When my wonderful and highly competent editor texted me, “Hey bbz, r u bad at cooking?”, I knew this was my destiny. I began with high hopes, dreaming of a chocolate soufflé; light, fluffy and sumptuous – it would put my personal hero Martha Stewart to shame. When I noticed the lack of some key utensils – namely ramekins, a working oven, and a desire to succeed, I realised this was unlikely to work, and eventually settled on a far less challenging dish: a chocolate microwave mug cake. Less sexy, but certainly less fuss.
In many ways, the cooking experience was pretty representative of my first year of Oxford. I had enthusiasm, cake ingredients, ambition, my Mickey mouse mug, and a surefire plan to impress everyone with my hidden talents. My initial optimism faded as I watched molten chocolate overflow in the microwave, forming a crust around the mug and microwave plate. My heart sunk as I looked at the spongey mess which remained. The final blow came as I reached the bottom of my mug cake and found a thin residue of flour and cocoa powder, mocking me as my world crashed down around me.
Would I consider this recipe a success? Well, it was (sort of) edible, and less effort than walking to Tesco… so, yes.