By now I’m sure you’ve seen these in your grocery store, the Betty Crocker Warm Delights. The first time I saw them I literally laughed, a microwaveable cake mix in a little plastic cup, hilarious I know! For those of you who haven’t paid attention this is what they look like in the store:
We Purchased the mini’s and figured we would appease the purist sense of chocolate eating and went with the Molten Chocolate Cake (the one on the right). There are other flavors, including the caramel that is on the left of the above image and then they make the full size versions in additional flavors, including a Fudge Brownie, a Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookie and a Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie – there are additional flavors listed on Betty Crocker’s site but I’ve never been to a store that carries all of them.
I was very apprehensive before trying this, like I said I thought they were something of a joke, so I had the bar set really low. After reading the directions I was even more discouraged but we proceeded cautiously. When you open the package you’ll see two ingredient packets, one with the cake mix and the other with the fudge topping. You are instructed to mix the cake mix with “1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of water” which is an odd measurement, I used 4 teaspoons to keep it simple. Then you stir the water in with the mix and knead the fudge packet approximately 10 times and apply on top of the raw batter. We tried to be artful with our decoration but they both turned into fudgy train wrecks. Finally microwave for 30 seconds, I found ours needed 35-40 seconds but they still “cook” remarkably fast and cook time will vary slightly from one microwave to another. During this lengthy cook time I read “Finnegans Wake.” When we opened the microwave we were pleasantly surprised to see that it rose, cooked and smelled like a chocolate dessert! Please note, we cooked them individually, not both at the same time.
We let them sit for a minute or two and proceeded to consume.
We had a number of tiny ice creams we were sampling at the same time, but the focus of this post are the warm delights.
I have to admit I was remarkably impressed with these things! It is not a gourmet dessert, but it has no right being as good as it is for something that costs so little and cooks so quickly. It’s a very light chocolate cake, a touch spongy but by some miracle not rubbery. The fudge is gooey and rich, the kind that practically welds itself onto your spoon and you have to feverishly lick clean.
We will likely try them again and maybe modify it slightly, I like a denser cake, in particular with fudge when it’s labeled as a “molten chocolate cake” I picture a rich, dense, glistening chocolate cake with a gooey fudge center that oozes all over your plate as soon as you cut into it with your eating utensil. Experiment 1 will include using some sort of fat in the cake mix, either canola oil or more than likely butter to add a little richness and flavor – either way I suspect that will add to the cake density but may impact it’s cook time and rising. The other thing I am toying with is saving the fudge packet for after it’s cooked and stuffing the center of it like a jelly donut with the fudge, then I would have a real mini-molten chocolate cake. Then again it may require dual stage cooking, 20 seconds with no fudge, add the fudge to the center and then microwave for another 15 seconds. Either way I think these have promise and are worth trying. They are fast, simple and really not even terrible for you as far as desserts go.
I’m not a dessert guy and I try to avoid using microwaves as much as possible but think these are worth keeping around if you ever get that delicious chocolate dessert craving and are pressed for time. As we experiment with them more I will follow up with our results. Let us know if you’ve tried them and what you think!