For the past few months now I’ve been following the journey of MyMuscleMug, a new British company specialising in healthy, high protein mug cakes. Emily spent six months painstakingly perfecting each recipe (although I can think of worse jobs!) before setting up the business in July 2016. Remarkably each MyMuscleMug contains more than 25g of protein, whilst being low in carbs and containing less than 200kcal. It sounds far too good to be true! Could a healthy cake with excellent macros taste yummy too? The images I kept seeing on Instagram looked mouth-wateringly delicious, but we all know that photos can be extremely deceiving. I held off ordering, but continued to salivate over the decadent pictures of gooey mug cakes appearing on MyMuscleMug’s Instagram page.
That was until the beginning of January when Emily announced the launch of two new flavours, and asked Instagrammers to guess the flavours for the opportunity to win them, so of course I entered. Luckily my entry of red velvet and chocolate coconut was correct and I was one of 10 lucky winners to receive the new cakes - hurrah. My resistance had subsided though, and I took the opportunity to pay for a sachet of the peanut butter and coffee flavours to be sent at the same time too.
The cakes come in individual 50g sachets, which is a bonus because it means that they fit through the letterbox. All the consumer is required to do is to pop the mix in a mug, add 100ml of milk, mix, add any toppings and microwave for 80 seconds or so. Simples.
As far as flavours go, chocolate coconut is not one that I would normally opt for (it always makes me think of the bountys left lingering in the Celebrations tub after Christmas). With that in mind I decided to try it first. I love the idea that you can customise your mug cake and so spent an embarrassing amount of time dreaming up concoctions that might complement the various flavours. I remembered that I had some choc shot in the cupboard and raspberries in the freezer so decided to cook the cake and adorn it once cooked.
I decided to make my first MyMuscleMug in a latte glass so that I could see the texture in the middle. Once combined with the milk I found the strongly scented chocolate coconut mix to be drier than expected, especially having made many banoffee beltsander-inspired cakes over the past few months. I licked the fork I used to whisk it with and instantly knew I was in for a real treat.
What I stupidly hadn’t accounted for was how much the cake would rise, and that the glass almost reached the top of the inside of my microwave anyway. After just 60 seconds I ended up with a cake volcano, oops. I ended up removing the latte glass early, despite realising that the cake was still gooey in the middle, but I just couldn’t bear to waste any more of it by popping it back in for the final 20 seconds.
Oof. It tasted so. Damn. Good. Think warm coconut fondant.
How was this healthy? How was this delivering 25g of protein? How did it taste so decadent whilst being so low in fat and sugar? It’s then that I realised that Emily must be a wizard. Must be! The raspberries and choc shot gave the cake some additional texture and elevated it into such a special dessert. Even writing about it is making me drool. Yum.
It wasn’t long until the temptation to try another MyMuscleMug became too much to bear and so this time I reached for the other new flavour. I had decided to make this mix up in a shallow dessert bowl instead, kind of brownie style, and top I with fresh strawberries and a MilkyBar bear – after all the cake was healthy so I figured it was necessary to add some naughtiness, right?
As before, I licked the fork after mixing, but this time was met with a coconut flavour (it was then that I realised that all of the MyMuscleMugs contain coconut flour) and a very strong beetroot flavour. Now beetroot is one of only a couple of foods I really can’t stand (the other being liquorice). The mixture was an admirable bright red colour, and I say admirable because red velvets have become somewhat less bright since the disappearance of the e-number packed dyes that were once abundant in supermarket shelves. The big problem was, in order to obtain such a beautiful colour, the mix must’ve contained quite a bit of beetroot powder. I only hoped the flavour would subside once cooked.
Unfortunately for me it didn’t, and I really couldn’t get along with the earthiness of the flavour. For me the coconut and beetroot totally overpowered the chocolate and I was left wondering how the cake could be called red velvet, save for its brightness.
At this point I had really mixed feelings about the cakes. Would the peanut butter flavour taste of coconut, or worse, would it taste like the disgusting peanut flour used in Dr Zak’s peanut butter powder? Was it worth using the last of my Co-Op PB&J ice cream to go alongside it? After some deliberation I decided to take the punt, this time making it in a normal mug and adding a large spoonful of JimJam’s low sugar strawberry jam to the raw mix before cooking.
This time I managed to cook the cake for the full 80 seconds, which was when I saw it starting to peep out of the top. I tipped it out into a bowl, although the bottom was still fondant-like and was a little reluctant to leave the mug, but I loved the chocolate coconut one served that way so refrained from cooking it further.
Hurrah! Emily was back to her usual magic with this mixture. The peanut butter was flavoursome and although there was a hint of coconut in the background I found that it complemented the nuttiness really well -who knew? I felt rather proud of my concoction too; the warm jam-filled cake paired with one of the best ice creams I discovered last year was sheer genius (even if I do say so myself). Serious noms.
Now coffee cake is one of my absolute favourite cake flavours. The only trouble is, more often than not, people like to include walnuts into the mixture. Gah. I just want a smooth cake goddammit! Stop shoving walnuts into my cake please, and my ice cream too whilst you’re at it (yes I’m looking at you Ben & Jerry’s with your Chunky Monkey). Also, whilst I’m moaning, why can you never find coffee muffins? Humf. The nut issue is the main reason that I rarely buy coffee cake, and there’s not much point in making it at home when Bert can’t stand coffee. It’s therefore perhaps needless to explain how much I was looking forward to my final MyMuscleMug, and decided that it needed a suitable ice cream to nestle alongside it. Mud Pie! Mud Pieice cream would work wouldn’t it?
Perhaps the most surprising element of the coffee MyMuscleMug is just how brave the flavour is. It’s not a mild, latte kind of flavour, and instead delivers the kind of caffeine-y kick that could even wake you up on a cold January morning. I was glad that I’d paired it with the sweetness of the ice cream for I can be a bit of a coffee wuss, but the resulting flavour was mind-bogglingly delicious and reminded me of another of my favourite desserts- tiramisu.
All MyMuscleMugs are available to purchase for £1.99each from mymusclemug.com, and I highly suggest you take advantage of the current 6 for £9.95 mix and match offer. The other flavours sound equally delicious too -I’m now dying to try the chocolate brownie, pumpkin spice and cinnamon swirl!