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Month: October 2017

Countertop Blender Vs Immersion Blender

Blenders are found in almost all modern kitchens nowadays. Two basic types of blenders are available in the market: countertop blenders and immersion blenders. Both the types are very useful kitchen tools which come in handy when performing so many of our day to day kitchen tasks. Pureeing baby food, making smoothies, soups, sauces, dips and dressings has become so simple with these blenders. If you are planning to buy a blender for yourself, the first question that comes to mind is whether you should buy a countertop blender or an immersion blender. Both types have their pros and cons. You need to make a decision according to your preferences.

Let’s consider the distinguishing features to make your decision easier.

Capacity:

With countertop blenders, you cannot blend more than the capacity of the blender jar. If you want to blend larger capacities, you will have to repeat the task with separate batches. There is no such limitation with immersion blender since you can immerse the blender in any pot or container of your choice depending on the amount of liquid you want to blend. With immersion blenders you will not have to blend in batches even if you have large amounts of liquids to process.

Storage space:

Immersion blenders take very little space in your kitchen; they can even be hung from wall hangers. This makes these types of blenders a suitable choice for people with smaller kitchens. Countertop blenders, on the other hand, take more countertop space than immersion blenders.

Power of the motor:

Countertop blenders generally come with greater powers than immersion blenders. This means they can handle tougher jobs as compared to immersion blenders. Immersion blenders are only suitable for processing liquids and ‘soft’ foods like cooked vegetables and soft fruits. Good quality countertop blenders can handle harder foods. Some countertop blenders also come with ice-crushing capabilities.

Cleanup:

Immersion blenders are easier to clean as they do not have the additional jar and lid that requires cleaning as is the case with countertop blenders. Immersion blender buyer’s guide & many more can helps you in understanding all these basics. However, they can cause food splattering in the surroundings because they do not blend food in a sealed container as is the case with countertop blenders. Countertop blenders, although a bit difficult to clean than immersion blenders, at least save the surroundings from getting messy.

Blending hot liquids:

Probably the biggest advantage of an immersion blender is its capability to blend hot liquids right in the pan. This makes them an ideal choice for making soups. With countertop blenders, you have to wait for the liquid to cool down, transfer it to the blender jar, blend it, transfer it back and reheat it. Some high-end countertop blenders come with the capability of blending hot liquids.

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How to make cake in a pressure cooker

Pressure cookers are a very useful and popular tool in a modern kitchen mainly because of its fast cooking and versatility. If you are thinking your pressure cooker is just for making soups, stews and steamed vegetables, you are wrong! There is so much more your pressure cooker can do. If you have not done a lot of research chances are you are using it to only a fraction of its full tendency. Do you know you can also make desserts using your pressure cooker? Even the simple stovetop pressure cookers can make exceptional desserts! Rice pudding, cheesecake, baked apples and bread pudding are only some of the examples. You can try much more!

Pressure cookers are used for this purpose by many users, especially those who do not own an oven. Once they start using their pressure cooker for baking, and see the results it produces, they no longer feel the need to buy an oven. Why waste money on something so expensive when their pressure cooker can do the same job with the same level of expertise?

What size is best for a pressure cooker?

Use a medium sized pressure cooker for baking your chocolate cake. 5 liters is a suitable size but bigger pressure cookers work fine as well. You will have to adjust the temperature and the cooking time according to the size of the pressure cooker that you choose.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make cake in your pressure cooker:

  1.    If this is the first time you are using your pressure cooker for baking, choose a simple cake recipe. I made a simple chocolate cake in my pressure cooker the first time I tried.
  2.    Prepare the batter as the recipe suggests. There is no difference in the recipe used. Same oven recipe works perfectly for pressure cooker as well. Once you have your batter ready, set it aside.
  3.    Remove the rubber gasket from the lid of your pressure cooker. This is because you do not want to seal the cooker to build pressure in it as you are not adding any water.
  4.    Some pressure cookers come with a metal stand that is placed at the bottom of the cooking pot. The purpose is to distribute heat more evenly inside the pressure cooker and is especially useful while baking. If your pressure cooker did not come with this stand, you can use a steel plate. If you cannot find one, gather some medium sized flat stones from your backyard, place them evenly on the base of your pressure cooker. It should do the job.
  5.    Before baking your cake, you need to preheat the cooker just like you do for oven. Place the lid (without the gasket) back on the cooker with only the steel stand (or its equivalent) inside. Turn the flame on and let it cook on high heat for 2 minutes.
  6.    The cake batter which is already ready and poured in a greased cake pan can now be placed inside the cooker on top of the steel stand. Make sure that the sides of the cake pan should not touch the walls of the cooker.
  7.    Close the lid and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes, then turn the flame to very low and let cook for 45 minutes to one hour, checking it at appropriate intervals to avoid overcooking.

Follow these simple steps and your cake will turn out as good as it would in an oven. If you are buying one with baking purpose also in your mind, choose pressure cooker of a good size that is not too small for your cake pan.

 

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