A Pro Chef Bakes Chocolate Cake In A Microwave | Good Chef, Bad Kitchen | Refinery29

A Pro Chef Bakes Chocolate Cake In A Microwave | Good Chef, Bad Kitchen | Refinery29

This week on Good Chef, Bad Kitchen, pastry chef Jess Weiss of Union Square Hospitality Group bakes homemade chocolate cake in an RV. Utilizing a microwave, she takes on conjuring up a world class dessert. Press play to see if she can master baking in a small space!

Jessica Weiss’s Chocolate Cake Recipe


For the cake:
1 cup pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 egg
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water
Splash of vanilla extract

For the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
Dash of whole milk
Splash of vanilla extract
Hazelnut spread, like Nutella, to taste (optional)

For the filling (optional):
A few slices of plantain (or banana)
1 tablespoon of sugar
Spoonful of hazelnut spread
Splash of vanilla extract

For the cake:
1. Combine and sift dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, water, and vanilla extract.
3. Slowly whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until the batter has just come together. It should be a little lumpy.
4. If you’re microwaving, grease two microwave-safe mugs with vegetable oil. Fill halfway with batter and microwave for 1 minute and 45 seconds, or two minutes, on high until done. This might take some experimentation; be careful to not cause an explosion of batter in your microwave.

If you’re baking in an oven, pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with cupcake liners and fill 2/3 of the way full with batter. Bake until the cake springs up, probably 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of your tin.

For the frosting:
1. Beat your butter until smooth, using a hand mixer, if you have it, or a big wooden spoon.
2. Mix in powdered sugar a little at a time, working to get all the clumps out.
3. Once all the sugar is mixed in, add in a pinch of salt, a spoonful or two of hazelnut chocolate spread like Nutella (if you’re using it), and a splash of milk to loosen the frosting. Beat vigorously until your frosting reaches your preferred consistency.

For the filling (optional):
1. Mash the bananas with sugar, vanilla, and hazelnut spread. Set aside for assembly. If you’re using plantains, microwave plantains with sugar for 30 seconds, mashing until soft. Stir in vanilla and hazelnut spread and set aside.

To assemble:
1. To unmold the cake from the mug, run a knife along the perimeter, lifting up every so often to loosen the top of the cake from the mug. Carefully turn the mug upside down and let the cake drop down. Pro tip: It helps if you cool the cakes in the fridge while you make the frosting and filling.
2. Run a knife horizontally through the cake, halving it to make two even layers.
3. Place the mashed banana or plantain on top of the first layer, and carefully place the second layer on top.
4. Starting from the top down, use a knife to spread a thin layer all around the cake, cleaning your knife of crumbs before dipping it back into the frosting. Once you’ve created the first layer, place the cake in the freezer for a minute or so to firm up the base.
5. For the second layer, frost the cake from the top down, cleaning your knife every so often to ensure your frosting is crumb-free. Top with a dusting of chopped chocolate, if available.

On Good Chef, Bad Kitchen, professional chefs take on the ultimate challenge: Cooking in a bare, millennial kitchen. These pros try making a world class meal with little to no resources. Watch the experts attempt to concoct something delicious!

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