Electric Lunchbox #27: Coffee Flan

I love flans! If you’ve been following my posts, you’ll realize that I have a few recipes for flan already. But this flan is mildly coffee flavored so I just had to share it in case you’re like me and love coffee too! 😊

This is what happens when you don’t chill the flan enough before unmolding! 😂

As you can see from the photo, I wasn’t patient enough to wait for it to cool much before unmolding and so my photo was a disaster. It still tasted great but looked not very appetizing. I wanted to show that oops moment often happens while developing and testing recipes!

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

Caramel:

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon water

A couple of drops of lime juice

Flan:

2 eggs

1 1/3 cups milk

2 teaspoons instant coffee

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3 tablespoons sugar

Place all caramel ingredients in the bottom bowl of the Itaki Pro (or medium bowl of the Itaki Jumbo). Heat over low flame until it caramelizes. Set on a heat safe surface and let cool.

Meanwhile, mix flan ingredients in a small bowl and beat to combine and melt the sugar. Pour over the caramelized sugar and cover with foil.

Place 2 Itaki cups if water in the base, place the flan in and cover. Steam until it shuts off, about 40 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and chill in the refrigerator until cold. Run a knife along the edge and place a plate on top of the bowl. Invert the bowl onto the plate carefully to release the flan.

You can serve this over shaved ice and drizzle top with espresso.

Electric Lunchbox #26: Shoyu Chicken

Back to my beloved Japanese dishes! This is another recipe that I got from when I worked at Brentwood UCLA. I love making this dish on the stove as you just place everything in a pot and let it boil away till done. Dinner is ready!

On the stove the sauce gets to thicken and caramelize but it doesn’t in the Itaki. If you want a thicker sauce, stir in a teaspoon of cornstarch with the water and soy sauce at the beginning. Or you could boil the sauce on the stove and then add it to your bowl when it has reduced some then continue with the recipe.

*Please note that the word “cup” in any of my electric lunchbox recipe refers to the little itaki cup included with the lunchbox. It holds 40ml.*

1 boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1 clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon sake

2 cups Japanese rice

2 cups water

3 cups water for the base

Green onions, to serve

In the bottom bowl, mix together chicken, water, soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, and sake. *You can reduce the soy sauce and water if you want a less watery dish.*

In the smaller top bowl, place rice and rinse a couple of times. Drain and add 2 cups water. Set on top of the bottom bowl.

Place both bowls on the Itaki base and add 3 cups water to the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes. Check chicken for doneness, adding 1/2 to 1 cup water more to the base if necessary.

Carefully remove bowls from the base and stir the Shoyu Chicken, adjust seasoning if needed. Sprinkle with green onions. Fluff rice and serve!

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Electric Lunchbox #25: Vanilla Cake

Another recipe request from Facebook that I was happy to make.

A plain vanilla cake is the perfect canvas for any flavor of sugar frosting you like, a chocolate ganache topping, or simply served with sweet fresh fruits or berries. Since I love chocolate frosting, I used a plain chocolate frosting.

Feel free to use any flavor that you like to customize it to your taste. Of course, we all know that sprinkles makes the cake look extra festive too!

This is perfect for a small celebration, as a sweet reward, or just to serve something sweet to end dinner!

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 Itaki cups water for the base

1. Whisk together the egg, sugar, vanilla, melted butter, and milk until blended. Sift in flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until combined but do not over mix.

2. Spray the big Itaki bowl (or the medium Itaki Jumbo bowl) with nonstick spray.

3. Pour batter in and smooth top. Cover with foil and place in the electric lunchbox base.

4. Pour 3 Itaki cups of water in the base. Cover and let it steam until it shuts iff, about 55 minutes.

5. Carefully open the lunchbox and remove the bowl to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

6. Run a knife along the edge to release the cake. Invert onto a plate. Frost or serve with fruits or berries, as desired.

Electric Lunchbox #24: Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding

I have been craving a lot of desserts lately and kept testing them out in the Itaki. I think I am not the only one that can devour a dessert meant for several people all by myself. This is where the Itaki comes in handy. Portion Control! Or so I’d like to think, as the desserts I make tend to be enough for 2-3 servings but I still am likely to eat it all, specially the not-too-bad failures during the recipe development and testing phase.

So Itaki bread pudding was made! I added chocolate chips because I had some, but you could add anything you like to have in a bread pudding. Or even omit it completely for a plain version. I added instructions for a cinnamon raisin one below.

Although I miss the golden brown, crispy edges of the baked version, I think this is a pretty good substitute for when you just want a small serving of bread pudding quick and without heating up the oven. I might try using my torch if i have left overs next time.

Serve warm, or cold, as is, or garnished with whipped cream, or go all out and add a scoop of ice cream. Whatever makes you happy! I know I am surely going to be in a good mood after I have my dessert! 😊

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup*

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Pinch of salt

1 tablespoon melted butter

100 grams (3-4 slices) bread, cut into 1 inch cubes or smaller

1/3 cup chocolate chips

3 Itaki cups water for the base, about 50 minutes

Beat egg in the bottom Itaki bowl (or the medium Itaki Jumbo bowl if you are cooking a full meal). Add milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and butter. Mix well.

Add the bread and stir until all cubes are coated with the milk mixture. Let it absorb for a few minutes. Add chocolate chips and stir again. There should be just a little liquid left in the bottom of the bowl.

Cover with foil and place in the base. Add 3 cups water to the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 50 minutes.

Carefully remove from the lunchbox and let cool. You can serve this warm or cold.

Variations:

Cinnamon Raisin: replace the chocolate chips with raisins. Add 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the sugar.

Peanut Butter Jelly: replace chocolate chips with peanut butter chips. Serve with a side or drizzle of grape jelly.

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Electric Lunchbox #23: Pineapple Chicken

A special request from Lu Gram! I hope this meets your expectations!

I have recently noticed a couple of readers who truly appreciate my work with the Electric Lunchbox and have granted a recipe request from them. This Pineapple Chicken is from a fellow Electric Lunchbox member Lu Gram, who did make my whole week with a very kind comment made regarding my blog. I truly appreciate any encouragement I am given! It brightens my blogging days!

I hope you guys try and make this. The original recipe is a stir fry recipe so I prepared the sauce separately at first to make sure I get the taste and texture right. However, I am one of those people who loves dump-it-and-forget-it recipes so I started again from scratch to figure out a way to make this recipe taste good with as little effort as possible from our part. After a few disasters, I think this is a delicious recipe given the amount of prep it calls for.

As like most of my main dish recipes, feel free to add what you like to make it your own! Shredded carrots, snow peas, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and broccoli would be good additions to this dish.

I hope you guys like it! I know I really did!

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

Ingredients:

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon minced ginger (I used the one that comes in a squeeze tube)

1/3 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1/2 to 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder

1 tablespoon cornstarch

pepper to taste

275 grams boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/2 of a small red pepper, cut into 1 inch cubes

1/2 cup canned pineapple chunks, drained

1/2 of a small onion, chopped

Green onions and toasted sesame seeds for garnish

For the little nesting bowl:

2 Itaki cups rice (rinsed and drained)

2 Itaki cups water

Place the garlic powder, ginger, pineapple juice, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, brown sugar, bouillon powder, corn starch, and ground pepper in the big bottom bowl and mix well.

Add the chicken pieces, red pepper, pineapple chunks, and onion in the bowl and stir to coat with the sauce.

In the small nesting bowl, place 2 Itaki cups of rice, rinsed and drained, with 2 Itaki cups of water. Place this bowl on top of the bigger bowl and place both in the Itaki base.

Add3 Itaki cups of water to the base. Cover and turn the electric lunchbox on. Let steam until done, about 50 minutes.

Carefully open the lunchbox and check chicken for doneness. Add water to the base if needed. My dish was done with 3 Itaki cups of water, but I understand steam time varies.

Fluff rice. Stir pineapple chicken and adjust taste if needed. Top with green onions and toasted sesame seeds.

Serve hot and enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #22: Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The idea to make this recipe came about when the admin of a Facebook group I’m in requested for a Pineapple Cake, after I posted a regular recipe for a Chocolate Cake. I initially made a recipe for a Chocolate cake using mayonnaise but got asked for a recipe with out mayo. Gladly obliged to that request because I mean, Chocolate Cake! And developing recipes means taste testing until I get the recipe right.

So Pineapple Upside down cake….this took me a few tries to get it to a point that I can actually be proud to share the recipe. I am happy with this lightly spiced cake as it complements the sweet pineapple topping perfectly.

Please try it and let me know how it was!

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*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup, unless specified.*

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 pineapple slices, from a can

2 maraschino cherries, stems removed

Cake:

1/3 cup flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Dash of nutmeg

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup whole milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste

Spray the big bottom bowl of the Itaki with a cooking spray. *You can also use the medium Itaki Jumbo bowl for this recipe.*

Place 1 tablespoon of the melted butter in the bowl. Swirl the butter around and add the brown sugar. Top with the pineapple slices, squeezing them to fit. Place a cherry in the middle of each pineapple slice. Set bowl aside.

In a small mixing bowl, mix together all cake ingredients and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter just until mixed. Pour over the pineapple slices and cover the bowl with foil.

Place in the Itaki base. Add 3 Itaki cups of water to the base. cover and steam until it shuts off, around 50 minutes. Carefully remove the bowl from the Itaki base and let cool on a wire rack. Run a knife along the side of the cake. Invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm or chilled.

Electric Lunchbox #21: Cheesecake!

Advanced Happy Father’s day to all the dads out there! 🎉🎊 I was going to post this tomorrow morning for the actual Father’s day but decided to post it today so you can chill the cheesecake overnight and have it ready to go if you decide to make it.

My father encouraged all my many hobbies so I have him to thank for all that I do. I collected a variety of books, cacti, really expensive orchids, grew veggies, fruit trees, bought cooking and baking equipment, baking pans, sewing and crafting items, soap making materials, jewelry making things, everything coffee related, shoes, bags, and so much more! I was the first to use all his treasured kitchen appliances that were only previously up on the cabinets. And I realize that even now, those things are dear to me, that those hobbies are still things I enjoy doing/making/having. So I try and encourage my son when he shows interest in something. I try to get involved as much as I can in his hobbies since I am learning with him too and I hope he is learning something he will keep doing even when he is older.

Back to this recipe….if you have not prepared any dessert in advance and want to make something special, then I encourage you to try this! I did say to leave it in the fridge overnight (ideally) as I always prepare this a day ahead, but if you are pressed for time, 2-4 hours is likely enough. I didn’t try placing it in the freezer to rush the chilling but I’m guessing that could work too. If you tried it, please let me know how it turned out.

This makes a perfect little dessert for 2 to 6 people, depending on how much dessert they can handle. Trust me when I say it’s really good and that you might get asked for seconds or thirds!

And for today, dad can have it all for himself if he so desires!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny Itaki cup*

Ingredients:

For the crust:

1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

For the cheesecake:

8 oz cream cheese room temperature

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg room temperature

1 tsp vanilla

3 Itaki cups of water for the base

Line the big bowl of the Itaki with parchment paper cut to fit the bottom. This will make it easy to get your cheesecake out in one piece.

Mix together the crust ingredients in a small bowl and use a spoon to press firmly onto the bottom of the parchment lined bowl. Set aside.

In a another bowl, beat the cream cheese using a hand mixer until it is smooth. Scrape down the sides and beat in the sugar, egg, and vanilla until blended.

Pour over the crust, smooth the top and cover the bowl with a piece of aluminum foil. Place the bowl on the base of the Itaki.
Add 3 Itaki cups of water to the base. Cover and steam until it shuts off, about 50 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake and check for doneness, the edges has to be set but the middle is still a little jiggly. Cover and cool on a wire rack. When cool, leave in the refrigerator at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.

To remove cheesecake, run a knife along the edge of the cheesecake. Place a plate over the bowl and tip the bowl over. The cheesecake should fall onto the plate. Transfer to a serving dish, top side up. Top with desired topping before serving. I like to top it with fruits, berries or even canned pie filling like in this photo!

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Electric Lunchbox #20: Penne ala Vodka

A wonderful side for any lunch or dinner, this pasta is easy to prepare and is neutral flavored enough to go with fish, meat, or vegetarian main dishes. I sometimes steam some frozen meatballs on the little top bowl to serve with the pasta.

If you would like this alcohol free, just substitute the vodka with equal amounts of chicken broth. Hope you enjoy this quick pasta dish!

80 grams dry penne pasta

10 grams butter

100 grams canned chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon tomato paste

140 grams chicken broth

Pinch of salt

Pinch of sugar

Pinch of chili pepper flakes, adjust to taste

25 grams heavy cream

25 grams vodka

3 Itaki cups water for the base

Place penne, butter, tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken broth, salt, sugar, pepper flakes, cream, and vodka in the bottom bowl of the Itaki. Mix well to dissolve the tomato paste.

Place the bowl in the Itaki and add 3 cups water to the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 55 minutes.

Carefully remove from the lunchbox, stir and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve hot.

*You can definitely add another dish to cook in the little bowl of the Itaki Pro, or even the 2 other bowls of the Jumbo just be sure to add more water to the base, as needed, to cook everything properly. Ideas would be any of the following: flan, chocolate cake, chicken, salmon, ribs, broccoli, baby bokchoy, etc.*

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