The reign of zucchinis has come to an end, but there is a new vegetable in town: tomatoes. The Burt household is currently experiencing a surge—nay—a deluge of tomatoes. Everywhere I look, there are tomatoes looking back at me. This was the scene in the kitchen this morning.
Every day, I come home and there seem to be more. Sometimes, Michael will have them arranged in different piles on the counter. I don’t know the meaning of the piles, and I don’t ask. I’ve learned to just go with the flow when it comes to garden vegetables. In case some of you may have forgotten, NO, we do not live on a farm.
Anyway, with the number of tomatoes in my house, there was no chance of me not making some kind of tomato dessert. However, these types of recipes are few and far between. I found a lot of tomato sorbet-type recipes, but since they don’t involve baking, I’m not very interested in them. My searches also turned up quite a few tomato soup cake recipes, which I’ve always been curious about, but I needed something that called for fresh tomatoes. Finally, I found one that seemed like it might work. This Tomato Spice Cake recipe comes from a blog called Every Day in the Garden. I adapted it a tad.
Tomato Spice Cake
- 1 cup tomato puree (peeled and seeded) – 4 roma tomatoes got me exactly 1 cup
- 1 tbs vinegar
- 5 oz walnuts (I omitted these because I didn’t feel like buying nuts)
- 1/2 cup AP flour (to mix with the walnuts, if using)
- 1 cup sifted AP flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom (I omitted this because I didn’t feel like buying cardamom)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 tsp of orange, lemon or lime zest (I used lime)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup melted butter
1. Prep the tomatoes. Cut a cross into the bottom of each tomato, then place them in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and place immediately into a bowl of cold water. Peel, remove the seeds, and puree the rest. Add the vinegar to the puree and set aside.
2. If you’re using nuts, mix them with 1/2 cup of flour. Sift together the remaining cup of flour, baking soda, salt and spices. Combine this with the nut mixture. OR, just combine 1 1/2 cups of flour with the rest of the dry ingredients.
3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs until they are pale and have thickened. Whisk in brown sugar until the mixture is thick.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the eggs, alternating with the tomato puree, then add the butter.
5. Pour into springform pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.
This cake ended up coming out pretty well. I only had a couple of issues. Number one: I think I was probably supposed to line the springform pan with parchment, but I did not. I greased it with butter, but that didn’t help much when I was trying to get the cake out of the pan. Luckily, I did get it out without completely destroying it. It tastes pretty good—pretty much how you would expect an average spice cake to taste. No hint of tomato whatsoever. The texture is pretty high on the “spongy” scale. I don’t know if that’s because I did something wrong, or if that’s how it is meant to come out. I will admit, I whisked the hell out of my egg/sugar mixture, but I wouldn’t say that it ever got truly “thick.” Maybe that had something to do with it? Lastly, why do all of my cakes always come out so skinny??? The cake on the other blog looks to be about twice as tall as my cake. I have this problem a lot, which is why I usually shy away from layer cakes.
Verdict: this cake is tasty and comes in handy if your goal is to get rid of some tomatoes. But, you could probably substitute in some applesauce, which would take much less time, and it would probably taste about the same.