Historic Baking

Tomato Soup Cake

Tomato Soup Cake: Challenge Accepted!
Elizabeth Vasquez

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As a fan of all activities the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery provides to the public, I found myself into this very pleasant opportunity to make a recipe from the 1970s, and documenting and sharing it with all the MAG’s blog readers:

I chose the Tomato Soup Cake, just for curiosity. Tomatoes in a cake? It sounds like not really yummy, according to my 9 year old, but to me it sounds very interesting, and why not? I love tomatoes in many ways, so it could be another one.

I started measuring and organizing all my ingredients like I was in a TV cooking show, and I put some 70’s soundtracks music, just to feel into the decade.

Below you can see there are two set of ingredients, one for the cake and another for the icing. My little girl made me those beautiful labels for my ingredients, aren’t they pretty.

I noticed that I had no ground cloves and only had whole cloves, so I decided to use my little food processor and grind them, then pass it through a strainer to get a powder. I do not recommend doing this if your processor container is plastic like mine, because after using it, it had some scratches, brown stain and a strong smell. So, it’s better to go to the store and buy it ground already.

I mixed the shortening with sugar, then I added alternatively the dry ingredients and the liquids until I had obtained a homogeneous orange color batter. Last, I added the chopped nuts and raisins. I prepared my tube pan, covered it with butter and dusted it with flour. I poured my sticky batter into the pan, and then put it in the already pre heated oven (350°F), let it sit on the middle rack and set the timer to 1h.

Meanwhile, I started to make the icing.

To make the icing, I melted butter, with brown sugar in low heat, I added milk and constantly stirring until it boiled. Then, I removed my pan from the stove and added the icing sugar, using a whisk. Be patient and whisk a lot to eliminate any lumps. This icing’s recipe is so delicious, it has a beautiful brown color and very nice texture.

The cake started smelling good after 45 min, so I did the toothpick test, but it was not ready; around 70 min the cake was completely cooked. I let it cool off for 15 min, and then flipped the cake over. I warmed up my icing again, before pouring it over my cake.

So, the moment of truth! Yummy or not?

In my opinion, it was yummy. It did not have a strong tomato flavor and had the right amount spices flavor and the combination of nuts and raisins gave to the cake its distinction. This is a heavy cake and it was not super-moist, maybe a little dry (probably for the extra 10 min in the oven, but it was necessary).

This cake can be compared with a carrot cake (less moist for sure, but similar kind), and can be a good alternative for a special dessert in any celebration. Also, this cake is an excellent option for vegans except for the icing, which can be modified using margarine and any kind of vegetal milk.

The best part of this experience was enjoying the creation process and then feeling proud of the results obtained. Doing something creative using your senses, produces gratifying feeling of satisfaction and personal growth, because with each activity you will be able to discover and practice your unique and wonderful skills.

Thanks to the MAG for offering me this opportunity, I hope to continue supporting you and cultivating my creativity with all your marvelous ideas and programs.

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