Alton Brown’s Chocolate Mug Cake Only Takes 15 Minutes to Prepare – Showbiz Cheat Sheet

A luscious double chocolate cake just oozing with chocolaty deliciousness… This celebrity recipe from chef Alton Brown takes just 15 minutes to prep and bake. The decadent result belies the quick simplicity of the recipe. Since this delicious cake is so rich, it’s the perfect date-night treat for you and someone special to share. Keep reading for more on Brown’s cooking hacks for some of our favorite sweet treat recipes.

Alton Brown smiling

Alton Brown | Mark Von Holden/Getty Images

Alton Brown’s mug cake recipe for two

Like many of the recipes on the Alton Brown website, this sweet treat is quick and easy to prepare. He combined two popular recipes from decades past to create this modern treat. Those two recipes were the molten lava cakes that were all the rage in the ’90s and the mug cakes that were so popular in the late ’00s. The result is a cake that rises high like a soufflé before collapsing into fudgy goodness.

The first step in this recipe is to heat chocolate chips and milk in the mugs using the microwave. While that’s happening, mix the batter. Whisk the chocolate/milk mixture to combine, mix in the batter and let it sit undisturbed in the microwave for three minutes. Then microwave for 1 minute and 45 seconds. Brown suggests serving this decadent treat with ice cream or whipped cream. Or, in his words, “…just eat it out of the mug, you animal.”

Chocolate chip cookies with the perfect chewiness

A couple of simple ingredient swaps are the secret behind Brown’s deliciously chewy chocolate chip cookies. Instead of the all-purpose flour and light brown sugar in your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, use bread flour and dark brown sugar. Bread flour is higher in protein (and therefore gluten) than AP flour and dark brown sugar has more molasses than the lighter version.

Gluten and molasses both increase the chew factor in cookies and are responsible for the high ratings and rave reviews these cookies get from avid home bakers. Who knew that such a simple change could make so much difference in the texture of a cookie? Well, Brown for one!

Tangy candied orange peel

Typical of many of Brown’s easy, approachable recipes, his candied orange peel calls for just three ingredients. All you’ll need are ripe oranges, sugar, and water plus some time. Separating the orange peel from the white pith that lies beneath is arguably the hardest part of the whole process. A sharp paring knife will make that part easier. After that’s done, it’s just a matter of simmering the peel, first in plain water and then in sugar syrup. 

The whole process takes about an hour and three quarters, but only about half an hour of that involves any serious activity on your part. The rest of it is just keeping an eye on the pot, stirring it occasionally, and reducing the temperature as the syrup thickens. The result is a deliciously tangy, crunchy candy that will keep you coming back for “just one more piece.”

Brown’s secret to moist, fudgy brownies

Changing the cooking method is the secret to getting brownies with a perfect texture: a crispy, crackly top over moist, fudgy goodness below. Brown suggests giving the pan a timeout partway through cooking. Simply bake the pan of brownies for 15 minutes at 300° F, take it out of the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes, and then bake it for another 30 minutes.

Following this trick leads to an entire pan of brownies that are the perfect texture throughout. No more pans of brownies that are fudgy in the middle while the edges are overbaked and hard! This easy hack works with any kind of brownie recipe, whether homemade or from a mix. 

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