I don’t typically bake, but with the extra time I have on my hands right now I’ve been baking things here and there. The things I normally enjoy doing in my alone free time don’t feel very accessible at the moment. I especially miss gardening this year! And canning. And learning more about wildcrafting (that’s the fancy name for foraging wild plants). Oh, there’s lots of ideas floating around my head… but now is not the time. Basically, my point is, I’ve been trying to occupy my time (without spending a lot of money – easy to do with excess free time) until I start working full-time again, and baking and cooking have filled a small part of that time.
One of our dinners this past week was Tofu Reubens so we ended up with leftover sauerkraut. Unfortunately, I was reminded of these leftovers every time I opened the fridge. In fact, between leftover sauerkraut and cannellini beans it was so bad that we could smell them without even opening the fridge. At that point I had had enough and decided it was time for cake. Yes, that’s right! Sauerkraut cake.
The first time I had sauerkraut cake was at my parents. My mom made a chocolate cake and, as we all started in on it, she casually asked with a giggle, “How is it? Notice anything?” This tends to happen when we eat at my parents though. One time it was sauerkraut cake, another time it was chocolate mousse pie made with tofu… you catch my drift.(They are always good of course!)
This cake is basically the same concept as zucchini bread or green tomato cake (You’ve never had green tomato cake?? I made this one last year and it was sooo good!) in that the veggies keep the cake from being too dry and give it a nice dense consistency. Dry chocolate cake is the worst…
Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake
3/4 cup drained, rinsed, and chopped sauerkraut
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup butter
6 TBSP ground flax seed
1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour*
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
half a bag of mini semi sweet chocolate chips
*I never seem to have the right flour that a recipe calls for so I used what I had. I did 1 1/4 cups of cake flour and 1 cup of white whole wheat flour. – Turned out fine!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Sift cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and set aside. Put sauerkraut in food processor to finely chop.
In a separate small bowl combine buttermilk with sauerkraut and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, ground flax seed (I grind them in a coffee grinder), and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat in. Add flour mixture alternately with sauerkraut mixture. Beat only until blended.
Pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
I used a basic cinnamon glaze frosting:
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 TBSP buttermilk
Mix until smooth and adjust buttermilk to desired consistency. I made it pretty runny to drizzle over the cake.
Me: “Do you like it alright?” (What? I just needed an unbiased opinion.)
Dan: “Yeah, it’s good, but it’s not your usual cake…”
“What’s the catch?”
“Is it vegan? No flour?”
“It has something weird in it, doesn’t it?”
Apparently he is used to this kind of thing…