Saturday, November 10, 2012

Oven-Less Baking Success!

Yay! Success!
Sorry - I am really thrilled with myself so you all have to bear with my rant on learning how to bake without an oven. Plus, with Michael gone on a manager retreat this weekend, I don't have much to preoccupy my time - ha ha ha ha ha... :)
I was determined to attempt Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies, but, I realized that small cookies would be difficult, so I decided to make a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip bread/cake instead. Instead of chocolate chips I bought a 72% cacao chocolate bar and chopped it up - primarily because the only chocolate chips I have seen here were huge 5lb bags at Metro, and I didn't want to pay for/have that many chocolate chips. I bought a small bowl as well that would fit in my large pot, and some parchment paper for the top. I admit, I was inspired by Gordon Ramsey and his YouTube Christmas Pudding Video as those were the only cues I had on how to steam things. Anyway, in case you'd ever like to steam something, here are plenty of photos to help you along:
 Here is my bread/cake batter in the bowl I purchased to fit in my pot. I had buttered it to make sure the cake would come out ok.
 I put a circle of parchment paper on top, and tied it on with the really terrible dental floss I bought here before we were lovingly sent some from the states (it's so bad, it's not waxed at all so it shreds on your teeth really easily, but I digress), and I put on a rubber band just to be sure it would stay on. (PS - can you see the awesome (and dirty) measuring cups in the background mess? Thank you Miranda!! If you hadn't sent me those none of this would be possible!)
 Here is the bowl in the pot, propped up on some jar lids. I put some aluminum foil strips under the bowl so it would be easier to lift out later.
 After about 40 minutes of steaming, I peeked and saw this! I was surprised because the recipe said to bake it for at least 45-50 minutes, with most comments stating that it took a lot longer to bake. It was springy and I stuck a toothpick in it and it came out clean, so I called it done!
 Here's how the top looked when I took off the parchment paper. It was kind of tacky like a steamed bun, but it was really cool!
 And finally - the finished product. I was rather impressed that the chocolate bits stayed so dispersed throughout the batter, back home a lot of the time everything would sink to the bottom. The cake came out of the bowl with no problems or sticking at all, it was really neat.
 Here's the inside. It was really moist, but after it cooled it sliced well and held together really well too. The only thing I will change next time is to double the spices, you couldn't really taste them, which made me sad, and the quality of chocolate wasn't so good, but it worked! And quicker than baking was supposed to, and without heating up my entire house. Hooray! I have succeeded in baking without an oven! Oh, and I must give a BIG thank-you to my neighbor Alfa who gave me some baking soda, apparently it's illegal or something now here and they don't sell it anymore, and she lovingly gave me some of hers she brought from her last trip home to Indonesia. Baking soda is definitely something I can't jerry-rig myself, so thanks Alfa!


Sherri said...

Yikes, no oven! I think I truly might starve to death. I am impressed with your baking/steaming skills however. Your pumpkin/choco chip creation looks delicious. You are amazing Risa!!

Danang Expats said...

nice job! Do you stay in Da Nang?

Simple. Healthy. said...

How Cool is that way to go!!!

Samuel A. Morris said...

Inventive! I applaud your efforts!