Recipe for a stormy Sunday

If you find yourself, as I do, trapped indoors by snow driven before the icy claws of a 100km/h wind, you might be concerned that idleness could force you into a downward spiral ending only in the numbed emptiness of ennui.  Several options exist to salvage your soiled soul: apply yourself constructively to clearing the backlog of paperwork requiring urgent attention; spend the time writing research or memoirs; or procrastination in the form of idle experimentation.  Clearly, the latter is the only sensible option.  With pleasure, then, may I present the following:

5-Minute Chocolate Cake

(aka ‘Cake in the Call Room’ or ‘On-Call Cake’ for the medical audience, or a ‘Marie Munchie’ for the history buffs…)


  • One large coffee mug
  • One tablespoon
  • One microwave oven


  • Cake flour, four tablespoons
  • Sugar, four tablespoons
  • Cocoa, two tablespoons
  • Oil (cooking preferred over crude), one tablespoon
  • Egg, one large (fresh eggs are preferred, but if you live on an Antarctic base one laid 11 months ago is perfectly acceptable)
  • Milk, five tablespoons


  • Combine reagents in coffee mug.  Mix thoroughly.
  • Place mug in microwave and nuke for 3 minutes on high power.
  • Remove mug, allow to cool slightly to prevent embarrassing burns.
  • Consume cake, to envy of all cakeless colleagues!

I envisage that one could even make the batter at home and bring it to work in a small container.   Soon microwave ovens in staff tea-rooms the world over will be pinging the good news of another dose of deliciously unhealthy carbohydrates.

Kudos to one of my team-mates for sending me the original (now altered recipe).

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