Monday, December 21, 2009

Microwave Pineapple Upside down cake



When Cham announced the MEC event , I thought, Wow she announced it at the right time. I am indeed trying to make better use of my Microwave than just to reheat food. As I wrote in my previous post this month, most of the Microwave recipes I saw online was chocolate based and I didn't want to make one. I recently purchased a book called "Microwave Cookbook The Complete Guide" by Pat Jester which I got for unbelievably low price from a library book sale near our place. There are lots of good recipes and tips in it and the author writes tips where she admits that Microwave cannot be used for making all things which can be made in an oven or stove top and lists the consequences too. That's what I like about this book. Honest facts !



I wanted to make something in the microwave which would not waste the resources used, hence further researched about the wattage of the microwave I use. We got this microwave from a friend of ours when we bought our house. It didn't come with a user manual, so had to call up the manufacturer to get the wattage info. I saw this website online which has very good information about the different wattage of microwaves available and how to convert the time needed for cooking in a 600-700 watts (most microwave recipes that's available online are for 600-700 watts microwave) to suit the wattage of your microwave. I never expected my microwave to be 1100 watts as I thought since its quiet an old one and small size without any grill feature, it should be less than 600-700 watts, but was truly surprised to find that it was more than that. So I recommend that you check the wattage with your microwave manufacturer before proceeding with baking or heavy duty cooking in it. So after much research I decided to bake a Pineapple upside down cake.

Here goes the recipe (which is suited for a 1100 watts microwave, hence if your microwave has a different wattage, you can use the website I listed above in hyperlink to convert the cooking time. The recipe remains same, just the cooking time varies). The original recipe (refer hyperlink at the end of this post) was for 600-700 watts (the cooking time being 9 minutes) and I converted the cooking time to suit a 1100 microwave.:

Ingredients:

Topping
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 pineapple slices
  • cherries/raisins
Cake
  • 1.5 cups cake flour
  • 2 tspns baking powder
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbspn warm milk
Method:

  • Melt butter in a 9 inch bundt/flute pan
  • Arrange pineapple slices, raisins evenly at the bottom of the pan
  • Sprinkle the brown sugar on the fruits
  • Sift flour and baking powder
  • Beat butter and sugar until fluffy
  • Beat the eggs one by one into the butter/sugar mixture
  • Fold in the flour mixture alternatively with vanilla and warm milk
  • Pour the batter into the pan so that the batter is spread evenly
  • Microwave for 5 minutes 44 seconds.
Note: The cake might seem to look uncooked on the top but let it sometime inside the oven. If the cake doesnt get cooked on the watery surface, add 1 minute more.
Verdict: The cake was moist and soft. Its best served when it cools down.

I am sending this to the MEC Festive Food event organized by Cham and started by Srivalli





Recipe source: Microwave recipes

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Steamed Vanilla cake


I was/is on a mission searching for alternate ways to satisfy my craving for baking something as my oven gave up. I searched a lot for alternative ways to bake a cake without using the oven. I got a lot of microwave based recipes, but I read that most of the cakes baked in microwave use cocoa/chocolate chip a lot and V doesn't like chocolate cake so much, in fact he would take just a bite so that I don't feel bad after I all the effort I put into making one :D ...the rest of the recipes that doesn't use cocoa/chocolate were the ones which wasnt rated or reviewed , and i didn't want to ruin my day with such a recipe as this would be the first time I would be baking something without an oven. I then came upon this recipe on allrecipes.com about a steamed Chinese cake. It had good ratings and I followed some advice from some reviewers about substitutions. I 'baked' (steamed) this cake in a vegetable steamer, and the outcome was surprisingly the softest sponge cake I ever had :) It was moist, sweet, and held its shape well. I initially thought that a steamed cake would be like a dumpling or something, but this turned out to surprise me a lot. When I felt the cake first with the knife, I thought the texture resembled the outcome of Idli ;) , but when the cake was cool, it hardened a bit more on the base and formed some crumbs too. I was more than satisfied with the outcome, and hence have bookmarked it. Here is the recipe I found with my substitutions:



Ingredients:

4 eggs
1 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting



Method:

Keep a vegetable steamer or Bamboo steamer over simmering
water. Make sure it is large enough to hold the baking pan. I used a loaf pan. But the recipe calls for a 9 inch square pan. Line it with wax paper.



Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks along with the juice and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture has increased about three times in volume. Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Sift it again over the egg mixture, and fold in gently. Blend in the vanilla and almond extracts.



Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl to stiff, not dry, peaks. Fold into yolk
mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth out the edges. Tap the
pan gently on the counter to get rid of large air bubbles.



Place the pan into the steamer. Cover the top of the steamer with a kitchen
towel/parchment paper (parchment paper causes bubbles as I experienced it in my attempt), and place the lid on top; the towel will absorb any steam that collects
on top from dripping onto the cake.


Steam for about 20 minutes, or until a
toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust
with confectioner's sugar. Tada...your steamed cake is ready !

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