Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Baking in a jar

Christmas two years ago we gave as gifts cakes in a jar. The wide-mouth pint jars held a cake that was an abundant serving for two, or with ice cream could serve four a sweet dessert. It is necessary to follow the recipe -- and the canning instructions are important for sealing correctly. Must be a wide-mouth jar without shoulders -- otherwise you'll be removing the cake by spoonfulls. We made some for ourselves, too, and stored them in the cool, dark pantry for a couple of weeks. I regret that I did not note where I found this on the web.

Pint Sized Chocolate Cake

1 stick plus 3 Tbsp. Butter or Margarine
3 cups White Sugar
4 Eggs
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
2 cups Applesauce, unsweetened
3 cups White Flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/8 tsp. Salt

Prewash 8 pint-sized wide mouth canning jars (be sure to use the kind that have no shoulders) in hot, soapy water. Rinse well, dry and let them come to room temperature. Grease insides of jar with butter very well.

Beat together butter and half of sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and remaining sugar, vanilla and applesauce. Sift dry ingredients together and add to the applesauce mixture a little at a time: beat well after each addition. Pour one cup of batter into each jar and carefully remove any batter from the rims. Place jars in a preheated 325-degree oven and bake for 40 minutes.

While cakes are baking, bring a saucepan of water to a boil and carefully add jar lids. Remove pan from heat and keep lids hot until ready to use. When the cakes have finished baking, remove jars from oven. Make sure jar rims are clean. If they're not, jars will not seal correctly. Place lids on jars, and screw rings on tightly. Jars will seal as they cool.

Cakes will slide right out when ready to serve. Unsealed jars should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 2 weeks. Sealed jars may be stored with other canned food or placed in a freezer.

The cake is safe to eat as long as the jar remains vacuum-sealed and free from mold. If you are concerned about the safety of storing your cakes, an alternative is to store them in the freezer.

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