“What” and “If” are two simple words which when put together can have an immensely powerful impact. “What if…”
I used to be petrified with the slightest thought of baking in a pressure cooker. What if the cooker bursts!!! I’d witnessed this horrifying incident with my aunt when I was a little kid. The cooker went woossshh and off went the rice flying to the roof leaving her burnt and my mind, bruised for life. Until last week when I finally decided to kill this fear.
I said to myself what if it doesn’t. What if I bake a real good cake. And so I did.
A simple Strawberry – Vanilla sponge was great to start off with. Doesn’t that look yummm…
Get Prepared With Your Cooker:
1. Use a cooker with a wider circumference and capacity of 3 – 5 litres, right enough to fit a 21 cm round bottom cake tin. Its advisable to use an aluminium cooker than a non-stick one.
2. Remove the gasket (The rubber ring inside of the cover) *****
3. Take the whistle off *****
4. Place a utensil stand inside the cooker. A stand with holes does a great job in distributing the heat evenly. Else, use a thick plate or a griddle. Intention is not to let the base of the cake tin touch the base of the cooker. It also acts as insulator and prevents the cake from burning *****
5. Do not pour water *****
We want to bake the cake and not steam it. There has to be an oven-like environment, which is why no water.
6. The cooker has to be pre-heated, the way we pre-heat the oven.
7. Close the lid and place the cooker (without gasket, without whistle, without water) first on high heat for 3 minutes and then on low for 2 minutes.
Get Prepared With Your Tin:
1. Line the inner side of the tin with butter and baking parchment.
2. When the baking parchment is in place, rub butter all over it and dust with flour.
150 gms butter, plus extra for greasing
150 gms sugar
150 gms flour, plus extra for dusting
3 free range eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp strawberry essence
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsps milk
Colour – 3-4 drops (or as required)
1. Sift the flour and baking powder.
2. Cream the butter and sugar for one minute or till light and fluffy
3. Add eggs one by one, add essence and keep beating.
4. Fold in the flour and baking powder.
5. Add milk and beat till there are no lumps.
6. Divide the mixture in two halves.
7. Add colour in one of the halves and mix.
8. Spoon the mixture inside the prepared tin, alternating the vanilla and strawberry.
9. Take a toothpick and drawn a zig-zag pattern over the surface to create a marble effect.
Alternatively, you can pour the strawberry mixture above the vanilla or vice-versa.
10. Pat the tin to remove any extra air bubbles.
11. Gently place the tin over the stand in the cooker and close the lid. Bake for 40 – 45 minutes.
12. Do the fork test, first at the sides, then at the centre. It should come out clean when done.
13. Transfer it to the wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
Points To Remember:
1. ***** is really really important.
2. Its advisable to use a regular aluminium cooker than a non-stick one.
3. Baking more than once a month in a pressure cooker is not recommended. Regular use might lead to deterioration.
4. Works well with tutti-frutti cake and chocolate sponge.
P.S.: Looks stunning, doesn’t it! On the other side of fear is victory. Well, in my case, it was this incredibly gorgeous, buttery-soft delight.
Its all about having the guts to create something really special. So go on. Kill your fear. And get coo-king 🙂