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Archive for the ‘Cake’ Category

I mentioned in a previous post that our friend, Karen, was recently killed in a hit-and-run car accident in New York City.  At her memorial, we received a program that included a few of Karen’s favorite recipes.  Karen loved to cook and hold wonderful dinner parties.  I made her cake because, not only did it sound interesting, I wanted to honor her memory.

When Adam and I saw Karen’s recipe for chocolate surprise cake, we knew we had to try it.  I was intrigued and a bit shocked to find out that the surprise was sauerkraut.  Yes, sauerkraut.  The same sauerkraut that you enjoy on bratwurst and hot dogs.  That very same sauerkraut was in this lovely recipe for chocolate cake!  I was a little nervous about it, but Karen loved it & who knows, it might become a new favorite of ours.

I brought the cake over to our friend’s house for a small Oscar party.  I let them know what the “surprise” in Chocolate Surprise Cake was, and they, too, seemed excited and curious.  The first bite was taken a little tentatively, but after realizing that the frosting was amazing, and the sauerkraut really just added texture and not a bunch of salty flavor, they were game.  What a fun chocolate cake!

Karen’s Chocolate Sauerkraut Surprise Cake
by Karen Schmeer
Printable Recipe

Cake:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 salt
2 cups flour
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup water
1 cup sauerkraut (well rinsed, drained, and chopped).  Fresh or bagged is best, but Karen always said “from a jar works just fine.”

Frosting:
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter and flour a Bundt cake pan.  (Karen used 2 round 9″ pans).

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, and then add vanilla.

Sift together dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder).  Slowly beat these into the creamed mixture, alternating with 1 cup water.  Stir in sauerkraut.  Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan(s).  Bake 35 to 40 minutes.  (If using 2 round pans, only bake 15 to 20 minutes).  Cool completely in the pan.

Make the frosting.  In a double boiler (or  just carefully in a regular pan), melt both types of chocolate with the butter over low heat.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the sour cream, vanilla, and salt.  Gradually add the confectioner’s sugar, beating until frosting is spreadable.  When cake is cool, remove from the pans and frost.

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Sometimes a girl just needs some chocolate.  This time, it took the form of a gooey, creamy, chocolaty cake.  I love chocolate cake with a “molten” center & thought that this recipe sounded very similar, yet easy to make.  The most intriguing part of this cake is that coffee, yes coffee, is poured on top of the batter before baking!  According to Ina Garten, coffee just makes chocolate taste more like chocolate.

Adam didn’t used to eat sweets before dating me.  He enjoyed the occasional bowl of ice cream, but that was about it.  I have a major sweet-tooth, and I wasn’t about to curb my desire for sweet, sugary confections.  Now Adam eats dessert right along side me!

With a nice scoop of Cherry Garcia ice cream from my homeboys, Ben & Jerry, this dessert was complete!  It was chocolaty, soft, and super-fudgy!

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

6 TBS (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup whole milk
1 TBS vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups coffee, at room temperature (see note above)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Lightly coat an 8-inch-square glass or ceramic baking dish thoroughly with vegetable oil spray.

Melt the butter, 1/3 cup of cocoa, and the chocolate together in a medium bowl in the microwave, whisking often, until smooth, 1 to 3 minutes.  In a separate bowl, stir the brown sugar, 1/3 cup of the granulated sugar, and remaining 1/3 cup cocoa together until there are no clumps.  Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a third bowl.

Whisk the remaining  2/3 cup granulated sugar, milk, vanilla, and salt together in a large bowl.  Whisk in the yolk, then the chocolate mixture until combined.  Whisk in the flour mixture until combined.

Spread the batter in the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the batter.  Pour the coffee gently over the brown sugar mixture.  Bake until the cake is puffed and bubbling and just beginning to pull away from the sides of the baking dish, about 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  (Do not overbake.)

Let the cake cool in the dish on a wire rack for about 25 minutes before spooning into bowls.

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