On Mother's Day, Jack and I celebrated a different holiday than most- Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum in Roslindale. The Arboretum hosted hundreds of visitors who toured the lilac collection, walked throughout the park grounds, and picnicked with family, friends, and dogs.
Jack and I were tasked, or rather, I volunteered to make desserts for our friends who would be joining us. I have been spotting various recipes around the blogosphere for cakes baked in jars, and decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to make one. I must admit that I was a little unsure at first as to how to proceed- did I need a specific cake recipe, how full should I fill the jars, did I need to alter the baking time?
Finally, I decided I would bake a cake as though I were making it in a small Pyrex baking dish. I poured each mason jar about 1/3 of the way full, and the cake rose some, but not a lot, as I had chosen a flourless cake recipe. All in all, I was very pleased with the results, however, I wish that I had stuck with all 4 oz jars instead of some 6 oz and some 4 oz jars. These were perfect for a day in the park, and the cake itself was delicious. In fact, this cake has made it into the running as one of our many recipes for our wedding cakes!
Have you ever tried baking cake in a mason jar?
Flourless Chocolate Cake
from here, where it was adapted from Gourmet Magazine 1997
4-oz dark or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup cocoa powder (pref. dutch process)
Preheat oven to 375F. Line an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease. Or alternatively, spray 6 mason jars with cooking spray
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt together chocolate and butter, stirring with a fork until very smooth.- I used the double boiler method for melting
Pour warm chocolate mixture into a medium mixing bowl with sugar. Whisk to combine. Beat in eggs one at a time, waiting until each has been fully incorporated to add the next, then mix in vanilla extract. Sift cocoa powder into the bowl and whisk until well-combined.
Pour into prepared cake pan or pour a mason jar 1/3 of the way full. If using mason jars, place on a baking sheet for ease of moving from counter to oven and back
Bake for 25 minutes for cake made in pan, or 20 minutes for cakes in mason jars.
Allow cake to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the cake and invert onto a serving platter. Dust with cocoa powder, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
*Note- I recommend using 4oz jars as they look more full when finished. Also, do not bake with the metal rims on the jars.