Yeah, this title might totally be the way R would describe some of my past baking (and cooking) “experiments”. Remember that cake-in-a-jar that I baked back in October 2010? Well, immediately after making them, I sent them off to my sister and BIL who are currently serving in A-stan. All except for one lonely jar. I stuck this one away at the bottom of my fruit basket with all intentions of “opening” it about 3 weeks after I baked it. (Three weeks is about the time that it takes for a package to arrive over to my sister.) Well, about three weeks later, I did indeed hear from her that the pineapple cake-in-a-jar was delish and she then requested zucchini bread-in-a-jar, which you can read all about here. Needless to say, I forgot about the cake-in-a-jar that I had saved to try later. One month passed. Then two months. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been eyeing the jar on my baker’s rack and every time I see it, I decide that I’m going to open it…and then I get distracted and forget about it. I think part of me was (subconsciously) afraid it wasn’t good anymore and I would get some sort of stomach bug from it. And that’s coming from the girl with the iron stomach. Well, I saw an “encouragement” from my friend A (see her blog here) to “write” blog entries so she would have something to read tonight, so A, this post is for you.
Here’s what the cake-in-a-jar looked like after 3 months. No obvious mold. Good.
When I opened it, I did hear the seal “POP”. And it didn’t look dried out and still smelled delicious. It came out of the jar pretty easily. Only a little part of it was left behind in the jar. Continue reading →
After sending some vacuum-sealed baked goods to my sister who is currently serving in Afghanistan only to find out that they arrived 3 weeks later, with mold, I discovered that you could bake cakes in Mason jars and that they would essentially be preserved (due to the sealing of the jars). Read here for my first attempt. My sister did receive the first cake-in-a-jar that I attempted. I mailed the first batch of pineapple cake on October 5. She told me that she opened the jars and ate the cake on October 23, almost 3 weeks later—and they were fresh! So I asked her if she had any requests for the next batch and she said since they don’t have a lot of access to fresh produce and fruit that she would like zucchini bread. So, here is my attempt with zucchini bread in a jar.
8-10 pint canning jars (or the equivalent in a larger size) with rings and new lids (I only had 6, so I used these and then made a separate mini loaf.)
3 c flour
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t cloves
2 c zucchini (~1 medium zucchini)
2 c granulated sugar
1 c margarine—at room temperature (I used 1 stick of butter (1/2 c) and then 1/2 c of applesauce
1 t vanilla
3 egg whites—whipped
1. Boil jars, lids and rings for 10 minutes. Dry jars. Leave rings and lids in hot water while preparing the batter.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
3. Mix flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in one bowl.
4. Grate zucchini. I used the Vitamix to grate my zucchini. I put the lid on the Vitamix and removed the plug. Turned the Vitamix on to Speed 5-6 and put in the large pieces of zucchini. Wah-lah…grated zucchini with no bloody knuckles.
Since my sister and BIL left for duty in Afghanistan in March of this year, I have been experimenting with how to best send them baked goods. I had some success in the past with vacuum sealing using a Reynolds vacuum sealer, until the last time I sent her peanut butter bread. When she called me last month, she said she opened up the package and it smelt so good. She was all ready to take a big bite…until she saw the mold. Boo.
Determined to send her something besides cookies, I have had this cake-in-a-jar project on my list for a while and just hadn’t gotten around to it until this weekend. For my first attempt, I made a very simple cake. Once I hear from her that it worked, I will fancy it up.
Here’s how I did it:
I boiled a big pot of water to sterilize my half-pint jars, lids and rings. You can also use pint jars, which will just result in a bigger cake serving per jar. It’s okay to use cleaned old jars. Just make sure to use new lids and rings.