If you were to ask which appliance in my kitchen would be the hardest to live without, I would hardly hesitate before answering. Hands down, it’s the Instant Pot, and the hype surrounding these contraptions is mostly true.
There was definitely a learning curve for me. I had no experience with using pressure to cook food (besides that one time my hubby was certain I was going to blow up the house with the stovetop model I found at a yard sale).
When we left our home because of hyperreactivity due to mold, I got rid of my whole kitchen of gadgets and gizmos. The first thing I ordered on Amazon was another 6-quart Instant Pot.
Since it’s electric, so much of the tedious fuss is taken out of the pressure cooking process. I didn’t let anyone in the kitchen during the first use, just in case it exploded. 😂 But it has never given me reason to think it might explode, unlike its stovetop counterpart.
The Instant Pot acts as my electric cooktop when I don’t have a kitchen available (the sautè function is so handy for boiling water or heating up leftovers). As long as we have electricity, we can have a home-cooked meal in minutes.
Normally our Instant Pot is cooking things like noodles or a cut of beef. However, I decided to try something a bit more adventurous this week and see if I could pressure cook a cake. My birthday was a few weeks ago and we never got to celebrate, so a chocolate cake was sounding pretty good.
I found a pressure cooker dessert pan set on Amazon that would cook two cake layers at once. It looks like there might be better quality options on another site from India, but I love my 2-day shipping with Prime. I decided to risk getting this set from Amazon, and though it’s a bit flimsy, it does the job.
I used an organic cake mix that had simple ingredients. Using the manual setting, I cooked it for 25 minutes and did a natural pressure release. The cake ended up pretty dense, but very flavorful. I’m not sure if the texture is from the pressure cooker (more likely the pressure cooker operator!) or maybe the cake mix.
The cake mix box did have a note about it not rising very high due to no additives in the mix. I may have to do some experimenting and see if I can get a lighter cake with a different mix. If I think of it as a stacked brownie with frosting, it’s very yummy.
My helpers were eager to help, and the cake was meticulously frosted by little hands.
Maybe I’ll try brownies next – perhaps they will come out light and fluffy like cake! 😊