Well, in order to make me feel better — rather, in order to make Grace feel better (doesn’t chocolate make everyone feel better?) I decided to make something today that I have been meaning to do for months.
Several months back I ran across some recipes on the internet for cakes/breads in jars. How awesome is that? A cake in a jar that can be put on the pantry shelf and opened months later. At first I didn’t believe it. How fresh would a bread be after four or five months on the shelf? Even more concerting was the contradictory testimonials of how long the breads would keep.
Therefore, my first order of business was to do a test. Actually, not the first, because the first batch of bread in jars I made never made it past two weeks. Between giving a few away and Hubby and the kids eating the rest, eight pints didn’t go very far. The next batch was actually two batches and this has been far more successful. I canned banana and apple breads back in April and every month for the past four months I have opened one to see if it was still as moist and fresh as the first day I made it. So far so good. At four months the breads are still moist and fresh.
Knowing that the breads would keep for at least four months is great news. Not that they’ll actually last that long if I don’t hide them behind the tomato sauce on the pantry shelves, but at least I have some first-hand knowledge to build on. I still have several jars from April in the basement and plan on opening one next month and the following. Six months would be awesome, a year would be better, but who could possibly keep them that long without eating them? Not around here, that’s for sure.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m having a bad day, nothing makes me feel better than something chocolate. Chocolate candy, chocolate drinks, chocolate cookies, chocolate cupcakes, and especially chocolate cake calm me and put me in an immediately good mood. So what would be better than having chocolate cakes in jars down in the pantry for just such an occasion? I can’t think of anything.
There are lots of recipes on the internet for cakes in jars and I’ll share the ones I try and suceed with as I go.
Canned Chocolate Cake
- 1 Stick plus 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 3 Cups Sugar
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla (I forgot this today and it still tasted great)
- 2 Cups Unsweetened Applesauce
- 3 Cups Flour
- 3/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/8 tsp. Salt
- 1 Cup Chocolate Chips (you really could use any chips you like, but double chocolate was perfect for today)
Grease the insides of 9 wide-mouth pint jars well with shortening.
Beat butter and half of sugar till fluffy.
Add remaining sugar, eggs, vanilla and applesauce, mixing till well combined.
In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients (not the chips). Add dry ingredients slowly to batter, mixing well after each addition.
Stir in chips.
Measure one cup of batter into each canning jar. Wipe rims clean.
Place jars directly on baking rack in 325 degree oven and bake for 40 minutes.
While cakes bake, bring lids and rings for jars to boil.
Remove jars from oven and immediately place a hot lid and band on each jar. Tighten. Jars will seal as they cool.
When I discovered that I forgot to add the vanilla I was afraid the cakes were ruined. Not so. No one noticed. The cakes are super moist and don’t even need frosting, although frosting does make everything better.
Another great addition to the pantry for those uncontrollable chocolate cravings. I don’t think these will make it to the end of the week, but at least I’ve got one more recipe tried and proved, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.