One of the queries that I frequently get through mails/comments is about baking in Microwave (MW). I do not bake in MW, so I was unable to give satisfactory answers to those queries. Since the queries kept coming, I had to find a way. What better way than to ask somebody who uses MW for baking, that too an expert at it, to clarify all these doubts, right?.
The first person came to my mind was Divya of Easycooking. I’m sure you have seen her beautiful blog loaded with all those wonderful baked goodies. I remember reading in her blog that she uses MW for baking. Sent her a mail and she was kind enough to do it. Thanks a lot Divs, for taking time to do this.
Btw, I’m not sure whether you remember… Divs and me were batch mates in college for 5 years! Though we studied different subjects at that time, little did we know that both of us would end up doing the same thing later in life, food blogging :) I do hope this posts help you with all your MW baking related doubts. If you do have any additional doubts/queries, please post it in the comments section. Divs has agreed to answer it for you, isnt that great?
Over to Divs now…
Some time back,Maria asked me to do a guest post on her blog.I start panicking when someone asks me for a guest post.Reason being,it has to be on par with the posts on that particular blog and it should entertain the readers in a similar way(if not same)like the author’s own posts.Now that is a difficult thing to achieve,right?Especially with a blog like Maria’s!
Maria,of Mariasmenu is more than a fellow blogger to me.We’ve studied together in the same college for 5 years without knowing that few years later,we’ll connect again through food blogging.I’d been following Mariasmenu much before I started blogging without knowing that she is actually my fellow college mate!
For the same reason,I am hoping that she’d forgive me for taking so long to do this for her.I hope I can do justice to your blog readers Maria.–
Baking intimidates many,including me.Yes,it happens to me too.The only aspect of baking I do not like is that,it can put you in your place sometimes.One day,you’ll be all confident and bake a delicious cake or cookie and another day,it will fall flat on you.Or is it only me?
Such times,to pull me back into my baking spree,I resort to simple and easy recipes.This is one such recipe.Baking brownies is apparently an easy step into baking.I say apparently because,to get perfect brownies,I’ve had to try a lot of recipes.Once you get the hang of it though,there’s just no stopping.I mean,who can resist sinful chocolate brownies with a dash of chocolate sauce and some ice-cream on the side?NO one,I know.
Many a times,the initial step to making a brownie intimidates many.Double boiling or melting the chocolate or not over beating the batter might sound difficult in the beginning but believe me there is nothing more easier!
I’ve chosen a very simple brownie that you can whip up in no time.It is a basic recipe in which you can add your own twists.As usual,the recipe is from Joy of Baking which by itself makes it a no-fail recipe:)
Recipe source – Joy of Baking
Here are the step by step pictures…
Grease and line an 8′ square baking tin.Preheat oven to 190C. In a Micro-proof bowl add butter and chocolate and microwave on full power for 1 minute.Stir the mix till the chocolate is melted.If any chocolate chunks remain,microwave for another 30 seconds.(you can do this on stove top too by double boiling the bowl of chocolate and butter).
Mix in the instant coffee powder,cocoa powder and caster sugar and beat.
Add in the eggs one by one,beating well after each addition.Stir in the vanilla. Add flour,salt and beat well. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts and give a final mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean(a few moist crumbs here and there is fine as the brownie continues cooking as it cools down). Let the brownie cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then remove from the tin and continue cooling on the wire rack. When completely cool,cut the brownie into 16 pieces,a dough scraper works best here.
- Butter – ½ cup/100gms,cut into pieces
- Dark Chocolate – 150 gms,I used Morde
- Instant Coffee powder – 1 tsp
- Cocoa Powder – 2 tbsp
- Caster sugar – 1 cup
- Eggs – 3,room temperature
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Flour – ¾ cup
- Salt – ¼ tsp
- Chocolate chips – ½ cup
- Chopped walnuts – ¼ cup
- Grease and line an 8 inch square baking tin.Preheat oven to 190C.
- In a Micro-proof bowl add butter and chocolate and microwave on full power for 1 minute.Stir the mix till the chocolate is melted.If any chocolate chunks remain,microwave for another 30 seconds.(you can do this on stove top too by double boiling the bowl of chocolate and butter).
- Mix in the instant coffee powder,cocoa powder and caster sugar and beat. Add in the eggs one by one,beating well after each addition.Stir in the vanilla.Add flour,salt and beat well.
- Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts and give a final mix. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30-35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean(a few moist crumbs here and there is fine as the brownie continues cooking as it cools down).
- Let the brownie cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then remove from the tin and continue cooling on the wire rack.When completely cool,cut the brownie into 16 pieces,a dough scraper works best here.
- Serve warm with some ice-cream or with coffee.
- Can I bake this(or other cakes,cookies,brownies) in my Microwave Oven?
a)If you have a solo microwave oven,use microproof containers-grease well using butter and pour the batter into the tin.Microwave on 80% power for 7-8 minutes.The top may look damp or moist but don’t be tempted to microwave further.The cake/brownie will continue to cook as it cools down,so let it come to room temperature,demold and then cut.
b)If you have a Convection Microwave,proceed with the same method in the recipe-Use a metal/non-stick/glass tin and bake for the prescribed time mentioned in the recipe.
- Should I follow the same recipe while baking in the microwave or follow any changes,with regard to the consistency of the dough/batter etc?
a)While baking in the microwave,it is better to thin down the batter a little.Not much though-the batter should be of a pouring consistency.Thick batter would cause the top to cook fast whereas the middle would remain uncooked.Especially with brownie batters.
b)While baking in the Microwave Convection mode,no changes are necessary.Follow the same recipe.
- What utensils should be used in the microwave?
a)While baking in the microwave mode/solo microwaves,make sure you use only microwave safe containers.The dishes which come with the starter kit are usually safe only for re-heating food and not actual cooking.If you have a solo microwave and you are planning to bake in it,invest in some good quality Microwave containers which are safe to cook and not just re-heat.
b)When you use the convection mode of your Microwave,it becomes just like a regular oven with no microwave rays.So whatever pans you use in your regular oven are safe to use in the convection mode too.However,if you are baking in the combi-mode with Microwave-Convection,use only Microwave safe oven dishes like Pyrex,Borosil etc.
- How should I set the temperature?
a)For regular baking recipes in microwave,cook for 70-80% power for 7-8 minutes and it will be cooked.For example,a cake gets done in 8 minutes in 80% power whereas a cookie takes lesser time,5 minutes or so.Keep trying as every oven differs and timings and temperatures may vary from oven to oven.
b)For Convection mode,you need to pre-heat the oven first.Set the temperature in which you are planning to bake-for example 180C and press start.The oven will start preheating and when it reaches the requires temperature,will start to beep,usually 5-7 minutes.Open the oven,place your cake tin inside and again set the temperature and time and press start.For example 180C for 30 minutes.
- Why does the top brown too fast/too slow in the microwave?
a)One disadvantage of cooking/baking in the microwave is,you wouldn’t get the crackling crust or golden brown colour for your bakes.Microwave baking is actually cooking,so the microwave is actually cooking the batter and not baking it.Similar to Pressure cooker/Steamed Cakes.But hey,nothing satisfies your craving more than an instant cake or brownie isn’t it?
b)Some microwaves have a heating coil on top which causes the cake/cookie to brown too fast.Try setting the temperature to 10-15C lesser than the original recipe.Or cover the top of your pan with an aluminium foil after it reaches the perfect colour so that it cooks evenly and doesn’t brown further.
I hope I have covered the basic queries.If you have any more doubts please post them in the comment section.
Thank you Maria for giving me an opportunity to connect with your readers.I hope I have done justice:)