Monthly Archives: October 2011

Chocolate (Nutella) Mug Cake

This month, I decided to participate in a new recipe swap group – Secret Recipe Club.  Basically, you are given a new cooking blog to explore, you choose any recipe that they have posted and you try it.  Such a great idea, and a great way to find new blogs and new recipes.

I was given The Newlyweds Blog – and there were definitely plenty of recipes to choose from, it was quite hard to decide.  So, I gave the decision to CH.  He explored the blog, browsed recipes and then, he got really excited when he saw this recipe.  Instant cakes? Under 5 minutes, he was sold.

I was too.  You see, we already know that I don’t have an overly sweet tooth, so I get kinda lazy baking things for CH.  Yet, I like to be a good wife and make him treats from time to time.  He absolutely LOVES my Mom’s chocolate cake, but it’s time consuming (okay, not really!) and it makes a lot of cake for just one guy.  So this mug cake definitely solved a lot of problems.

I’ve already made these numerous times, even for our “Thanksgiving” dinner where I topped them with pumpkin pie whipped cream, and another time with caramel sauce.  But, the overall winner, is the Nutella version I came-up with.  1 (heaping) tablespoon of Nutella, and you have a deliciously moist cake, in under 5 minutes.  How can  you complain?!

I really fell in love with this idea…and it will become a standby recipe for years to come.  I can see it showing up at dinner parties, with a customizable toppings bar, or as a last minute dessert for those unexpected guests.  It is a delicious, warm, gooey, chocolate cake….from the microwave!

One quick tip – be sure to use a LARGE coffee mug – you need the room as it cooks, and to top it with ice cream, or whatever you choose.

So, thanks Newlywed Blog, for a great recipe.


Chocolate Mug Cake

Serving:  1 individual sized cake
Prep Time:  2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 – 5 minutes


  • 4 TBSP flour
  • 4 TBSP sugar
  • 2 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 TBSP milk
  • 3 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1 TBSP Nutella (or substitute chocoalte chips, Hershey’s Bliss, toffee bits….whatever you please!)
  • splash of vanilla (optional)


Place all ingredients in a large coffee mug.  Whisk well to incorporate all ingredients.

Place the mug in the microwave and cook for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes, until the top is nice and firm.

Remove the mug from the microwave (be careful – it’s HOT!) and serve immediately.  I like to serve it directly in the mug, with ice cream on-top, but feel free to remove it from the mug and serve in a bowl.  Whatever you prefer.


As one final tip – I’ve made multiple mugs at once (4!) and just increased the microwave time by 2 minutes – worked perfectly!

Recipe from The Newlywed Blog



Filed under Desserts

Applesauce Cake – October What’s Baking

Fall is my absolute favourite season of the year, I love the crisp sunny mornings, and don’t get me started on the colors.  They are probably my favourite part.

CH and I spent Thanksgiving (Canadian!) in Toronto this year, without our family, which was an adjustment – no big family get together, no turkey dinner.  Having been back to Vancouver a few times in August, we just couldn’t justify going back again.  So we made the best of it and had a great weekend just the two of us (which doesn’t happen a lot these days!), cooked a fabulous meal  (that wasn’t turkey – CH described it as a lambstravaganza!) and enjoyed with some good friends.

We decided to spend Thanksgiving Sunday out of the city, and it turned out to be one of the best days for weather – it was almost 30 degrees, in October, in ONTARIO.  Needless to say, we we thrilled to be outside.  We started out the day picking out our pumpkins, which is an annual tradition.  We choose smaller ones this year, and one fun species called “Knucklehead” – he is my favourite.

We also decided to go to an apple orchard – to pick apples.  It’s something neither of us had done before, but we guarantee we will do it again.  It was so nice to walk through the orchard, CH climbing trees and tossing apples down to me, and me directing him to get “that specific apple”.  Before we knew it, we had ~ 15lbs of apples, and I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them all…

However, just a few days later this recipe popped up in my Google reader, and I knew I had to make it.  The combination of spices, not to mention Tennessee Sugar’s pictures, sold me right away.  I was also excited by this recipe because I decided to make my applesauce from scratch (recipe posted soon!) – but it isn’t required, you can use your favourite canned applesauce.

We gobbled this up in mere days, first having it as dessert with ice-cream and caramel sauce, and then bringing it to work for breakfast.  It was absolutely delicious, and I can’t say more except for make it, soon.  It is also my submission to What’s Baking this month – as the theme was Fall Flavours.

Enjoy (and stay tuned for my applesauce recipe, and other apple treats soon!)

Applesauce Cake


  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cups applesauce (I used homemade unsweetened)
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a bunt pan with non-stick spray.

In your stand-mixer, or hand-mixer, cream butter until light and creamy. Add in the sugar, and mix well.

Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time, scraping the bowl occasionally until they are all incorporated.

Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice.

In a separate bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients and spices.

Add the dry mixture and applesauce, 1/2 a cup at a time to the butter/egg mixture, on low speed. Basically, you alternate adding the applesauce and flour, mixing on low speed, until well incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared bunt pan. Ensure that it is evenly distributed, and give it a tap on the counter a few times to release the air bubbles.

Bake for about an hour – testing at 45 minutes by sticking a toothpick in and having it come out clean.

Let the cake cool completely in the pan before trying to remove it.

Place the cake on a serving platter, and dust with powdered sugar.

Serve with ice-cream, whip cream, or as above with powdered sugar!

TIP: I served my cake warm for dessert at a dinner party.  Once the oven was turned off for cooking, I placed the cake in the oven for 20 minutes, just to warm-it through. Definitely added to it, but it was also very good at room temperature.


Recipe Adapted Slightly From Tennessee Sugar

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Filed under Bread, Breakfast, Desserts

White Bean Chicken Soup

Was this the best soup I’ve ever had, no.  Was it the worst, no.  But, I will tell you what it was – perfect for a quick, cold evening, where all you wanted was a warm bowl of soup.  Fall (or what I used to call winter in Vancouver) has officially hit in Toronto and the temperatures seemed to have fallen quickly.  As I walked home from work tonight, I wished I had my scarf.  Luckily, one quick stop at the store, and I had what I needed for tonight’s dinner – and my recipe swap recipe.

Simple ingredients, simple steps and simple flavours.  That’s all that’s to this soup.  Feel free to play around with the ingredients too – I did.  I added an extra yellow pepper, some carrots, celery and even some Sriracha, to kick up the heat even more.  I also opted to do my own “taco” spice mix, and I added some thin noodles to make it more “soupy”.  We served this along with a fresh baguette and it was a perfect weeknight meal – thanks to the blog Seven Ate Nine!  BTW – I renamed it soup because I added more liquid than the original recipe called for, therefore making it more soupy – which we didn’t mind!


White Bean Chicken Soup

Yields:  4 Servings
Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • handful of baby carrots, diced
  • 2 bell peppers (any color!), diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced
  • 1 carton of chicken stock (783ml)
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 TBSP sriracha
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • fresh cilantro (about a handful), chopped
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt, for garnish


In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat for a minute or two.  Add the chicken to the pan and saute for 5 – 10 minutes, until no longer pink.

Add the onions, carrots, celery and peppers to the pan.  Continue to cook over medium heat for an additional 10 minutes.  Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

Once the vegetables have softened, add the spices (basil, chili powder etc.) to the pan.  Stir to mix.   Then, add the kidney beans and chicken stock to the pot.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.  Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 10 – 15 minutes.

Season with S&P, and serve!  Top with cilantro and yogurt, if so desired.


Recipe Adapted From Seven Ate Nine

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Filed under Healthy, Mains, Soups & Stews