Well GREETINGS fellow dessert friends!
I'm in Singapore (where my dad lives) "seriously working on my thesis". Well, I'm trying to work on my thesis, but I'm also working on my tan, my budding triceps (hellllloooo swimming pool!), and my repertoire of cake recipes!
I attempted to make madeleines earlier this week, but since I am unable to figure out the oven here, everything turned black and smokey in about 3 minutes. It was super hot. There indeed was sweat. And there was a lot of black-ness. And it kind of bummed me out. I'm not ready to try this oven business again just yet... BUT: there is a rice cooker here. Yes, a rice cooker. (Gotta love pre-stocked Asian kitchens!)
I've heard about making cakes in a rice cooker before, but considering I don't have one, I've never had the chance to try.
But now. Try I did do. And, well shucks, it worked p.e.r.f.e.c.t.l.y.
I adore carob. The powder used in baking comes from a pod. And it's totally good for you. And it tastes like CHOCOLATE.
I first tried carob in high school. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, I was allergic to chocolate until I was around 18. I used to eat it all the time, and then my throat, tongue, and lips swelled up. I got some weird face rashes. My mom had to take me to the "urgent clinic" to make sure that I didn't look like some deformed rutabaga. (Ahem, or die.) I mean, obviously, looking back I should have stopped eating chocolate, but, com'on guys, who in the WORLD is going to stop a girl going through puberty from eating chocolate? Pas moi. Anyway, the allergy disappeared, like I said, around my 18th birthday. Thank you universe.
(I'm pretty sure this period of my life when I couldn't eat chocolate has led me to overcompensate in my 20s... it's fine. I promise.)
Well, even though I still did dabble in my chocolate love, I also TRIED to stay away by eating carob. Carob covered rasins were a favourite snack of mine. There were also these peanut butter carob cups that were amazing. And "carob chips" for making a rendition of chocolate chip cookies. Annnnd then yes, there was carob powder. (oh.nom.)
I haven't found carob in France AT ALL, despite my best searching efforts, but it's everywhere in the health food stores in Singapore.
I got involved ASAP. And well, when you pair it with a rice cooker...
Marbled Carob and Banana Bread - What you need:
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, slightly melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup apple sauce
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flax meal stirred with 3 tablespoons of water)
- 1 cup mashed banana (I needed to use 3 small bananas for a cup.)
- 1/4 cup carob powder (if you can't find carob, just sub in cocoa powder)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
A quick note on my ingredients: a "flax egg" is a vegan egg substitute. If you're not a vegan, feel free to sub in a regular egg if flax isn't your vibe. Also, I use apple sauce as another egg replacer/sweetener. If you don't dig apple sauce either, feel free to use (another) egg plus an added tablespoon of sugar.
Marbled Carob and Banana Bread - What you do:
In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the coconut oil and sugar. Add the apple sauce, and beat well. Add the flax egg, and again, beat well.
Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture, combine well. Next, add in the bananas and stir until everything is blended well.
Separate out about 1/4 of the batter, and set this aside in a different bowl.
Stir in the carob powder to this small amount of batter. It will be really thick and paste like.
Add the walnuts to the remaining 3/4 of the banana bread batter, and stir well.
Liberally coat the rice cooker bowl with coconut oil. Spoon in the walnut-ified, carob free portion of the batter.
Drop spoonfuls of the carob mixture on top of the banana bread batter in the rice cooker bowl. Swirl the carob into the banana bread batter.
Place the rice bowl back into the rice cooker.
Now, let's talk timing. The thing about rice cookers (that I just learned) is that you don't really turn them on for 30 minutes or an hour, but instead you just press "go", and the rice cooker perfectly cooks the rice for you.
For me, I "just pressed go" and then let the rice cooker work its magic. After the first baking session was finished, the cake wasn't ready (still super gooey), so I restarted the machine, and pressed go again. After the second round of baking, it was all done! I tested the cake by inserting a toothpick into it. It came out clean!
I would recommend "baking" for two rounds of the rice cooking cycle of however your rice cooker cooks rice. If it still isn't finished after the second round, just put it on for a third round, and test it with a toothpick every 10 minutes until done!
After, remove the rice bowl from the cooker, and flip out the cake onto a plate!
Goodness me this banana bread is delicious. I'm going to try and make this into muffins when I get back home (and have an oven). If anyone wants to try before this happens, I recommend baking them in a 180 degrees celsius oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Until then... I maayyyy keep on trying out some fun rice cooker cake recipes! If I have the time... (die thesis, die).
Also, don't stop at cakes! There are SO MANY THINGS that you can make in a rice cooker!
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
So, sadly I've done little site-seeing since I've been in Singapore. However, I did make it to the Singapore Museum of Art. This song was playing in one of the expos, and it was pretty cool!
Also, make sure to check out the bakecetera travel page for some Singapore photos!