cooking classes that came with buying a microwave in South Africa some 30 odd years ago), and refreshed my memory on how to bake cakes in the microwave. I thought I should be prepared to switch gears should the oven not switch on once the batter was ready.

I recalled that chocolate cakes worked well in the microwave, because the dark cocoa ensured the end product would not look anemic. I also had to use glass or plastic, and place an upside down saucer on the turntable before the cake tray. I'm fortunate in having a set of handy-dandy silicone muffin cups that would be perfect in the microwave -  I arranged them in a glass pie dish with an inverted ramekin in the middle to keep them separated.

The idea was to mimic a conventional Microwave muffin pan, like this:

Next, I needed to determine the power level and timing of each batch - theoretically, it would be 2 minutes at 70% power, followed by 30 seconds on 100% power for every batch of 6 (according to my conversion chart from this inauspiciously titled recipe book 😆)

By now, the challenge had given me such a high, that I didn't imagine I even needed to switch on the oven ... I was dying to see if it would work out, so, I decided to try cooking a batch in the microwave. And, this is how it turned out!

I was thrilled! And they tasted perfect - I swear you wouldn't know the difference.

I turned on my oven, and ... hey, presto, the gas came on right away! I cooked the remaining batter in the oven, and the only difference was that the crumb topping looked a little different.

I was so pleased with myself, it was hard not to blow my own trumpet (my Mom's constant reminders of humility be damned!).


Wendy said...

Win! Win!

Debbie said...

Yes! Glad I did it

Shelley Burbank said...

OMG I'm laughing about the term "zero defect chef"

Debbie said...

Hmm, wonder how the perfectionism streak got nurtured?