Peanut Butter & Dutch Ovens
When condensing your life into a 12 square meter space, it’s inevitable that you will have to make some compromises and question even the ‘essentials.’ As a regular home cook, a proper stove is something I have always considered necessary, but is it really? I have seen many tiny home dwellers go without, only using a two or three stovetop burner to prepare their meals. That said, there are limits to what can be prepared stove top style, and baked goods are one of the trickier edibles to adapt. Nonetheless, I have decided to give it a go now, so that I can make an educated decision later.
I have been using a small camp stove once or twice a week for about a month now with no major dramas. I have also been familiarising myself with our Dutch Oven, mainly because I’m a lazy cook and one pot style is typically my go-to. Admittedly this is hardly a challenge and certainly doesn’t clarify whether I will have to give up birthday cakes and breakfast muffins. Therefore last Saturday I finally found the time to give a stove top cake a whirl.
I had attempted to find a specific stove top recipe to ensure a success, but as I wasn’t interested in cobbler or pineapple cake, the choices were limited so I gave up. (Fear not though! The recipes are out there, and I do plan to test some of these soon.)
I had, on the other hand, been itching to try Molly Yeh’s ‘Party Trick Peanut Butter Cake.’ (Reason being that I have a mild peanut butter obsession, and to bake it in a cake sounded like the ants pants.) Decision made, I resolved that I would just make it as directed, but pop the cake tin in the Dutch Oven to cook.
All was going well until dad walked in about 5 minutes into the ‘baking’ and pointed out that it probably wasn’t ideal to use a pot which has been countlessly used for all kinds of savouries to bake sweets; his concern being that it would permeate the cake with the taste of onion and garlic. I reconsidered and decided that I would try to steam it in a bamboo steamer.
Let’s just say it turned out a little less than perfect, BUT, tasted oh-so-very-good. (I have only love for Molly Yeh’s ‘Molly on the Range’- it is my absolute favourite recipe book and I have had nothing but success- weird peanut butter cake and all.) However, sadly this was not a recipe road test. It was a stove top baking experiment, and considering I ended up baking the cake in the oven, I think it is fair to say that this wasn’t a roaring success.
All the same, I remain optimistic and see a delicious future ahead!
Though next time I think I will test a proper stovetop recipe, I’m thinking a Chinese Steam Cake could be a good choice.