Satisfying a craving for a sweet, baked treat doesn’t have to be complicated – in fact, it doesn’t even have to involve an oven.
Cake mixes used for fuss-free baking can be made even easier by simply switching appliances. For those moments when you’re in search of an even easier way to bake, swap the oven for the microwave and keep these tips in mind:
1. Know your microwave
You can use a convection or regular microwave to bake – the difference is in the way they function. Convection microwaves are great because you can use regular cake tins and glassware without worrying about sparks or cracks. They work like regular ovens, using a fan to force air movement and create heat, as opposed to waves in a normal microwave.
For regular or combination microwaves, use microwave-safe containers. Ceramic or stoneware baking dishes are the most versatile, and you can serve straight from them at the table.
2. Don't over-complicate it
When it’s a rainy day, you don’t want to fuss with a million and one ingredients. Using ready-to-use baking kits is as simple as pour, crack, mix, bake. Just pour the contents of the pack into a bowl and mix with the wet ingredients (usually eggs, oil and milk). Spoon the batter into a microwave-safe dish and place it in the microwave to bake while you check in to see what's happening on Facebook. Simple!
Be sure to follow the instructions on the pack carefully and prepare the batter exactly as stipulated. If you make your batter too thick it will result in an uneven bake – slightly overcooked on the top and raw in the middle, which isn't ideal.
3. The temperature matters
When using a regular microwave at full power to make a cake, fill a lightly greased microwave or silicone baking pan with the batter and cook for 8-12 minutes.* Stop every 4-6 minutes and check your bake by using a toothpick to pierce the cake – if the toothpick comes out clean, your cake’s done. It’s also important to stop and check because timing can differ slightly depending on the microwave.
Convection microwaves work like regular ovens, so won’t cut down on baking time – follow the conventional oven recipe on the back of the kit. You’ll still have to preheat the microwave as per the packet instructions.
Set your oven to the required baking temperature and when it reaches the right temperature, place your cake tin in the centre of the microwave, set the time to bake and press start. Skip the icing and top your microwave creation with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for extra decadence.
Note: Baking times may vary according to your microwave wattage, so monitor your cake closely and adjust accordingly.
Reprinted with permission of Snowflake.