Friday, June 3, 2011

Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake

      This Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake has been on my bucket list of recipes to try for a long time.  I love cabbage in any way, shape or form and it was only a matter of time before I could find a way to incorporate it into a dessert.  Nobody really knows the origins of this recipe, some say it came from a school cook in the sixties from the suburbs of Chicago who was looking for a way to use surplus supplies of sauerkraut.  Other people remember their Polish grandmothers making it for them when they were children.  However it got it's start, it was probably made on a whim by some frugal cook looking for a way to stretch his or her leftovers.  The beauty of this cake is that you can make it all in one bowl, no pre-sifting or combining dry ingredients required.  The end result is a moist, chocolaty cake with only a faint hint of cabbage.  It helps to chop the sauerkraut finely, the texture will remind you more of coconut than sauerkraut.  I baked it in my 12 inch dutch oven with 10 coals in a circle around the bottom and 18-20 on the lid.  Rotate it halfway through cooking time, mine was ready in 30 minutes.  I took the easy way out and used a canned frosting but you could use your favorite recipe or even dust it with a little powdered sugar.  Surprise your guests with this unusual cake and remember it's good for you so it's okay to go back for another slice.  From Heartland; The Best of the Old and the New from Midwest Kitchens by Marcia Adams.

Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake
1 14.5 oz. can sauerkraut, rinsed and well drained
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup cold water
Chocolate Frosting
     Lightly oil a 12 inch dutch oven and line with parchment paper.
     Squeeze all the excess moisture from the sauerkraut with your hands.  Chop finely with a knife or food processor.  Set aside.
     In a large mixer bowl, beat the butter or margarine and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Add the vanilla, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and baking soda; blend well.  Add the flour alternately with the water, beginning and ending with the flour. Gently mix in sauerkraut.
     Pour into prepared dutch oven.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when you touch the center with your finger.  Cool and frost with your favorite frosting.

Thick, rich batter you mix in one bowl

Ready when center springs back to touch

Let cool

Add your favorite frosting

Your friends and family will never guess the secret ingredient

1 comment:

  1. That looks wonderfully yummy! Here in SW MI our weather has been pretty wet. As soon as things clear I want to try Dutch Oven cooking outdoors, I hope I do well. It sounds like so much fun. I have a few go to blogs now to for instruction and yours in one of them. Thank you.