Cake-in-a-jar, bitches

Cake-in-a-jar, bitches

What I have next to my toaster:

•    Weet-bix (lite)
•    Margarine
•    Salt
•    An onion
•    Half a loaf of semi-stale multigrain bread
•    Cake-in-a-jar

That’s right, bitches.

A cake.

In a jar.

A jar full of cake.

Cake-in-a-jar.

Why Sam, you might ask, do you have a cake-in-a-jar?

It started when I decided that THIS is the year I’m going to make, and then unceremoniously gorge myself, on cake-in-a-mug. It’s everything fantastic about the modern world: instant gratification, chocolatey-ness (the Aztecs didn’t enjoy it like we do, let’s face it), high calorie goodness, overly processed products and novelty all in one convenient mug.

However, and despite an epically disappointing Valentine’s Day, I haven’t gathered the courage to actually venture into the brave world of microwaving a cake-in-a-mug.

Then Lisa (who teases me about this ambition) trumped my silly notions with a link to a cake in a jar. It’s just more… classy than cake-in-a-mug. You eat cake-in-a-jar while listening to Wagner and reading Shakespeare with your monocle.

Yes, I would like cake-in-a-jar please. On the rocks.

And what a freaking awesome present! You can’t give someone a whole cake (what are you implying when you do?), and you certainly can’t give someone cake-in-a-mug. Let’s have some class people. So, obviously, when a friend’s birthday came round, the cake-in-a-jar recipe sparkled in my mind’s eye.

Genius, its GENIUS I tell you!

I gave this a try at Domestic Goddess Jerusha’s house – I figured with her icing recipe and cakey wisdom, how badly could it go?

Ingredients:

  • Ina Paarmen chocolate cake mix
  • Nescafé (instant coffee)
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 eggs (Jerusha and I went to the Somalian shoppie round the corner; the skelms sold us a 6 pack that contained only 4 eggs)
  • 1 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • ½ cup butter (non-salted)
  • 2 cups castor sugar
  • Chocolate ganache (I got a container of ganache from Pick ‘n Pay)
  • Vanilla extract/ essence
  • 1L glass jar (750ml jar might work better)
  • 3 cups patience

Step one

1.    Set the oven to 180°C
2.    Follow the cake mixing instructions (ours included adding eggs, oil and coffee – the coffee added a nice richness to the cake).
3.    We also added the food colouring, though baking buddy Jerusha insists it made no difference to the cake’s colour. I say, whatevs, biatch!

Step two

Butter the jar thoroughly! You’ll need to pry half the cake out later so this is very important. It’s essential that you use non-salted butter; otherwise your cake will have a distinctly sea-breezy taste.

Step three

1.    Fill the jar ¾ of the way to the top with cake batter. Do NOT fill it 5/6ths of the way like Jerusha and I did – otherwise you’re going to have what is essentially a cake ‘volcano’ as the cake expands and puffs and pours out of the top of the jar and drips onto the element lining the bottom of the stove.
cake in a jar2.    Place the jar in the oven. Ours took almost an hour to bake – but we had a HUGE 1L jar and kept on opening up the oven, originally to scoop some of the batter out of the erupting jar and consequently to check what was burning (it was the cake drippings).

Step four

I am going to beat you all very soon. Now think about what youve done. That means YOU, cream cheese!

Make the icing.
1.    Put the butter and cream cheese in a bowl and, using an electric beater, mix thoroughly.
2.    Pour in castor sugar ½ a cup at a time, beating in before adding the next dose.
3.    Add the vanilla.
4.    Beat until the icing is smooth and white – this takes a while. The longer you beat it, the more delicious it is (demonstrated by the graph below).

Step five

1.    Once the cake and jar are cool, you need to scoop out slightly more than half of the cake. It’s tricky, I’m not going to lie to you, because the top of the jar is smaller than the centre. It will probably be in pieces. If you take out exactly half, like I did, you’re going to have an uneven finished product because the icing takes up room too.
2.    On top of the bottom layer of cake put a nice thick layer of ganache, then an even thicker layer of icing so the cake has that lovely layered look.
3.    Neatly squish the pieces of cake on top of the icing layer, and fill the jar to the top with icing.
4.    Decorate and voila!

Cake-in-a-jar.

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5 thoughts on “Cake-in-a-jar, bitches

  1. This REALLY is the bestest birthday cake present ever! Above cake in a jar was presented to me and it was a huge hit this weekend. Super flavourful, moist and decadent… yummy! Thanks again Sam & Jerusha.

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