Low-Fat Rice Cooker Banana Cake – My 2nd Attempt #RCC

Posted: April 22, 2014 in Cake, Dessert, Rice Cooker Challenge, Sweet, Weekend Cooking, Western
Tags: , ,

I was once asked this question “Is the glass half empty or half full?”

My answer has always been, “My glass is half full”. To me, my glass is empty only when it is completely empty, but never half empty. I guess that’s my perception of things and situation around me. You may have a different opinion…

On the other hand, my brother-in-law (my husband’s brother) would say that the glass is too big! That’s because he is an Engineer! Hah!

Similarly, if someone were to ask me if the cake I cooked in my Rice Cooker for the first time turned out good or bad, I would say neither, but rather, “Not bad”.

Remember this cake?

5. RCC#1_cake_bottom_soot 

Well it did turn out looking like a cake, so it’s definitely “Not bad”. I would not say, it’s “Not good”, because it was half good 🙂

<< Flashback <<<

I managed to salvage the good half while removing the burnt side. The good side actually tasted as gorgeous as it looked. The cake had a good height with the right texture but a bit dry because it was “over-baked” (?), and damn… the dark side!

The Dark Side had a smoky, almost barbecue-flavour that I was not at all used to.  The New Hope side had the familiar banana-ey flavour with just the right level of sweetness.

Will I take this challenge again? Is there hope for a success?

>>> Fastforward >>>

Why of course, I took the challenge – again, for the 2nd time ;-)!

Am I nuts? Nope. I went bananas! Ha ha ha..

Yep, I made a Banana Cake – again – albeit with a different recipe, slightly to play safe as I was, at the same time, experimenting with my Rice Cooker. I realized patience is key and understanding what my Rice Cooker was capable or not capable of was even more paramount to achieving a reasonably good end result.

Hello Ms National, who are you?

I have an 8-cup National Rice Cooker, a trusted companion for the past 19 years. She has served and fed my family and I well. As you can see, the result of cooking all sorts of rice and porridge feasts were amazingly excellent. My rice cooker just knew when to stop cooking at the right time.

2. RCC#1_banana cake2_collage_rice

With the “half good” result of cooking a cake in my rice cooker for the first time (Sugar-less Rice Cooker Banana Cake – My Insane 1st Attempt), I wanted to get to know Ms National a little bit more, for instance, how could I outsmart her?

By experimenting with “baking” cakes in the rice cooker, I discovered that not all rice cookers are made to function the same way. As I have mentioned in my previous post, Miss B’s Banana Cake took one hour to cook in her Toshiba 5.5-cup rice cooker with 3 presses of the button, while my Banana Cake “burnt” in less than 30 minutes. Well, okay – only because I had forcefully pressed the Rice Cooker to ‘Cooking’ function. Definitely, not a smart move.

By the way, the first cake was always the hardest, because, it was done by trial and error.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy

The most significant lesson I learnt from my first attempt at cooking a cake in the Rice Cooker was, Do NOT forcefully press your Rice Cooker to Cook function. Leave it alone!

3. RCC#1_banana cake1_manual forced cook_V2

According to Wikipedia,The bowl in the rice cooker is usually removable; beneath is a heater and a thermostat. A spring pushes the thermostat against the bottom of the bowl for good thermal contact. During cooking the rice/water mixture is heated at full power. The water reaches a temperature of 100 °C (212 °F); it cannot get hotter than its boiling point. By the end of cooking there will be no free water left; most will have been absorbed by the rice, and some boiled off. As heating continues, the temperature can now rise above boiling point; this makes the thermostat trip. Some cookers switch to low-power “warming” mode, keeping the rice at a safe temperature of approximately 65 °C (150 °F); simpler models switch off”

4. RCC#1_banana cake2_RC function

Therefore, it is essential to check the model of your Rice Cooker first before attempting to cook a cake in your rice cooker. My Rice Cooker has very basic functions; “Cooking” and “Keep Warm” functions and a choice of cooking either Rice or Porridge. You may own a more advanced rice cooker than I have, ie, one that features a timer that back-calculates the cooking start time from a given finish time, or one that beeps automatically when the cooking is done or an additional function that includes high pressure cooking or slow cooking or baking breads or cake or making yoghurts, or one that includes a recipe book! I do NOT have any of those functions on my National Rice Cooker, but I DID manage to cook a cake in my humble rice cooker *wink*

I have also exchanged notes with Miss B recently. Her 5.5-cup Toshiba Rice Cooker takes 40 minutes to cook rice to perfection, while my 19-year 8-cup National Rice Cooker takes only 20 minutes! If her banana cake cooks to perfection in one hour, should my banana cake then cook to perfection at half the time?

Let’s find out …

I have used the Low-Fat Banana Bread recipe from Joy of Baking in my 2nd attempt of “baking” cakes in a Rice Cooker.

Ingredient –

(Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking.com with my comments in blue font)

  • 1 cup (240 ml) mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas) – I used 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) canola, vegetable, or corn oil (I used corn cooking oil)
  • 3/4 cup (165 grams) light brown sugar (I did not use sugar. I used ¼ cup Agave syrup)
  • 1 large egg or 2 large (60 grams) egg whites (I used 2 small eggs)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (I did not use)
  • 1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour (I used 1½ cups self-raising flour)
  • 1/2 cup (65 grams) whole wheat flour (I did not use)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used 1 tsp)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (I did not use because I used self-raising flour, which already included baking powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I used just a pinch)

5. RCC#1_banana cake2_ingredients

Method –

  1. If using the oven, Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C) and place the rack in the centre of the oven. Spray an 8 x 4 inch (20 x 10cm) loaf pan with a non-stick vegetable cooking spray (I omitted this step, however, I did spray the inside of the rice cooker removal bowl)
  2. In a large bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the backing soda and yoghurt. Allow to sit while you prepare the rest of the batter.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs (and vanilla, if used)
  4. In another large bowl, whisk together the flour(s), ground cinnamon, salt (and baking powder, if used)
  5. Combine the banana mixture with the oil mixture and add these to the flour mixture. Stir just until the ingredients are moistened. Pour into the rice cooker removal bowl and tap the bowl gently on the kitchen counter to release air bubbles trapped in the batter.
  6. If baked in the oven, bake for about 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

My Adventure Continues …

The Rice Cooker is not an oven. But the Banana Cake is a Banana Cake and it’s a CAKE! Henceforth, I treated the cake like a cake.

If my first attempt produced a burnt result, then my humble thinking cap says “use a cake tin liner”.

I made double-layered “cake tin liners”, one with a tin foil placed at the base of the removal rice bowl and a parchment paper, placed on top of the aluminium foil. That way, I ensured the cake was “protected” to a maximum. If you must know, baking is not my cup of tea, so I was really thinking and doing things as logical as I saw fit and improvising as I went along 😉

6. RCC#1_banana cake2_lining_before

I poured the batter in the rice bowl and noted the time I started cooking the cake. It was 6.54 pm.

My Rice Cooker must have hit the boiling point after the first 5 minutes and automatically went into the “Keep Warm” mode. It was 6.59 pm. I rested my Rice Cooker for 2 minutes and pressed the “Cooking” button for the second time. After one minute, it went back to the “Keep Warm” mode. This went on, resting for 2 or 3 minutes and pressing “Cooking” 10 times in total. Note, I did NOT press the Cook function forcefully any more. Once bitten, twice shy 🙂

Between the start time from 6.54 pm to 7.31 pm when I took out the cake from the Rice Cooker, it was at 7.29 pm when the lovely smell of the banana cake started breezing in my kitchen. I opened the lid. It was actually cooked, but I went on pressing “Cooking” for the final 10th time.

7. RCC#1_banana cake2_timing

Conclusion: 14 minutes on “Cooking” mode and 23 minutes on “Keep Warm” mode. Total time: 37 minutes.

On hindsight, I should have taken out the cake at 7.29 pm as soon as the banana cake smell whiffed through my nostrils, but I wanted a bit more colour on the cake. Then the correct conclusion would have been 13 minutes on “Cooking mode” with a total time of 35 minutes. Can we then deduce that my 8-cup National Rice Cooker could cook a cake half the time of Miss B’s 5.5-cup Toshiba Rice Cooker?

Perhaps…

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words!

Note I presented the cake, bottom side up because I thought it looked more appetising than the moon crater-lookalike side. Well, if you must know, I’m a crust girl. I LOVE eating the crusts of freshly (yep, must be fresh!) baked cakes, that’s if they are not burnt *wink*

8a. RCC#1_banana cake2_lining_after

8b. RCC#1_banana cake2_results

8c. RCC#1_banana cake2_a

8d. RCC#1_banana cake2

8e. RCC#1_banana cake_j

8f. RCC#1_banana cake2_b

8g. RCC#1_banana cake_i

8h. RCC#1_banana cake2_c

This piece of cake and the entire cake was gone in less than 12 hours! That was the litmus test …

And by the way, I made another RCC! Nope, nothing to do with bananas. I think I’m beginning to understand Ms National *wink*

!! IMPORTANT!!A note of precaution: If your Rice Cooker is not suited for cooking cakes, there is a chance that it will damage the appliance. If such cooking was outside indicated usage of the appliance, it typically violates the warranty, so please be careful before attempting such feat, unless you have a very old Rice Cooker (like mine) and considering buying a new one, in a not-so-distant future, or if you owned more than one Rice Cooker, then do give a shot with one of them.

 

Without a doubt, I am linking this post to the Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #1 – Are You Game for It?  hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders

I am sure when I submitted my first attempt in cooking cakes in a Rice Cooker, a few readers were left with a cliffhanger. So here I am, linking Part 2 of my adventure in Rice Cooker Cakes to Beth Fish ReadsWeekend Cooking

Weekend Cooking

 

Have a fruitful week!

Cheers!

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Comments
  1. Miss B says:

    Brilliant! Are you an engineer by the way? Cos you think like one! Hats off to you for your never-say-die attitude, your perseverance has finally paid off! Your rice cooker cake has such a beautiful golden crust, who would have thought that it was cooked in a 19 year old “Miss National” ? 🙂

  2. Beth F says:

    You are a more persistent person than I am. I’m not sure it’s worth the effort to bake a cake in the rice cooker, BUT I was fascinated to see how you accomplished it. I’m not sure my old cooker would be up to the task.

  3. Nasifriet says:

    Ha ha ha! Thanks Miss B!

    I’m not an Engineer by profession but definitely an Engineer in the kitchen😄

    I think I have found a way to outsmart my 19-year old Miss National. She may be “old” but she’s really reliable . Touch wood!! 😉

  4. Nasifriet says:

    I guess it took a bit of patience here and there, but I’m glad I’ve found a way to outsmart my grand “old” lady. I’ve made a third rice cooker cake and it was the best of the three!!! My younger son was insisting that I cooked a cake in the rice cooker on a weekly basis !!! Let’s see how far I can go….

  5. melharry says:

    Reminds me of your university days that you used to share with us when you come home during semester breaks….the rice cooker cooks all even, tlinga babi…hahaha…..

  6. Nasifriet says:

    Ha ha ha! That’s correct!! You still remember !!! The roommate I was referring to here was Devung..hope she’s doing well..

  7. […] Low-Fat Rice Cooker Banana Cake – My 2nd Attempt […]

  8. Mui says:

    Hi nasfriet,
    I am glad I found out here your rice cooker is a Ms Natinal brand. My Mil’s very old rice cooker is also a Ms National. Hopefully my steamed midnight cake comes out well ;p

    Your banana cake looks moist with the beautiful golden crust. YUM!
    mui

  9. Nasifriet says:

    Bought this in Malaysia before I moved to Belgium 19 yrs ago!!! Had it shipped then and I’ve never used any other RC except my one and only MS National.. Glad your MIL has the same one as mine. I found that 4 or 5 presses on “Cooking” mode are enough. Just let the cake “steamed” on “Keep Warm” mode until you smell the beautiful aroma of a cooked cake. Check if cooked and then flip the cake😄

    Looking forward to your midnight cake, Mui.. Fingers crossed for you all the way from Belgium😉

  10. Ms fm says:

    Thank you so much for your blog that I’m confident enough to dig out my trusty out national RC too and try making one! I’m now in the midst of it 🙂

  11. Nasifriet says:

    Hi Ms fm, Nice to read you. I hope your RC cake turned out well. This post was my 2nd attempt. I have improved on my subsequent attempts considerably with my Pandan cake (3rd RC cake) and Lemon Victoria cake (4th RC cake). Do check the timings on these 2 cakes. They were moist and not dry at all. My 5th RC cake took longer to cook as it was a higher and more dense cake. Have a great weekend!

  12. Ms fm says:

    The banana cake didn’t go too well, it was too moist! Perhaps I had modified the recipe a little in using 100g butter instead of oil and I didn’t use yoghurt as well.

    I’m going to try it again… If I want it to be more fluffy (more like a chiffon cake), should I add in more baking soda/flour?

  13. Nasifriet says:

    Sorry to hear that, but what did you mean by too moist? Was it undercook? If you’re whisking all the ingredients together and using butter, then I think you were using the sponge cake recipe. Please refer to my Sponge cake recipe here..https://nasifriet.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/rice-cooker-pandan-sponge-cake-third-time-lucky/

    This recipe worked perfectly in my 19 going 20-year old RC. I really liked the texture, spongy and moist (in the positive sense) 😊

    For chiffon cake, you need to sift the flour with baking powder at a height to get that airy feel and then measure the flour following a chiffon recipe. Eggs must be at room temperature, separated between yolks and white. The secret to a soft, fluffy cake is the right whisking of the egg white with cream of tartar and sugar. There are lots of chiffon cake recipes on the Internet and most use flavourless oil over butter. Butter may result the cake to be more dense( heavy)..

    BTW, I have not attempted making chiffon cake in my RC. The sponge cake is the closest. The cake is rather light, not dense, like the horlicks cake.

    Finally, baking is unlike cooking. Measurements must be precise when baking, whereas for cooking, you can adjust the ingredients to your liking..

    Good luck on your next try..

  14. Ms fm says:

    Thanks a lot on your helpful tips Nasifriet! It did turn out a lot better on the second time after I followed closely to the measurements 🙂

  15. Nasifriet says:

    Good to know and well done 👍. I hope you like the cake and will continue to make more in the future😉

  16. […] Low-Fat Rice Cooker Banana Cake – My 2nd Attempt #RCC […]

  17. Nina says:

    finally! i’ve been wondering if parchment paper was an option! my Aroma came with a NON non-stick bowl and my first attempt at a marble banana bread stuck and slightly burned. so my next attempt will be with parchment paper. 😀

  18. Nasifriet says:

    Hi Nina, was that your first RC cake? The first one is always a trial and error. I always used parchment paper in my RC cake as I don’t own a fancy rice cooker:-) Good luck in your next bake . Cheers !

  19. Ismael Goulart says:

    Brilliant! I also have a conventional rice cooker and burned my first cake. In the second attempt, I used a cake tin liner and leave it alone. It worked, the cake was very tasty. Thanks a lot!!!

  20. Ismael Goulart says:

    P.S.: Cooking time lasted about 50 minutes.

  21. Nasifriet says:

    You’re welcome. Glad to read your happy end. Cheers!

  22. Eloisa says:

    OMG hahaha!! This is perhaps the funniest post I’ve read about making something out of rice cooker! HAHAH! I will definitely try this one and see if it will fail on my first attempt hehe.

  23. Nasifriet says:

    Hi Eloisa, good to read you. Thanks for leaving your comment 👍🏼. Did I just hear “first attempt”? Erm… Good luck and do let me know if your RCC turned out the way you wanted 😜.

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