Have you seen our recipe for the Chocolate ‘Peekaboo’ Pear Cake? This chocolate and pear cake has become our standard chocolate cake recipe. Even when we don’t have any pears at hand, the chocolate base is our favourite chocolate cake! It’s not a surprise that we wanted to make this cake on our road… Vegan On Board proudly presents … the Vegan Chocolate and Pear Pressure Cooker Cake!
Pressure Cooker Cake
Baking cake in the pressure cooker is an awesome way to make cake when you don’t have an oven. Don’t you also sometimes just get those cravings for cake? If not, you are crazy. Just crazy. Last year we decided we don’t have to live with the cake cravings and ventured out to find a way to make cake in our camper van.
The pressure cooker is our best friend in the camper van kitchen anyway. Everything cooks so quickly! It is truly amazing. We also use our pressure cooker when we’re at home. We were very pleased to find out it can also serve to make cake! Not exactly like an oven. It acts more like a steamer. But the result is the same. Cake! Not sure if the pressure cooker was ever intended to be used this way. But hey, who cares, we got cake! Right?
Also check out our Banana And Chocolate Pressure Cooker Cake!
How To Make It
Our Chocolate and Pear Pressure Cooker Cake uses slightly less fat than most cake recipes call for. Yet another good thing about this cake, eh? We usually use vegetable oil (or even olive oil) when baking cake in the van. It works just as well, while often requiring smaller quantities. It also doesn’t have to be refrigerated, and we don’t have to buy an extra product.
So to bake this cake, we only use ingredients that are staples in our food cupboards - flour, sugar, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, baking powder, a small amount of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Vinegar is often used in vegan cakes to aid the rising. These days, we bake so much cake and bread in the van, we tend to carry a 5 kilogram bag of flour in the boot, so we hardly ever run out. We only need to buy a couple of pears and we are ready to bake our delicious Chocolate and Pear Pressure Cooker Cake 🙂
Cut the pear for the cake into wedges, removing the stalk and core bits. For our normal ‘Peekaboo’ pear cake, we like to let the whole pears stick out of the cake, which gives the the cake its name. However in the campervan using the pressure cooker to bake a cake, this just wasn’t very practical. So we now use the pears sliced.
To mix the batter, we start by dissolving the sugar in hot water, also adding in the oil and vinegar. While the sugar dissolves, we combine the rest of the ingredients, safe the pears. We often do this in the bowl we later use as the cake tin to steam in the pressure cooker. Less washing up! The cake still comes out fine when it’s cooked.
Stir the wet mix into the dry ingredients. If necessary, pour the smooth batter into the bowl you are steaming the cake in. Make sure this bowl fits on a trivet inside the pressure cooker so the lid still closes! Now come the pears. Lay the slices of pear in a star shape on top of the cake. If you have left over slices, you can gently sink them into the batter.
Pressure Cooking the Cake
To prepare the pressure cooker for steaming the Chocolate and Pear Pressure Cooker Cake, fill it with the minimum required amount of water, or about 2.5 cm deep. Set the trivet (normally used in combination with the steaming basket) into the pressure cooker, and lower the cake bowl onto it. Close the lid of the pressure cooker. I hope you did check earlier it still fits 😉
Finally, the magic of pressure cooking can begin! Set the pressure cooker on high pressure setting and begin to cook on high heat. Wait for the steam to rise and the pressure to build up. Once the pressure valve seals, pressure cook for 15 minutes.
Before we turn the heat down, we now usually continue to cook on high heat for a bit longer, or until the safety valve begins to release some steam. This is to make sure that high pressure can build up properly and be maintained for the rest of the cooking time. When cooking cakes in the pressure cooker, we have experienced that the pressure can drop again after a few minutes.
After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and wait for the pressure to release naturally. This is the hardest bit… just a few more minutes… It’s done! Take the lid off, and admire the beauty of tasty cake you have made in the pressure cooker! Amazing, right?
Enjoy it while it's warm
Sometimes (and despite prolonged cooking time) you can end up with a bit in the center of the cake that looks a bit more liquid and gooey. This is just some excess liquid from the pears, especially if a lot of the fruit converges at one spot. Don’t worry, that’s not a problem! This bit will firm up as the cake cools down. Or you choose to eat it while it’s hot, and enjoy it almost as a chocolate lava cake 😀
This Chocolate and Pear Pressure Cooker Cake is our favourite cake to make in the van. I’ll leave you to look at some gorgeous pictures of this yummy beauty of a desert.
Chocolate & Pear Pressure Cooker Cake
- ¾ cup (95 g) plain flour
- 1 ½ tsp (1.5 tsp) baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- ¾ tsp instant coffee powder
- 4 tbsp (60 g) cocoa powder
- ½ cup (100 g) sugar
- 140 ml hot water
- 35 ml oil
- ¾ tsp (¾ tsp) vinegar
- 1 pear
- Wash the pears. Remove the core and slice.
- mix all dry ingredients except sugar: flour, baking powder, salt, coffee powder, cocoa.
- Mix sugar with the hot water, oil and vinegar until the sugar is dissolved.
- Mix wet ingredients with dry ingredients.
- Pour into a heat-proof bowl that fits inside the pressure cooker on the trivet. Place pears evenly in the cake mixture. You can make nice patterns or let them stick out. Be creative 🙂
- Cover the base of the pressure cooker with two centimeters water (or the minimum required by your pressure cooker). Insert cake bowl.
- Put lid on and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.
I have to go now. There’s a big piece of Chocolate and Pear Pressure Cooker Cake waiting for me 😀
Lots of mmh...nomhpf...love,
Paul & Sophie