Please do me a favor. Walk into your kitchen, get out your electric mixer, and just give it a hug for me. I miss my kitchenaid mixer soooooo much, and have never missed it more than this week when I used a FORK to beat egg whites into soft peaks. A FORK! It’s like I’m living in the dark ages. I tried to find and purchase at least a metal whisk, but in a store that stocks not one but two different sizes of crab leg cracker tool thingies, there was not a whisk to be had. So I was stuck with my fork. All that was missing was a covered wagon and a butter churn.
While you’re in your kitchen, please also just take a moment to look around and appreciate the fact that there aren’t ants worming their way into everything. I have to keep my sugar in the refrigerator to keep the ants from swarming it. On any given night, there’s about a 50/50 chance you’ll find me crawling around our apartment with a head lamp on, searching for the source of the ant problem. I’m clearly on the verge of declaring all out war on these ants; at the very least I’m on the verge of losing my insanity.
On a more fun note, this week Kevin and I celebrated our three-year anniversary! It’s hard to believe that three years ago today, we were sweating profusely on an unusually warm day at the Arboretum in Seattle, celebrating our marriage with our nearest and dearest. Now we’re here, sweating profusely in Thailand. We never saw that coming!
Kevin and I had a fun day celebrating. We started our day with french toast at home, topped with nutella and bananas:
After a quick swim in the pool, we finally tried Ristr8to, Chiang Mai’s fanciest coffee shop. It was like we teleported to a coffee shop in Portland. I had a hot Flat White with single source coffee beans from Brazil, and Kevin had their signature drink, the Ficardie. It came with a mysterious tiny cup of hot water; we’re still not sure what that was for…
We spent the middle part of the day hiding in an air conditioned coffee shop, enjoying lattes and bubble tea and working, because work makes us happy. We finished off our day with a trip to Why Not?, home of the best deal on pepperoni pizza. Trust us, we searched for and found the place with the best Baht per square inch price within walking distance of our apartment.
But the pièce de résistance was something I cooked up in our humble 10-cup rice cooker: a delicious decadent Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It was tasty and wonderful and smelled so heavenly while it was cooking that I almost tore into the rice cooker to eat it right then. Next time I cook it, I’m going to try a couple things: I want to try coconut milk in place of the regular milk, and I want to add about a cup of chopped pineapple into the batter. Read on for the full pineapple upside down cake recipe:
Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Rice Cooker Style
Note: For those of you who only have a rice cooker measuring cup available, which is much smaller than a regular measuring cup, be sure to scale up the cup measurements by a factor of 1.4. I noted in parenthesis the places where this is necessary.
- 1 pineapple, cut into 1/3″ thick rings. (You need enough to cover the bottom of your rice cooker pot. They cook down, so use about 50% more than you think you’ll need!)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar (brown sugar works perfectly too)
- 4 cloves (optional)
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup sugar (just over 1/3 rice cooker cups)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted (just over 1/3 rice cooker cups)
- 1/4 cup milk (just over 1/3 rice cooker cups)
- 1 tsp vanilla (optional – I skipped this because vanilla costs an arm and a leg here!)
- 1 cup flour (1.4 rice cooker cups), I used cake flour and it was fine
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Cook pineapple slices, cinnamon sticks, palm or brown sugar, and cloves in a pan on medium low heat until the liquid bubbles and the pineapple slices are slightly softened, but still firm enough to handle without breaking.
- Turn off the heat and set the pan aside so the pineapple can soak some of that juice back up while you’re making your batter.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the sugar in three batches, whisking between additions to combine.
- One by one, add in egg yolks, melted butter, milk, then vanilla, whisking after each addition to incorporate each ingredient fully before adding the next.
- Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl, then gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Assemble and Bake
- Butter the bottom of your rice cooker pot to prevent that precious pineapple from sticking!
- Place the cooked pineapple rings in a single layer on the bottom of the rice cooker pot. Save the remaining cooking liquid! You’ll want to drizzle it on your cake after it’s finished baking.
- Pour the batter into the pot to completely cover the pineapples.
- Place the pot in your rice cooker and bake for 40 minutes on cake mode. If you don’t have cake mode, regular mode is ok! Just keep your timer handy and check the cake for doneness after about a half hour. If your rice cooker is smaller than 10-cups, it may take longer than 40 minutes to bake. The cake is done when a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the rice cooker pot from the rice cooker, and use the plastic rice spatula to loosen the cake edges from the pot. Then place a plate on the pot opening and bravely flip the pot over onto the plate. If all goes according to plan, the cake should fall right out.
- Drizzle the cake with the reserved pineapple syrup from earlier – you may need to heat it back up on the stovetop to thin it out for drizzling.
- Slice and enjoy! The cake should keep for several days in the refrigerator, if it lasts that long.
We Want to Hear From You!
I’m barely clinging to my sanity with these ant invasions! They come in from a different direction every day. Does anyone have any natural remedies they might suggest for getting rid of these pests? I’m a little nervous about buying ant spray since I can’t read Thai – I would prefer to not accidentally poison Kevin and myself. Any tips would be lovely! (Mom, if only I had access to that ant poison you used to use that was banned in the early 70s… sprinkle some of that on our balcony and we’d be all set!)