March 29, 2013

Green Tomato Cake

Why in the world would I make a green tomato cake? When you belong to a CSA, one challenge is using up all the produce provided. Though not always successful, I really do make an effort to use it all up. So when I received green tomatoes in the fall right before I was heading out of town, I pureed them and froze them. I knew I had seen baked goods with green tomatoes before, so I figured this would work. Fast forward several months, I am cleaning out the last of the fall harvest from my freezer. One of the last items was the bag of green tomatoes. I searched for recipes and found several for spice cake with green tomatoes and gave one a go. The outcome was very good! I never told my husband the secret ingredient, and he never knew why the cake was so moist. If you look closely, a few small chunks of green are visible.

As for the frosting, cream cheese frosting pairs excellently, but honestly I would love to find a substitute. Cream cheese has some weird ingredients, and powdered sugar seems to give me an instant headache. If you have any ideas for another cake topping, please let me know. But alas, I had some cream cheese already in my fridge one day past its expiration date, so I felt obligated to use it up.

**If you're wondering how I can confess my cooking secrets on this blog and not have my husband find out, it's because he doesn't read the blog.  But before you judge and think he should support me by reading my work, he once remarked, "I don't need to read your blog, I live it."  I found this so hilarious because it's a parallel to one of the best lines in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, the movie, which he's only seen once because I forced him.  I agree!

Green Tomato Cake
adapted from Serious Eats

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups olive oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 c. maple syrup
4 large eggs
2 1/2 cups pureed or finely chopped green tomatoes

cream cheese frosting or other frosting of choice

For the cake, adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly coat two 9-inch cake pans with butter. Line bottoms of cake pans with parchment paper rounds and coat with butter once again.

Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and nutmeg in medium bowl or on large sheet of parchment paper.

In large bowl, beat oil, maple syrup and sugar on medium speed until fully incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add tomatoes and beat just until incorporated, about 30 seconds.

Decrease mixer speed to low and gradually add flour mixture to green tomato mixture. Mix just until combined, scraping down sides and bottom of bowl as necessary.

Divide batter equally between baking pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of cakes comes out clean, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer cakes to cooling racks and cool in pans for 15 minutes. Invert cakes directly onto racks. Peel off and discard parchment lining and cool completely, about 90 minutes.

Once cool, frost cake.

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