Meg steps into the SoraKitchen, and steps back out with a strawberry shortcake in record time.

Recently, our Japanese-language reporter Meg found herself craving something sweet. If it were still the middle of winter, she could have gone out and buried the ingredients for pudding in the snow and let the sub-zero temperatures do the rest, but since it’s almost summer, this time she had to do the work herself.

But luckily she figured out a way to enjoy a home-made dessert without working too hard. Meg decided to make a strawberry shortcake, but instead of using an oven, she used her rice cooker.

▼ Which technically makes it a “cake cooker” too.

Meg’s ingredient list was incredibly short, consisting of:
● 200 grams (7.1 ounces) pancake mix
● 3 eggs
● 70 milliliters (2.4 ounces) soy milk (regular milk can also be used)
● One can of whipped cream
● Strawberries

First, Meg chilled the soy milk and eggs, to ensure maximum fluffiness in the finished product. Once they were nice and cold, she took them out of the refrigerator and combined them in a bowl, mixing well. Next, she added in the pancake mix, using an electric mixer until the mixture had a smooth, even consistency.

Then, she put a cooking sheet into the pot of her rice cooker and poured the mixture in, giving the pot a series of shakes and taps so that the batter was flat and level on top.

Then she placed the pot into the rice cooker, poured in two small drinking glasses’ worth of water, put on the lid, and hit the switch to start the standard rice-cooking cycle.

About a half-hour later, with the sweetly enticing scent of fresh-baked cake drifting from her ricer cooker, Meg removed the lid and gazed happily down at her handiwork.

Measuring 18 centimeters (7.1 inches) in diameter, the sponge cake looked like something out of beloved Japanese children’s picture book Guri and Gura. Meg stuck a toothpick into the cake to double-check that it had cooked through to the center, and after it came out clean, she lifted the pot out of the rice cooker and slid the cake out.

▼ She also took a moment to sketch some Guri and Gura fan art.

As much as Meg love sweets, she doesn’t have the same superhuman appetite as some of our other writers, and so she abstemiously sliced off a section to use for her personal-sized strawberry shortcake.

Then all that was left for Meg to do was add a few swirls of whipped cream, slice and arrange her strawberries, and, since she’s super-fancy, sprinkle on some silver dragées that she happened to have in her kitchen.

Unlike a conventional oven, a rice cooker doesn’t need to be pre-heated, and Meg estimates that saved her about 30 minutes, which can feel like an eternity when your sweet tooth is demanding satisfaction. So now that she knows her rice cooker can be used to create both breakfasts and desserts, she’s looking forward to it making her first and last meal of the day delicious whenever she doesn’t feel like doing “real” cooking.

Photos ©SoraNew24
[ Read in Japanese ]