I’m now in my second week of unemployment, and so far, it has mainly consisted of me parading around the apartment naked, holding my cat Cricket high above my head while singing The Circle of Life at the top of my lungs. My neighbors have only complained to the police six times so far, so I call it a success. I mean, it’s not technically indecent exposure if you have a mostly empty Doritos bag taped over your genitals, is it?
As wonderful as it is not having a job, sometimes it can be extremely lonely. Everyone I know is at work, you know, making money and getting health insurance, while I’m at home hula-hooping with my balls hanging out of my pants. I can’t just call up a buddy and ask them to come over and play video games. My current game of choice is called Goat Simulator. Yes, Goat Simulator is a real game, and essentially, you simulate being a goat. This is has no relation to my secret nickname, Goat Stimulator.
A thing lots of lonely people do is eat snacks all day. Snacks are a good replacement for human interaction, as the calories fill the deep aching void inside you when there is no one around to talk to. And a snack many people enjoy alone, is cake.
Some years back a very smart chef learned that you can make sponge cake in the microwave. Fancy chefs started using this technique in their restaurants to make extremely expensive desserts in less than five minutes. But then, some mommy blogger realized, “Oh wait, I have a microwave too! I can make cake! I can make cake!” Then, microwave cakes exploded all over the Internet, just like I exploded all over your mother last night.
Like hipsters, mommy bloggers ruined all the fun by beating the microwave cakes to death all over the Internet, thinking they were experts, and so now people don’t really talk about them much anymore.
When I’m drinking whiskey and tears by myself, I typically enjoy salty food. I really only eat sweets when I’m on a date and my date asks me to split dessert with them. Splitting dessert usually means I eat a polite spoonful and then let my date eat the rest like a rampaging wildebeest trying to protect its newborn calf. Just kidding, I don’t go on dates.
One of the best drinking snacks is poutine. Canadian poutine isn’t very big in the United States for some reason, despite multiple attempts by various restaurants to make it “a thing.” But it is very good. Poutine is French fries topped with cheese curds and soaked in brown gravy (usually beef or chicken gravy). That’s it. Gravy just happens to be one of my favorite sippin’ beverages too. Lots of Canadians enjoy poutine during or after a long night of drinking.
But who wants to fry or bake potatoes in the middle of the night? That takes forever and makes a mess. So I asked myself, “Dannis Ree, can you turn one of Canada’s favorite drunken snacks into the dumbest microwave cake anyone has ever seen?”
The ingredients for a regular microwave mug cake are very simple — flour, eggs, butter, sugar, and baking powder. These are things many people have at home, which is part of the reason why single-serving microwave cakes are pretty popular. You can add whatever flavoring you like to the base cake mix, such as cocoa powder or cocaine.
In the case of the Poutine Mug Cake, however, I didn’t want to add sugar, plus I wanted this stupid-ass thing to taste like French fries. But potato flour adds kind of a gummy and mealy texture to food if you’re not careful, so I had a stroke of genius — I could add instant mashed potato flakes to the flour mix. And the gravy flavor? Instant gravy mix! Goddamn, bitches!
Simply whisk butter, milk, an egg, potato flakes, all-purpose flour, baking powder, gravy powder, and cheese curds together (full recipe below) and you’re good to go.
Next, dump the dog vomit-looking mess into a regular coffee mug. It will look gross, but trust me, this is how it’s supposed to go. Most gross things turn out to be delightful in the end, just like your mother.
Depending on the power of your microwave, this should only take between one or two minutes on full power to cook before it’s finished. The end product will look like an actual cake. You can either eat it straight from the mug, like a neanderthal, or you can put it on a plate to let it cool off quickly.
Put it on a plate, jagoff.
You’re going to end up with a lot of leftover gravy powder so just make the gravy according to the directions on the back and pour it on top of the cake. And if you’re a real loser like me, put Easy Cheese on top and eat it with two very small stuffed animals silently judging you.
“Dannis, you idiot,” you say, “Does it taste like poutine?” The answer is yes. It is absolutely, disturbingly, deliciously, poutine in a mug. The cake does taste like potatoes, and with the cheese curds evenly distributed throughout the gravy-flavored cake, you are honest-to-God eating a delicious microwaved poutine out of a mug. There was no reason for this to actually work, but it did. I had my roommate Craig and my friend Pete have a bite and they were stunned. It is drunken, late-night, gravy-flavored poutine cake that only takes five minutes to make.
The Poutine Mug Cake
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons instant mashed potato flakes
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon instant gravy powder
- 2 oz. cheese curds, chopped into small bits
- ½ tsp baking powder
Start the mix by being unemployed. Drink a lot of whiskey and cry, naked, while dancing around with your cat in the front window of your house or apartment. Play Goat Simulator for two hours instead of looking for a job.
Next, whisk all the ingredients together in a bowl. It will become very thick, like a wonderful chunky dog vomit. Transfer the batter to a microwave-safe mug.
Microwave the cake for 60 to 90 seconds depending on the strength of your microwave. Use a toothpick to test for doneness, but really, who gives a shit? Your life is turning into a living hell.
Top with additional gravy and Easy Cheese if desired. Fall asleep in front of the television with a lonely boner.