Dehydrated Trail Cake
Description My good friend Ldyblade got this started this past week. On last weekend's hike she showed up with dehydrated chocolate cake. And proceeded to wave under my nose warm cake a few minutes later. Even though she gave me a bite I wanted the whole bag, dangit! So she let me in on her secret that she had figured out. And I went to work to duplicate it. L had used a boxed mix, but unless I buy organic mixes I can't use them (artificial flavors/colors) so I found a yellow cake recipe to play with, and saved the cost of a mix.
Recipe type: Dessert
- 2 1⁄2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 1⁄2 t baking powder
- 1 t baking soda
- 1⁄4 t salt
- 1 1⁄4 c sugar
- 3⁄4 c unsweetened applesauce
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 3⁄4 c egg whites
- 1 c nonfat milk
- At home:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Very lightly grease a 13x9" glass pan.
- Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.
- Mix together the sugar and applesauce, stir in vanilla, milk and eggs.
- Add dry ingredients until well blended. I used a hand mixer for this.
- Spread batter evenly into pan, using a spatula.
- Bake for 27 to 35 minutes on middle rack, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Depending on oven and humidity it may take up to 40 minutes for it.
- Now onto the drying:
- I got the dehydrator out but did not line the trays. As much airflow as you can get is needed for this project. I cut strips of cake, then cut them in half, then diced them up, to large crouton size.
- I dried them at 135* for 12 hours or so. What you want is crouton style. Hard and crunchy. Think of it this way, you are making cake biscotti.
- I tried two ways. First was doing it chunk style, the second was after running the chunks through my chopper into smaller pieces/some large powder (you can use a blender). Each bag had ¼ cup dry cake.
- I brought a cup of water to boil, and started with 2 Tbsp in each bag, working it in by carefully kneading the bag. In the end the bags took nearly a 1:1 ratio of water to cake. I was happier with the smaller pieces, as it rehydrated almost instantly.
- Now you might ask, what does it taste like? Well, it tastes like warm cake. If you watch the water carefully as you add it, it won't be too wet. Even if you do, it is still good. The crumbs come together and it feels like a piece of smushed cake. L has said chocolate cake would be great with some adult beverage drizzled in as part of the water......
- Come day 3, you pull cake out, you could be the coolest person in camp ;-)
Now, you might have noticed something. There is nearly no fat in this recipe. And that is the trick you need to follow. Most cake mixes can be made with applesauce or baby prunes (there is also a commercial baking prune mix you can get in the baking aisle). Use a 1:1 ratio of it to oil called for. For eggs, either use egg whites or buy Egg Beaters and use ¼ cup per egg called for. You may have to bake your cake a bit longer, but that is fine. The applesauce you want unsweetened, as it adds enough sweetness on its own. What I feel is that next time I make this yellow cake, I am going to make it a spice cake. It would be great for a blustery evening.