For those of us who love to bake, Japan’s lack of full-size ovens for domestic use is somewhat of a downer. But never fear, readers! You can make cakes, bread, pastries and all manner of delicious things in your rice cooker!
I have a wonderful cook book called Make Delicious Sweets and Fluffy Bread in Your Rice Cooker (『炊飯器でおいしいお菓子とふっくらパン』), which you may have seen at orientation. It’s available for only 890 yen on amazon.co.jp. All the recipes are in Japanese, and the only English in the book is the translations of the names of the cakes. “But I don’t read Japanese well enough to cook!” you may fret. Well, today, it is my pleasure to share with you my translation (and notes!) for “Apple Nuts Cake” (pp. 6-7).
Click the link for the recipe!
EBATA Kumiko (江端久美子). “Apple Nuts Cake.” 『炊飯器でおいしいお菓子とふっくらパン』: pp. 6-7.
An apple is delicious when fresh, but when the atmosphere changes with the onset of colder days, you start to want something more substantial, like warm, tender baked apples. When you eat one whole baked apple that’s been cooked well and has the sweet scent of apple pie, it’s as if even your feelings have become warm. I wanted to eat this kind of cake during that kind of cold winter. Don’t forget the nuts! Try them together with the flavor of the apple.
3 eggs (tamago 卵)
80 g granulated sugar (guranyuu tou グラニュー糖)
150 g cake flour (hakurikiko 薄力粉)*
5 g (1 teaspoon) of baking powder (behkingu paudaa [ベーキングパウダー)**
1 tsp. cinnamon (shinamon シナモン)
40 g unsalted butter*** (muenbataa 無塩バター)
1 small apple (about 100 g)
60 g (net weight) of walnuts (about 1/2 cup) (kurumi くるみ)
Glaze: 2 tablespoons of sugar
3 tablespoons of water
- Mix the eggs and sugar. In a bowl, beat the eggs. Add the sugar and mix well with a whisk until the sugar is mixed in.
- Add the dry ingredients and butter. Mix flour, baking powder, and cinnamon together in a separate bowl, then sift the mixture into the egg and flour mixture. With a plastic bowl scraper, mix the batter from the bottom of the bowl. When the flour is mixed in, add the softened butter.
- Prepare the apple and the nuts. Wash the apple and cut into 8 pieces, remove the stem and seeds and cut into 5 mm slices. Roast the walnuts in a frying pan over low heat until brown(er) and fragrant, then chop small pieces. Add the apple slices and chopped walnuts to the batter.
- Set the rice cooker. Remove the bowl of the rice cooker and grease the inside of the bowl with butter. Pour in the batter and set the bowl back into the rice cooker. Make sure it’s flat and level. Close the lid and press the 炊飯 (cook rice) button.
- It’s done! When the switch goes off, hit stop and open the lid. Check the cake by inserting a toothpick or knife into the center. If it comes out clean, it’s done. If it’s not done, close the lid and press the cook rice button again. (Note: my cakes usually need two rounds of cooking to get done.) Flip the cake out of the bowl onto a cooking rack (use oven mitts!) and, while it’s still hot, paint the syrup on with a baking brush. Let cool.
Baking time: 15-30 min.
Leah is a first-year CIR in Anamizu. This recipe was her gateway drug into the seedy world of rice-cooker baking. She now runs the Ishikawa JET Cookbook Project.
*On a multi-purpose measuring cup, look for the measurements for 薄力粉 when measuring. This is a “weak” flour, or wheat flour of low viscosity.
**You can find this in stores (even in the Noto), but if you want a good deal, get it on Foreign Buyer’s Club.
*** I recommend Hokkaido Brand butter. It comes in a yellow and red package and has fine lines to mark every 10 g of butter. So much easier!