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Celebrate Oktoberfest 2011

Serve beer, brats and some German chocolate cake

Octoberfest Dishes, choucroute with meat and sauerkraut

Octoberfest dishes, choucroute with meat and sauerkraut — Photo by: StockFood/Getty Images

Home-Cured Sauerkraut by Michael Ruhlman: Making your own sauerkraut is easy, inexpensive and results in a freshness that's worth the wait during the two-week fermentation process.

Bavarian Beer Fondue by Lou Seibert Pappas: This sumptuous dish is perfect to serve at a beer tasting party. Dippers like apple slices, cooked potato chunks, cubed sourdough baguettes or sliced sausages are fun to dunk in a fondue made from ale, garlic, two cheeses and mustard.

Desserts:

Contrary to popular belief, German chocolate cake did not actually originate in Germany, but instead gets its name from an American named Sam German, who developed a brand of dark baking chocolate in 1852 for the American Baker's Chocolate Company. The product was named for him, and the cake's original recipe, developed in 1957, employed Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate. On the other hand, Black Forest cake is indeed equivalent to the German dessert Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, which is named not directly for the Black Forest mountain range in southwestern Germany but instead for the liquor sourced from that region. Whichever level of authenticity you decide to pursue in your Oktoberfest baking, we're sure you'll find your chocolate fix in one of these recipes.

German Chocolate Cake by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Black Forest Gateau by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner

Chocolate Bavarian Creams by Victoria Blashford-Snell and Brigitte Hafner

The under-100-calorie choice: German Chocolate Cookies by Holly Clegg

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