15 September 2008

Chocolate, chocolate chip cake in the Dutch oven!

 This past weekend was our last camping hurrah of the season.  It was also my son's 5th birthday party.  Since we were camping only 20 minutes outside of town, he decided to have his party at our campsite and swim, play games, eat, run around, roast marshmallows, and of course, eat birthday cake.  Despising stale cake, I opted instead to try out my father-in-law's dutch oven, and bake the birthday cake at the campsite.  It was a completely risky move that risked disappointing a party boy and guests, but with cooking bravado (and marshmallows in case of failure) I forged ahead.  I am so glad I tried this because it wasn't at all difficult and now it opens up for me a whole new avenue for camp cooking!  I hope this inspires you to try it out yourself.  If anyone else has some good dutch oven recipes, or has a good link to one, please share it, I'm excited to try it again!

14 inch dutch oven
Long tongs
Oven mitts
Lighter fluid
Chocolate cake mix
1 Package of chocolate chips
Vegetable oil
Baking powder
Cocoa powder
Sprinkles, etc.

1.  Light your coals on fire.  It will take them 30 minutes to get good and hot. (Pictured above)

2.  Line your dutch oven with heavy duty foil.  This will help the cake slip out and make it very easy to clean your dutch oven.  Do not go over the lip as the lid needs to have good connection to keep the heat in.  Spray the foil with cooking spray.

3.  I have a 14 inch Dutch oven.  Most standard cake mixes will make a cake in a 12 inch dutch oven.  If you have a 14 incher, add to your dry mix, 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp baking powder, and 2 Tbs. cocoa powder.  Follow the directions on the back of the package adding eggs or oil (or both) as necessary and add an extra 1/2 cup water to the wet ingredients.  This will extend the cake mix to fit into a 14 inch dutch oven.  I brought the extra dry ingredients along in a ziplock baggie.
4.  Mix the wet and dry ingredients and then mix in 1 package of chocolate chips.
5.  Pour the cake batter into the dutch oven and cover.
6.  When the coals are white, use long tongs to arrange 9 of them under the dutch oven.  Place the covered dutch oven on top and arrange 16 coals on top of the dutch oven.  This will keep the temperature around 325 degrees.
7.  Every 10 minutes, using your oven mitt, turn the dutch oven 90 degrees.  Then pick up the lid and rotate that 90 degrees in the other direction.  This will prevent hot spots and promote more even cooking.  Cake will be done somewhere between 30 and 50 minutes.  When you are turning, take a peek at the cake, when it starts looking done, do a toothpick test.  Remove dutch oven from coals when toothpick comes out clean.
8.  When the dutch oven is somewhat cool to handle, place a large plate (or in my case a cutting board) over the top and flip.  The cake should slide right out.  Remove the foil and let cool.  Frost when cool.  Voila!

The flat section of my cake was a little side piece that was not quite done and therefore fell off the cake while it was cooling, but it added to the whole baseball theme.  My son thought it was the greatest to have a baseball cake while camping, it tasted great, I tried something new, and it was easy to boot!


Jenny Page said...

I love cooking in a dutch oven while camping! My favorite is lasagna...which is always better when baked slowly, so its just right for a campfire. I also do muffin-cake, cobblers, parmasean potatoes. I've yet to perfect cookies, though =/


Foodycat said...

Wow! I am not an outdoors girl so I am just amazed that you baked and frosted a cake while camping! Incredible.

Nurit said...

You make camping sound like so much fun. And, i've never heard before about anyone "baking" a cake while camping in a dutch oven! How cool!

rubybean77 said...

Uhm, Joie....YOU'RE A FREAKING ROCKSTAR!!!!! I can't believe how brave you are to pull this birthday cake off! I am IMPRESSED!!!!!