"Guess Again" Desserts
While carrot cake and pumpkin pie are popular and widely-accepted vegetable-based desserts today, I wanted to try something a little . . . bolder.
Tomato Spice Cake Recipe:
- 1.5 cups flour
- 2 t. baking powder
- 0.5 t. soda
- 1 t. cinnamon
- 0.5 t. cloves
- 0.5 t. nutmeg
- 0.5 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten light
- 1.25 cup tomato soup (1 can)
- 1 cup chopped nuts
A Sacrifice: I could have substituted butter for shortening, and had an undoubtedly more yummy cake. In the name of committing to the experience, I got out the Crisco and the whisk instead though.
A Cheat: You may notice the lack of SALT in this recipe. I decided to fix that, authenticity be damnned. Good food needs to be salted well.
This took wayyyy longer to cook in the oven than the recipe suggested. At 36 minutes, the center was still almost all liquid; we cranked up the heat to 375 degrees for five minutes and then turned the oven off and left the cake in until it cooled (we were also baking bread and twenty thousand other tasks . . . we economized our labor) Our cake was poured into a springform nonstick pan if that makes any difference?
Another important point for anyone thinking of doing this at home is that this is only enough batter for one cake layer in this recipe; originally I had dreamed of cutting our cake in half and putting icing in the middle as well as the outside, but if this is your plan, you need to at least double the recipe.
Final Result and Flavor Review:
The glaze was whipped up out of bourbon, vanilla extract, butter (screw it, this would be worth saving up ration points for) and confectioner's sugar. We thickened it up over heat and poured it over the cake, after which I topped it with more crushed walnuts and some shredded carrot for garden-like effect.
At our dinner, the carrots were a dead give-away that it was some sort of veggie cake, but the front runner guess was actually sweet potato until someone finally guessed that it was TOMATO cake!
Which is to say, this did not taste like a vegetable cake. It tasted sweet and spiced and covered bourbon. The garden-acidity actually balanced the sugar and sweet so that it faded away. The umami notes of tomato added surprising depths to the simply spice blend. You didn't think "tomato"!
It wasn't my favorite recipe -- I'd experiment with adding oats for more texture and nuttiness next time, and definitely try to increase fluffiness. And two layers is always better than one. Nonetheless, I encourage everyone to try a tomato cake sometime -- you just may be surprised at how good it is!