Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chocolate Ganache Cake (Pressure cooker cake)

Hi Readers,

This was my first trial of baking in pressure cooker. I just tried this out of curiosity and wanted to make something delicious for my husband. Thankfully, it turned out to be a successful experiment. I made a vanilla flavored cake and decorated it with chocolate Ganache. One thing I made Ganache quite thick so it covered whole of cake, making it look more like a chocolate cake. You can make Ganache little thinner if you intend to drip it from all sides. Here, goes the recipe for you.

Ingredients for Cake :- 
1 and 1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup refined oil or plain butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Ingredients for Ganache :-

12 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 cup heavy cream
optional 3 tablespoons flavored liquid

Method :- 
Mix all the ingredients for cake and beat it well, not to leave any lumps.

1. Decide on a good, uncomplicated recipe for your pressure cooker cake. I will share the recipe of the cake in the picture above very soon but I would guess that pretty much all cake recipes will work well in a pressure cooker too. Prepare the batter and set aside.

2. Use a pressure cooker that's at least 5 ltrs .
3. Remove the gasket (the rubber insulation thing) on the lid of your pressure cooker. This is an important step. You also do NOT need the whistle.
4. My pressure cooker came with a perforated stand that goes at the bottom of the cooker pan. It distributes heat more evenly and is especially useful when baking in the pressure cooker. If you don't have, try to find a substitute. Maybe a small, thick steel plate would do the job as well.
It's better not to have the cake pan touch the bottom of the pressure cooker directly since that may cause the bottom of the cake to cook more rapidly. Another option is to place the pressure cooker on a flat griddle or tawa and cook the cake. It's just an insulation between the flame and the bottom of the cooker to protect the cake.
5. Another important thing to remember is, do NOT add any water to the pressure cooker pan for baking a cake. If you do, you will be steaming the cake but here we are trying to create an oven-like environment using a pressure cooker, as much as possible. The heat generated in the pressure cooker will be enough to cook/bake the cake.

6. Before starting to bake the cake, you need to pre-heat the pressure cooker. For this, just place the lid (without gasket) on the pressure cooker (which should contain no water) and cook on high heat for 2 mins.
7. Now you can put the cake batter in. Make sure to use a cake pan that fits comfortably in the pressure cooker without the sides touching. Use a pot-holder since the cooker will be hot because of the pre-heating.
After placing the batter in, close the lid and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes and then lower the flame to just a simmer. The cake, depending on the size of your cake pan and pressure cooker, will take anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour to bake

A pressure cooker is not meant for baking or using in the manner described above so consider that before using it to make a cake.
I don't expect it will burst into pieces while cooking (I was very worried about this though, without reason) but it may compromise the quality of the safety valve on the lid and the high heat may cause the handle and other parts to deteriorate a bit.
Using your pressure cooker to bake once or twice a year is probably okay but not regularly. If you bake anything more than once a month, I recommend buying an oven. It will be worth it and your options are much wider than using a pressure cooker to bake.
Always check manufacturers instructions to make sure your make and model of pressure cooker can handle this. I am not sure how a steel pressure cooker will behave, mine is a basic 5 ltr aluminium one. It's probably best not to do this in a non-stick pressure cooker since dry-heating a non-stick surface without water or oil is not advised.


Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow Ganache to cool before pouring over cakes as a glaze. The longer you allow the Ganache to cool, the thicker it will set. Typically I stick mine in the refrigerator so it is slightly cold before whipping. For piping or frosting, allow the Ganache to completely cool and set up. When you are able to spoon the Ganache and it can hold its texture, it is ready for piping.

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