I don't know why I ever rolled my eyes (figuratively) at the idea of microwave mug brownies. I even claim in my bio that I'm no food snob, and yet my first reaction to mug brownies was "well, bless its little heart."
I've since come around. As anyone knows, brownies are wonderful no matter their shape or receptacle. Furthermore, any cooking technique that saves time is one worth considering.
Mug brownies are also a real boon to anyone who, like myself, lacks restraint. Since it's a single serving, you need not fear waking up some morning and realizing that you ate a whole 9-inch pan of brownies by yourself the night before.
Finally, mug brownies are, by definition, prepared and served in a mug, and anything served in a mug is warming and soothing to the spirit. If you've ever enjoyed a cup of hot chocolate after being out in the snow, you know what I'm talking about. Mug brownies are merely the next step in the evolution of hot chocolate.
Maybe someday all food will be prepared and served in mugs. What about mug mac and cheese? Or mug pizza? I'm sure someone is working on those as we speak.
Gather Your Tools
For now, however, let's confine ourselves to mug brownies.
Now, just because we're doing away with the pan doesn't mean we are going to discard all culinary conventions along with it. Which means, we will NOT be mixing the ingredients directly in the mug. We are not savages. Have you ever tried to fit a wooden spoon or whisk into a mug? It can't be done. They might not teach mug brownies in culinary school, but of that I am certain.
Also, it's just too messy. You'll be rattling a fork around in your mug, and cocoa powder will be flying everywhere.
No, friends, we're going to mix up the batter in a handy bowl and then pour it into the mug. If you have a mixing bowl with a spout, you'll be sitting pretty. A silicone spatula or scraper will ensure every last drop of batter makes it into the mug.
And I know, doing it my way means you're going to have a bowl to wash out. Sorry! It can't be helped. To make up for it, you can pour your milk directly into your box of cereal at breakfast tomorrow.
A note here about leavening agents. Brownie recipes range from fudgy to cakey. Cakey brownies are made with baking powder, so they have a bit of rise. Fudgy ones are dense and gooey. We're making the fudgy kind, so no baking powder needed.
And no egg, either. Egg is great in brownies, but one egg is too much for a mug brownie. You'd end up with basically a chocolate frittata.
- 33 grams all purpose flour (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 ounce brewed coffee (i.e. liquid) (2 tablespoons)
- 1 ounce vegetable oil (2 tablespoons)
- Dash vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 11 grams unsweetened cocoa powder (about 2 tablespoons)
- Dash salt
- 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
- In a mixing bowl with a spout, whisk the oil, coffee and vanilla until combined.
- Do the same with the sugar, cocoa, and finally the flour, one at a time, whisking until fully incorporated. Stir in the salt.
- Finally, stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a standard 12-ounce mug.
- Microwave on high for 1–2 minutes, depending on the wattage of your microwave. Let cool slightly before enjoying.