Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Chocolate Changes

I never make New Year's Resolutions.

Mainly because any time that I have made them....I have broken them. Doesn't everyone?? Where is she going with this, you may ask. Well I am still that fudge-loving person who will sprinkle you with sugar and chocolate chips, but I'm just going to mix it up a bit now and then. Because it's fun to try something new, and I really want to be a healthier, slimmer and happier person in the coming year. I need a change.

Because change is good, right?

(Can you tell that I totally swiped this clipart from a website?)
Change is why I'm a brunette now instead of a blonde. Change is also the reason why I've decided to sell my home and downsize my life (in more ways than one) even after I've just completed this totally awesome kitchen renovation. Because when you get right down to it, despite my the beautiful, gleaming granite countertops, my the gorgeous new hardwood floors and my the stunning new stainless steel appliances......it's just a kitchen, not a lifestyle. Big changes are sometimes necessary in life. Change sometimes helps us to be better at what we do. Like the saying goes, "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got".
Hmmm. I guess the same rule would apply to this new recipe I'm about to share with you. Let me preface it by saying those dreaded words that every baker and chocolate-lover hates to hear..."I'm back at Weight Watchers". Yes "again". You there in the back of the room, I heard that. So the next time I see you, please don't offer me any Hostess Twinkies or Yodels or Funny Bones, or I may just have to hit you with them. That being said, I found this Weight Watchers recipe the other day and I was curious as well as fascinated, so of course I had to whip it up and share it with you.

Since Weight Watchers uses the Point System, anything containing chocolate with a low point value is worth a second look. The name of this recipe is simply "Dark Chocolate Cake"....which is innocent enough...until you read the list of ingredients. Let's just leave it at that for now, shall we. You'll see what I mean in a minute.
First you'll need to assemble your staff.

As well as the secret "magic" ingredient.....

Yes. You are seeing this right. SAUERKRAUT.
This is one of those baking secrets that you don't want to tell your kids about.

Start with an Angel Food Cake Pan. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour,


Baking Soda,

Unsweetened Cocoa,

Melted Butter , Hot Water,

and Vanilla and combine thoroughly.

Place the sauerkraut in a food processor or in my case....a blender and puree it.
Puree it until it begs for mercy.
When it looks like applesauce,
......it's ready. Add it to your chocolate batter and beat the living daylights out of it for about 30 seconds.

That's it. You're getting the hang of it!

Spray your Angel Food Pan with non-stick cooking spray and pour in your batter.

Bake it for 50 minutes at 350 degrees.

When it's finished, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool before removing the sides and the center. At this point in the baking process, the chocolate aroma was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife.....but I was still skeptical at best. How in the world could anything smell so good when it contained sauerkraut? Sauerkraut. No eggs and no oil? I was prepared for the worse.

But as you can see, I still broke out my new silver cake pedestal for the occasion. Weight Watchers would be so proud!

This cake is surprisingly moist. You can see it. Are you looking at it? And the strangest part of it all is....YOU CAN'T TASTE THE SAUERKRAUT....HONEST. It is rich and unbelievably delicious.... and I'm a tough sell when it comes to chocolate cake, believe me. If the cake is cut into 14 slices, each slice is only 4 Weight Watcher Points or about 140 calories a slice. Did you hear me fellow Weight Watchers?? I said only FOUR POINTS PER SLICE. When the cake was cooled, I promptly sliced it into 14 slices and wrapped each one in aluminum foil. Then I buried them in the backyard put them in the freezer to be eaten at a leisurely pace instead of all at one sitting. (Who me?) See how well I'm doing with my portion control? HA! Serve it with Fat Free Cool Whip and a few strawberries or raspberries and a teaspoon (or two) of chocolate sauce and you can hunker down for the night.
I did.
(And of course I added another 2 points for the fat-free milk mustache too.)
Weight Watchers Dark Chocolate Cake
You will need:
Non-stick cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup (one stick) melted butter
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sauerkraut, pureed until smooth

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a Bundt or Angel Food pan with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking soda and 2/3 cup of cocoa. Add melted butter, hot water and vanilla extract; mix well. Add the pureed sauerkraut and blend thoroughly. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake in center of oven until a tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Cool cake in pan for about 20 minutes and then turn out onto a baking rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder before devouring slicing.

Sauerkraut. Can you believe it? Who knew that a brine-soaked cabbage mixed into a rich chocolate batter, would bake into such a moist and delicious cake? Hmmmmm. Still a doubter? I dare you to try it.

But fasten your "chocolate" seatbelt.....

...and don't say I didn't warn you.


Amie said...

Never seen sauerkraut in a cake recipe before! I may have to try that :)

annie w. said...

Looks wonderful! I'll make it to bring into work.. and not tell them what's inside...
thanks for posting it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Ann,
I have been looking for your site and need you to send me your address on e-mail.
The kitchen and cake look super.
Aunt ML


The Amazing Trips said...

Way to go Anne Marie! This cake looks awesome and kudos on a healthy 2010!!

But oh, FUNNY BONES. I totally forgot about those!! They don't have them in California - thank heavens - because if I remember correctly, I love them. Or at least I did when I was 16 and had the metabolism of a chipmunk...

I can't wait to hear what lies in store for you. Yay for change!!

Anonymous said...

First Jen cutting sugar and now you with sauerkraut?? I live with a German and frankly sauerkraut-ed out! ;-)What's happening to y'all?? Has the cold snap gone to your heads??

This is NOT NORMAL! ;-) Love, Marg.

(PS Looks very moist and delicious. Definitely will try. Thanks for the post.)

HOA Mgr Lady said...

sauerkraut? what??? are you nuts? That's the gaseous cake I will ever eat! This is a must try and what the heck is with the new Hershey's label? Don't like the new Hershey's label. Did anyone else notice that?
I like the condensed look of the cake. This is a crazy idea... I be liking the craziness.

Lisa said...

Okay did the Sauerkraut get to you???


You know I for one don't think my kids ((boys mostly)) would have a problem trying this cake....they love Sauerkraut! Actually Kathryn might encourage me to make it....I can hear her now..."mom it is Low FAT"

Sometimes I wonder if she just may have that evil gene!