So you used a couple tablespoons of tomato paste for a recipe and now what? Make a cake of course! After all, Campbell’s canned tomato soup is the “mystery” ingredient in the recipe for “Mystery Cake,” popularized during the Great Depression, so the practice isn’t without precedent. Tomato adds tang and depth, and there ain’t nuthin wrong with a little umami in your dessert.
For the topping, I took a cue from Sally and Martin Stone’s fun and clever cookbook Desserts with a Difference, filled with ingenious recipes for vegetable laden sweets. The coconut/tomato combination unleashes a tasty synergy, certainly familiar to Indian food aficionados.
This recipe also utilizes those egg yolks I had leftover from making “Frito Meringues” (still in beta testing phase) with game night’s surplus Central Market organic corn chips. Plus I finished up the last of that bag of frozen shredded coconut. Sweet way to clean house!
TOMATO PASTE CAKE with TOASTED COCONUT GLAZE makes a 9″ cake
- 6 ounces organic butter, softened. I recommend Organic Valley. Click for a coupon.
- zest of one Texas lemon, orange or tangerine, or a combination
- 4 egg yolks, from local eggs
- ¼ cup organic sour cream, regular or light (Organic Valley is great), or homemade ½-n-½
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract or homemade vanilla rum
- 200 grams (2 cups) sifted King Arthur cake flour blend (unbleached!). Best price at Central Market.
- 200 grams (1 cup) organic sugar. Whole Foods and CM sell this in bulk for $1.79 a pound.
- ½ teaspoon baking powder,sieved. I like Rumford, aluminum-free and non-GMO.
- ½ teaspoon baking soda, sieved
- ½ teapsoon salt. I use Real Salt.
- ½ cup organic tomato paste. CM organics is the best value I’ve found.
Preheat your oven to 350º. Grease and flour a 9″ round pan (2 ½” to 3″ tall) and line the bottom with waxed paper or parchment (Natural Value and If You Care are environmentally friendlier brands). I like reusable pan liners—I throw them in the (clothes) washing machine for low maintenance cleaning.
Place the butter and zest in the bowl of a standing mixer. Combine egg yolks, 3 Tablespoons sour cream and vanilla in a small bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour and next four ingredients. Add dry ingredients and tomato paste to butter and beat with the paddle attachment on medium speed for 1 ½ minutes. The batter will be thick. Scrape the bottom and sides with a flexible spatula. Beat in the yolk mixture in three parts, mixing for 20 seconds after each addition and scraping the bowl well (be sure to get at the bottom).
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Because the batter is thick, I like to place a rose nail (metal!) flat side down into the middle of the batter, all the way to the bottom. This is a nifty trick that Rose Levy Beranbaum revealed in her newest book, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. I recommend using cake strips if you don’t have a rose nail (check out this cute DIY video). The nail is handy and cheap though. Buy one at Michael’ s craft store when you get a 40% OFF coupon in the mail or newspaper. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cake tests done—a toothpick or bamboo skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before unmolding. Make this easy glaze while the cake cools a bit:
- 2 cups shredded coconut, toasted
- 200 grams (2 cups) organic powdered sugar. CM organics again for the best buy.
- ¼ cup local milk. I usually use Swede Farm Dairy or Wateroak Farm‘s goat milk from Sunset Valley Farmers Market. Now Way Back When Dairy brings local cow’s milk to both the Austin Farmers Market and SVFM. Moo local.
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla rum
Whisk together the sugar, milk and vanilla until smooth. Mix in the coconut. Glaze will be thick and chunky. Spread on top of the cake (a warm cake is ideal) right away.