Pastry chefs have been using this method for making quick sponge cake for years. As far as I know Albert Adria invented it years ago at El Bulli in Spain. I saw him “cook” it in a microwave on Anthony Bourdain’s “Decoding Ferran Adria“. I’ve never managed to give it a shot because until recently I did not have an iSi canister and that is essential. The idea is to make a loose cake batter and fill the cream whipping canister with it. Then the canister gets charged with N2O. The N2O produces the bubbles essential for the cake to rise. These bubbles are normally produced by leaveners in traditional cakes like whipped egg whites or chemical agents (baking powder and/or baking soda). To “bake” the cake, some of the batter gets dispensed into a small plastic cup and microwaved for 40-50 seconds. The result a light and very airy sponge cake with a perfect texture. Of course due to the size of the cake it is usually either served whole as an individual serving or in creative chunks as part of a plated dessert.
I tried it out in two variations. The first was a chocolate flavored version from the playing with fire and water blog. I served it with strawberry ice cream cherry red wine reduction and marinated pears.
The other version is based on Albert Adria’s recipe via Michael Laiskonis and I flavored it with orange blossom water. I served this one with passion fruit pudding (set with Agar), cinnamon-rose water flavored sweet ricotta and toasted almonds. This one felt more moist than the chocolate version. However, both recipes’ cooking time will vary based on the cup used and the microwave. I found this one worked best with holes in the cups and a cooking time for about a minute.