To bake a cake without an oven...

I know of so many people who do not make cakes, simply because they do not have an oven. I feel that is really sad. Even though home made cakes may appear inferior to store bought cakes, the taste and the love with which it is made cannot match the commercial cakes whatsoever. I truly believe in that. Even if it is a simple chocolate cake or vanilla sponge cake, the effect on the person who is eating it is unimaginable  It must be because the maker knows what all goes into it and the interest with which it is made sets everything apart.

This is a very humble attempt to demonstrate how you can make cake without an oven. All you need is a pressure cooker or steamer and an aluminium pan which will fit into your cooker/ steamer. It is that easy. My mom has been making cakes this way since the time I remember and I have followed suit until recently when I got my microwave convention oven. Even though my bakes in the oven have come out good, I still love to steam the cake as I feel the texture comes out much better than that in the oven. I think I need to get over my bias over a period of time. :)

Some basic requirements - before that, a disclaimer. I am no major cook. My intention is only to share what I know so that others also get the enjoyment that I get while making a cake! :) Immense, isn't it...

1. Have a basic set of measuring cups and spoons. The cheapest I have found here is in Ansar Mall - a set of four cups and four spoons cost Dhs. 8/- and it is might handy.

2. Get a good whisk and a spatula - these are not very expensive, would cost maximum upto Dhs. 15/- for both. I got the whisk from Daiso for Dhs. 7/- and two spatulas, one big and one small from Ansar Mall for Dhs. 4/-. You can also find spatulas at Ikea for Dhs. 4/- a peice, I guess.

3. Select a  recipe and follow it to the T. This is very important for a novice chef, just like me. Do not alter the recipe at any cost. It will spell disaster, for sure!!!

OK, so that's some basic I can remember. Let's go the steps now.

Step 1
Once the recipe is selected, prepare the batter as per instructions and keep ready.

Step 2
Wash your pressure cooker and keep it on your stove on meduim-low flame. This is basically the procedure of "preheating".

Step 3
Wash your aluminuim tin and wipe it clean.

Step 4
Brush it with oil. Ensure that all the portion is covered, as your cake will rise and you wouldn't want it to stick to the pan!

Step 5
Dust it with flour. Here, I have used breadcrumbs. Got this tip from Nestle website and it seems to work better than flour. So just rub bit of flour here and there over the oil.

Step 6
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and keep ready.

Step 7
Keep the stand that you get with your steamer into the cooker.

Step 8
Put the prepared tin on top of the stand. Some people I've seen use aluminium foil to cover, which is not necessary. It will make checking the cake later difficult.

Step 9
If using a pressure cooker, the take off the weight. If using a steamer, skip this step.

Step 10
Close the cooker and keep your flame at meduim low. Ignore your cooker for the next 30 minutes.

Step 11
 After 30 minutes, open the lid and check if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick or a knife into the center of the cake. This is very important - check on the center, because the center gets cooked last. The toothpick or the knife will come out clean. The cooking time depends on the cake's density. Some cakes are done in 30 minutes while some take upto 1 hour. Just be patient!!! I know the smell that comes will be tempting but you have to wait, otherwise you will partly cooked batter... hehe...

Step 12
Once the cake is done, take out the pan from the cooker/ steamer and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. You will start seeing the cake detaching from the sides.

Step 13
Now slowly flip the pan onto a cooling rack or an elevated surface and slowly release the pan.

Step 14
Now allow the cake to cool completely before you slice and enjoy!!! You can see that I flipped the cake in a hurry and one portion didn't release properly. :( However, who cares, I cleaned it up from the pan!!! ;)

You can see how soft the cake is... Yum...

The cake I have made here is called "Steamed Moist Chocolate Cake" and it is moist, yes and so chocolaty!!! A pepped up pic of the cake... You can see it's really dark... Hmmm....

Very easy, isn't it??? One more tip, if you want to make the cake in the cooker itself, then heat up your chapathi tawa, do the oil and flour coating inside the cooker, pour the batter directly into it and keep it on the top of the tawa for cooking. This is for a bigger cake.

I feel nice having typed this as I really hope many of them will then start making cakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!! :D I really wish I could... hmmm...

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