Ah, spring, when a young cook’s fancy turns to… sweets. As the mercury rises, your instinct as a cook will be to keep that oven off. And you’re right; why raise the temperature of your home, using tons of energy and making everyone break a sweat?
You’re not relegated to ice cream (homemade or not!), though, when it’s hot outside. May we direct you to the secret weapon for sweet tooths? Say “Hi” to your Instant Pot, and to our cookbook devoted to helping you make IP desserts.
Cool as a cucumber, sitting over there on your counter, the IP may be your go-to for braises and fast weeknight meals, but it’s also a ninja in the dessert game. Anyone who bakes frequently knows it’s somewhat more of a science than an art. Your humidity matters, as does the heat of your stove or the water temperature in your bain-marie. Because electric pressure cookers specialize in creating precise, high-moisture, pressurized environments, they are ideal for otherwise tetchy, is-it-done recipes. Think about the last time you had to examine a butter knife trying to figure out if you had a “moist crumb” and whether that banana bread was done. Stop! This book is $3.99, and it includes the banana chocolate chip bread recipe you need. (Especially if “Heck, no, I’m not turning on that drat stove!”)
What else can you do with your Instant Pot? It makes otherworldly cheesecake that is unbelievably moist and light, and maybe some of the best you’ve had. You can make rice pudding (and fast), monkey bread, carrot cake, multiple awesome Bundts, coffee cakes, key lime pie, pots de crème, apple crisp, toffee pudding, lemon curd, hot fudge sauce, and more.
To serve these decadent cakes unmolded, invert a plate over each ramekin, flip the plate and ramekin together, and then give the ramekin a tap to release the cake onto the plate. Add a few raspberries to each plate along with the cream.
• 1/2 cup (4 oz/113 g) unsalted butter
• 1 cup (6 oz/170 g) semisweet chocolate chips
• 2/3 cup (5 oz/140 g) sugar
• 2 large whole eggs plus 2 large yolks
• 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• 3 Tbs. Dutch-process cocoa powder
• 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
• 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
• 2 cups (16 fl oz/475 ml) water
• Whipped cream, for serving
Lightly spray five 4-oz (115 g) ramekins with nonstick cooking spray, then dust with sugar. Combine the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl, place over (not touching) simmering water in a saucepan, and heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat, whisk in the sugar until dissolved, and then whisk in the whole eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Sift the cocoa powder, flour, and salt over the chocolate mixture, then fold in gently until no dry streaks remain. Divide evenly among the prepared ramekins. Cover each ramekin with aluminum foil, crimping the edges.
Pour the water into the Instant Pot® and insert the steam rack. If using an 8-quart Instant Pot®, place the ramekins in a single layer on the rack. If using a 6-quart Instant Pot®, place 4 ramekins on the rack and stack the fifth one on top in the center. Lock the lid in place and turn the valve to Sealing. Press the Pressure Cook button and set the cook time for 10 minutes at high pressure.
Let the steam release naturally for 5 minutes, then turn the valve to Venting to quick-release any residual steam. Carefully remove the lid and transfer the cakes to a cooling rack. Remove the foil and let cool for 5 minutes.
Serve warm plated or in the ramekins, topped with whipped cream. Serves five.