Bake Cake in a Portable Rice Cooker?
Baking cake in a rice cooker? Can you do it. Can it even be done? Would you try? Read on and Learn how =>
For many modern Chinese it’s not a question of would they do it but rather how to do it. Many Chinese do not have conventional Western ovens. However they do have rice cookers. Here’s the problem that needs a solution: how do you make a cake using a rice cooker instead of a western oven. Look ==>
Rice is the staple ingredient for the Chinese so all homes have at least one, if not two, rice cookers
Enter the age of UgaUga
Each kit comes with a small foil pan sized to fit inside the cooker, a packet of dry ingredients, decorations and special tools for making the cake in less than 20 minutes after adding eggs and oil.
Uga means “cake” in Hebrew. And although Uga Uga does not have a direct translation into Chinese, the developer of the cake mix, Ronen Mechanik, says that the Chinese just fell in love with the name
UgaUga kits are sold online in China in three flavors: Chocolate & Nuts Brownie Crush; Classic Chocolate Must Have; and Vanilla Berry Scandal. Cheesecake and fruitcake are coming soon.
The mixes were adapted not only for rice cookers but also for the Chinese palate, which likes a less sweet flavor profile than in the West.
Mechanik says Chinese consumers have been flooding social media with photos and clips of the UgaUga cakes they baked for special dates, birthdays and holidays. Some 4,000 kits have been sold so far, even before any formal marketing campaign.
Mechanik says more and more cake shops are opening in China.
“All we’ve done is enable them to make cakes in their own kitchen for the first time. We’re not saving the world but we can make you a cake hero and connect you with other people because when you share a cake it makes a bigger impact than buying a present.”
Four years ago, Israeli Ronen Mechanik, sent his Chinese friend Piu Piu a photo of an elaborate birthday cake he had baked for his son’s sixth birthday.
Piu, impressed, asked Mechanik to send her the recipe. But because the Chinese don’t generally bake cakes at home, Piu had a hard time finding the necessary ingredients, and it took a while to order them online. When, finally, she was ready to go, she and Mechanik realized there was one more critical missing component: an oven. Piu didn’t have one, and none of her friends or neighbors had one either.
A Friend in Need
Trying to help, Mechanik suggested Piu might use her rice cooker. So Mechanik, then prepared a mix of all the dry ingredients necessary for the cake and sent it to Piu by post, along with baking instructions.
Using a rice cooker means you use 15% less electricity than when using a conventional oven. And it bakes in less than 20 minutes. Although, ‘bake’ may not be the proper culinary expression of this technique. It uses a combination of steam in the chamber and makes this cake very moist.
The cake kits come in three flavors: chocolate with chocolate cream; brownie with white chocolate coins, and vanilla cake with strawberry cream and dried berries. There are more in the pipeline, based on customer demand, like green-tea cake with red beans and cheesecake.
What Do You Get?
The kits come with a disposable aluminum mold that fits into the rice cooker, so the appliance does not smell or taste of chocolate after use and does not have to be cleaned.
Each kit comes with cake powder along with other ingredients, like chocolate cream squeeze bags and candy toppings. The mix contains no preservatives or chemicals ingredients.
The baking process entails mixing the ingredients in the aluminum tray — powder, eggs, oil — and then steaming it in the rice cooker.
“We leave a lot of space for creativity,” Mechanik said. “The users bake the cakes: they add the oil and the eggs. Some of our users have added marshmallows to the cakes, another person put cream cheese in the middle and an avocado on top. We allow the Chinese customer to make their own cakes. We just provide the basics. Then they share the pictures of their cakes on social media, and that is how our product becomes viral,” he said.
“The kits have been prepared carefully, catering to the tastes of the Chinese. This means they tend to be less sweet than a typical western cake mix. While the initial marketing targeted mainland china, this idea will rapidly spread to america. Places like student dorms, for example, are a perfect growth area due to regulatory restrictions on appliances.
We have not, as yet, had the opportunity to test this product. It is a little difficult to acquire. But it was so cool, we felt we should share it with our audience.
We are awaiting delivery and once we receive it, and test it, we will share the results.
Currently, UgaUga has no patent on the cooking method, though the company’s name and its products are protected.
“But there is so much room” in China, he said. If other manufacturing companies jump in and help spread the message that rice cookers are not just for rice, “it will be better for us” as they will create even more awareness among potential consumers. “The best protection is to be the best and to keep innovating and talk to customers about what they want.