On Baking a Cake in your Rice Cooker

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Let the world know that my oven is small.

My adventure began that fateful day when Jiro-san showed up at my door, waking me from my nap. We exchanged a few words, he handed me a bag of 25 persimmons and he departed, leaving me stunned. Up until this point, I’d never eaten a persimmon, let alone used 25 of them for anything. I mean, the last time a friend gave me a weird, purple potato I ended up throwing it away because I didn’t know what to do with it.

So, I looked at my bag of persimmons, set them on my shelf and walked away, never to return.

Well, I guess I returned. So at work the next day I looked up recipes for persimmons. You can eat them like an apple, but I didn’t really want to eat 25 persimmons (I’d literally have to eat one a day for the rest of the month). So I thought, if they’re like apples, I should be able to make apple recipes with them, right?

Fully aware that this was likely the path to me getting a Japanese disease that would leave me paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of my life, I decided to make a persimmon upside down cake. The recipe was simple, caramelized persimmon slices, butter, sugar, flour, eggs. Simple. Then I looked at my oven. Seriously, the thing is 12x8x6. I can’t even cook a chicken breast in it without cutting it up.

Then I turned to look at my rice cooker. It sat there, blinking the time, screaming, “PUT THE CAKE IN ME.” So, I said, why not? The last cake I made (with cake mix), I made it in my rice cooker. What could the difference be?

The difference, I learned, is that you can’t mess up cake in a rice cooker.

My first cake was small, dense, but moist and delicious. It was a great piece of work and the persimmons added a very subtle, but refreshing fruit flavor to the almost bread-like cake. Then I ate it for dessert, with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. Then I ate it for breakfast the next day. Then lunch. Then dinner. And it was gone. So, I determined that it would be an easy breakfast for the next few days if I made it again.

I doubled the recipe, and lo and behold, it was even better. I tweaked the amounts of caramelized persimmons, used baking powder instead of soda, and the cake was superb.

You can’t burn a cake in a rice cooker. If you take the ability to burn things out of the equation, baking becomes very easy!

So, tonight it’s persimmon crisp in the toaster oven. Pray I don’t die.

If you follow me on twitter, I’ll bake you a cake.


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