Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Day 26 of Extremely Frugal February - Chocolate and Guinness Mug Cake!

Day 26 of 28 - Absolute Indulgence!

Today began as any other day, except there was a glimmer of sunshine. I stuck a washing on, looked out the window and the rain began again - typical!

Went exploring in the kitchen and decided that the time had come to use up the last dregs of the can of  'scootie' cream, so had a quick browse online for an easy recipe. As you can see by the photo, I found one! :)

I'd defrosted a carton of carrots overnight, so today's batch of soup is 4 litres of carrot and lentil from ham stock. (I used stock cubes I got slashed to 10p per pack because they were past BBE date.) Once cooked, I mashed the carrots into the soup. This will keep us going for now and most of it will get frozen for later use, defrosting as needed.

My breadmaker is still behaving beautifully, but I'm down to just one bag of bread flour and one tub of milk powder. A quick check on Approved Food found 3.5kg bags of white bread and roll mix for 99p and Marvel milk powder at 75p. An equally quick check on the supermarket comparison site showed the milk powder to be a phenomenal saving, I have placed a small order for next week and hope everything is still available by the time they despatch my order. £15 well spent, in my opinion, even if it did mean adding in some more cheesecake mix, potatoes, 4kg sugar and a couple of fajita kits to make it up to the minimum order of £15.

Having finished off the last grains from a tub of salt while preparing the bread dough ingredients, I thought there must be something 'waste not, want not' that I could do with the empty container, so here's how you can do similar:

Carefully trim the top off the plastic salt container and leave a tab for hanging it on a hook or attaching in to the wall. Find a design or picture you like from an old magazine or similar and cut it wide enough to wrap around the salt tub. Any paper will do, as it's just to disguise the tub. You don't even need to do this if you are happy with a salt tub hanging from your wall. I selected a glossy page from a magazine and it is simply held in place with a piece of sticky tape so it can be easily replaced at any time. This is the tub I made today and hung on the wall above my desk -  I decided to use it for holding my glue sticks and general purpose scissors but I reckon they would also be handy for things like knitting needles or for assorted cooking utensils, if hung in the kitchen.
Other things I did today: had my first attempt at making the fabulous microwave Guinness Chocolate Mug Cake as described by And I have to say that, despite what happened, this cake is EPIC!

Ingredients for epic choc cake
4 tablespoons plain flour
5 tablespoons white granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg (I used 2 small bantam eggs)
2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 tablespoons milk (I used Marvel)
splash of vanilla extract - didn't have any, so this was omitted
3 1/2 tablespoons oil
5 1/2 tablespoons Guinness
Just whisk all of the above together into what looks like brown batter. This is like death by chocolate and calories! There is no way I could fit it into one mug, so I greased two and split the mix between them, then zapped one in the microwave on full power for just under 2 minutes - my microwave is 700w. I found that half the mix in one mug was still too much because the sponge rose, hit the top of my microwave and toppled over the edge of the mug! I'd suggest quarter of the mix and use this to make 4 awesome cakes.
Lucky for me, I had the remains of the aerosol can of cream in the fridge, so this got used up to accompany tonight's fantastic dessert. I had a tiny piece, just to try it, you understand.
Wow! Guinness chocolate cake
I can't even begin to explain how this tastes - it is like no other chocolate cake I have ever tried! It really is like chocolate heaven on a plate. Not recommended if you are dieting, have gall bladder problems, sugar intolerance, diabetes or any other health-related problems. This cake is probably best served after a 10-mile run or a hike up Ben Nevis! But oh boy, would I hike up the Ben again just to get this when I got back down to Fort William! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
The ingredients are sufficient for 4 servings
I think this deserves to be served hot with ice cream, as it needs to be eaten quickly after cooking it in the microwave, so guess what else I made this afternoon? Another batch of ice cream! The second half of the chocolate mix has been split between two much and is in the fridge for tomorrow! Yum!
NYK, Frugaldom

PS: Next - what to do with an empty Guinness bottle and yes, I saved the plastic cap off the cream can because these make excellent little jelly moulds. :)


  1. i've pinned it and bagged that recipe for me too -xx

    1. Have fun! My microwave is just not big enough to cope with the height, so I'll cook the rest of the batter tomorrow and see how it goes. The cake does taste delicious, though. :)

  2. What could I use instead of Guinness please?

    1. Hi there, I normally just use water for sponge making and would never normally have beer of any description in the house, but a neighbour brought in some Guinness as it was close to BBE date after which, she won't use anything. I am like her personal recycling plant. :)

  3. This cake looks absolutely delicious!!!! ~ Pru

    1. Hoping today's attempt doesn't get crushed in microwave, I'll post photo once done no matter how it looks. :) Tastes awesome but I guess anything with this amount of sweet yumminess and fat would. LOL

    2. Cake looks lovely ! I would put hot custard on mine !
      I read recently in Cooks Illustrated that the studies they did show no difference in taste between imitation vanilla essence and the real thing. Also in cake recipes I always reduce the sugar amount by a little; does nt seem to make much difference.
      My frugal trick to myself is working out how much I save over a year by making small reductions in my usage of everyday things....quite an eye-opener. Latte factor I guess.....

  4. Guinness is not something we drink or have in the house, but that cake does indeed look yummy. I wonder what else I could substitute for the Guinness?

    1. I usually just use water in my microwave sponges and would never ordinarily have Guinness in the house but I never look a gift horse in the mouth and would rather use it up than have had neighbour bin it. LOL

  5. Just thought I have cola in the fridge that may do?

    1. I reckon any liquid would work, just reduce the sugar a bit if it's a sweet-tasting liquid. :)


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