Saturday, October 22, 2016

Instant Pot Apple Cake (for 6 inch wide 2" high pan)

The original recipe is from Adventures from a Nurse. I haven't really modified it that much.

It's just that it calls for a 7" springform pan and I don't have one; it calls for salted caramel icing and I didn't want that, and it calls for "creaming butter and sugar and eggs" together which requires a food processor and I don't have that, either.

So I reduced the recipe, but I couldn't just halve it, because I had a 6" (non-springform) pan. And when you 3/4 a recipe that calls for 2 eggs, you have to get creative.

I tried this multiple times with several renditions of ingredients and ingredient amounts before I came up with the perfect apple bread for me. However it does owe heavily to her recipe--I can't stress that enough. I didn't come up with this and I never could have, not on my own.

So: my version of this goes like so:
Two slices from the entire apple cake. 

Wet Mix:
3 C. apples, peeled, cored, and cubed* (about 315 g)
5 T. unsalted butter**
1/4 C. turbinado raw sugar
2 egg whites (92 g)
1 T vanilla
2 tsp apple pie spice

Dry Mix:
1/2 C. stevia blend***
3/4 C. all purpose unbleached white flour (120 g)
1/2 C. oat flour (80g)****
1 1/2 tsp baking powder (low sodium if desired)
1/4 tsp salt (KCl if desired)

Ingredient notes:
*I didn't peel my apples. I know all the arguments against using the peel, but it comes down to, "I'm lazy" and, "the heat of cooking will denature most artificial chemicals." Also, honeycrisp apples or other hard, sweet apples will do well in this recipe. Don't use a soft eating apple like Gala, or if you do, reduce the cooking time because otherwise you might as well use applesauce. In addition, the smaller you cube the apples, the denser the bread gets. The larger you cube the apples, the more the bread falls apart. So, do as you like between the two extremes and see what appeals to you.

** If you use salted butter, don't add the salt. If you use unsalted butter, add the salt.

*** usually says somewhere prominent on the package "measures cup for cup like sugar" or "great for baking". If you don't want to use stevia, use all regular sugar and add it all to the wet mix. The only reason the stevia is down here in the dry mix is, due to the powdery characteristics of it, it just works better.

**** The weight is important. If you don't have a balance or scale, make the oat flour "rounded." It's lighter than regular flour and you won't get enough in if you use a precise 1/2 C. I like oat flour but you can use regular flour instead if you want. Oat flour is made by putting old-fashioned rolled oats into a food processor or mixer and pulsing till you get flour; or, in my case, you ask your mom to use her flour mill while you're not there (sound-sensitivities is why I don't own a food processor to begin with).

Melt the butter in a big mixing bowl. Cube the apples while you're waiting for it to melt. Add the turbinado raw sugar and the cubed apples and mix with a spoon or fork. Once you've mixed enough so that the butter has cooled down a bit, add the egg whites. (Otherwise you'll cook them.) Add the vanilla and the apple pie spice and mix. 

In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. If you add them in the order of the ingredient list, the heavier flour will keep the light stevia blend from puffing up into the room/your face. (Add carefully, however--don't dump the flour onto the stevia from five feet up, say.)

Give the wet mix one last mix and add the dry into it. The batter will be extremely dense and stiff. I use a dough whisk for mine; a regular whisk will not help you. A wooden long-handled spoon would probably work. 

Spray the inside of your 6" pan. It needs to be about 2 inches deep. (You can find pans like these at craft stores usually. The link leads to an Amazon Smile page which appears to have the exact pans I got from Michaels'.) Cut a 6" parchment paper circle to fit the bottom of the pan. Put it on top of the sprayed oil and then spray the circle, too. Then put the dough in; squish it down. The dough will fill it to the top.

Cover the pan with something metal. I use aluminum foil but I know many people will not want to. It needs to be metal so that it not only keeps the condensation from the top of the pressure cooker from dropping into the cake, but it also will conduct heat against the dough and cook this part more nicely. In a pinch, you don't have to cover it at all. 

Put 1 C of water into a 6 quart Instant Pot Pressure Cooker. (I think an 8 qt uses 1.5 C as minimum liquid.) Put the trivet on the bottom with the handles up. Put the (covered) pan onto the trivet so the handles of the trivet are still accessible. (Or otherwise rig the pan so you can get it out afterwards.)

Set for manual high pressure for 70 minutes. Do natural pressure release. (The original recipe says quick release. I never did it that way, having overlooked that part. I like natural release better anyway because it doesn't make as much noise.)

Put a plate, bigger than the cake pan, on top of the uncovered cake pan. Flip them both. The cake will slide out of the cooking pan and sit nicely on your plate, ready to be eaten or have icing applied if you so desire. (I think it's good without icing.)

Cover with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge if you don't eat it all. Warm up a piece to eat it, preferably, although it can be eaten cold.

There you have it. One apple cake.
medium sized cubes were used, according to my personal idea of "tiny, small, medium, and huge" apple cubes

Made exactly as described above (weights and including sodium substitutions; no icing), the nutrition information is:
1 serving = 1/8 of the cake
Calories: 177
Fat 7.4 g
Carbs 24.6 g
Protein 3.7 g
Sodium 25.8 mg
Potassium 138.8 mg