|Dutch oven competitions can be intense, but at the end, everyone sits down to eat dinner together. (Pantenburg photo)|
by Leon Pantenburg
Sauerkraut is one of the original storage food staples. For my ancestors in Germany, the fermented cabbage was one of the only sources of vitamin C during the long winters. Sauerkraut, bratwurst and a beer are comfort food for me and my relatives.
But as much as I love sauerkraut, anything can get dreadfully boring if that is all there is to to eat day after day. This sauerkraut cake recipe came from an old cookbook, and could have been cooked on the Oregon Trail, or in any number of places along the frontier.
Here is the sauerkraut cake recipe my brother, Mike Pantenburg, and I used successfully in several Dutch oven competitions, including the 2007 International Dutch Oven Society World Championships. In addition to being delicious, it is also a guaranteed conversation starter!
Chocolate Sauerkraut Cake
2/3 c butter ( can use canned)
1-1/2 c sugar
3 eggs (substitute dried or dehydrated)
1 t vanilla
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa
2-1/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 c water
1 c sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
Thoroughly cream margarine with sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Sift together dry ingredients: add alternately with water to creamed mixture. Stir in sauerkraut. Grease and flour a 10" Dutch oven, line with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.
When cool, frost with homemade chocolate frosting.