Monday, February 26, 2007


New World Cake - Tomato, Chocolate and Curry

The Rock Goddess had three words of advice last night..."Beware The Boulevard."

It was, after-all, Oscars night. A night akin to Superbowl Sunday here in LA-LA Land. The markets were packed with people buying chic-and-fab snack foods, the streets were emptied, and Hollywood Blvd (where the Kodak Theater - official home of the Oscars - is located) was shut to traffic. (Exception being limos full of nominees...of course.) Getting from point A to B on days like this, if A and B are on opposite sides of The Boulevard?

Your basic nightmare.

I had been directed to bring something sweet to a party taking place three blocks from the event, and of course, north of said street.

And (as I am again going to say) not being a baker, and only having three hours to pull something off, I was in a pinch.

I looked in my cupboard. I scratched my head. I thought about traffic. I thought about thematic foods (Sunshine Cakes? Queen-Mum Cakes? What? I don't know.) I thought about how I had no vanilla. I contemplated bringing something savory. I stared out into space.

I had a revelation.

Why not make a Mystery Cake? (The theme being, "It's a mystery who is going to win!" or maybe "It's a mystery why I sat there for four hours to find out!" Something like that anyway...)

Mystery cake. The ultimate, All-American cake. (Why? Two reasons, ingenuity and tomatoes) Chocolate, and Campbell's Soup. I had always been intrigued, I mean, it just seems SO bizarre. I decided to give it a whirl. I mean, botanically, a tomato is fruit, right? And fruits are good.

Of course, I added my own touches. A healthy dose of curry powder, and a lot more cocoa than the recipe I adapted it from called for.

Your basic measure-mix-pour-and-bake cake, it came together in six minutes. It baked for 40, I frosted it and was good to go. The warm smells filling my apartment made wish for a moment I wasnt bolting out the door, but alas...

My ride (as always) The (Ever-So-Gracious) Ombudsman picked me up promptly at 4, and we headed up to Whitley Heights and The Rock Godesses' casa, where the (amazing, and deliciously abundant) party was under-way.

Heading her warning, we went east, then north, avoided The Boulevard, and all was well.

Later at the party, after abusing our stomachs with an orgy of quality food, we cut in to the cake. It was moist, rich with spicy flavor and an interesting kick. Oh, and no --- we could not detect the tomato at all...beyond the color, which may have been due to the curry, who knows...

Altogether, it was a smash for the Oscars...well, let's just say...with all the Champagne that was flowing, we don't really know who won what, but we were glad it came in on time.

And now, the recipe please....

2 cups plain white flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
5 heaping tablespoons curry powder
5 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
6 oz butter
½ cup, brown sugar
½ cup, white sugar
2 eggs
1 10 ¾ ounce can (that is the standard size) tomato soup
½ cup golden raisins

Preheat your oven to 350F.

Butter and lightly dust with flour, a 9-inch square cake pan.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, spices and cocoa powder.

In another bowl, with a hand mixer beat the butter until soft. Add the sugars and cream for 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add half the dry ingredients and stir together with a large spoon. Add the soup, combine, and then add the rest of the dry ingredients.

Stir in the golden raisins.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake on the center rack for 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove and let cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Release onto a wire rack to cool completely, then frost with chocolate butter cream frosting.

To make butter cream frosting? Combine ½ cup butter, 2 cups powdered sugar and 6 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate. Beat until smooth. Add more of any of the three ingredients to get the right consistency.


In 1869, two men — a fruit merchant named Joseph Campbell and an icebox manufacturer named Abraham Anderson formed The Campbell Soup Company. Originally called the Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Company, the business produced canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, soups, condiments, and minced meats. In 1897, Dr. John T. Dorrance, a chemist with the company invented condensed soup. -Campbell'

Tomato juice is the official state beverage of Ohio

China is the largest producer of tomatoes in the world, producing over 16% of all tomatoes


weeeell was it good? i'm ever so confused. tomato soup cake? it looks good but my brain....does not compute!!

(still avoiding the hwood madness too :)
How utterly weird! Did it taste more on the savory side?
It was like a ginger-bread more than anything. I have to say, I REALLY loved it. I couldn't really stop raving and patting my own back. (Pathetic, but true)

If you have ever had Vosges chocolates (the curry one, in particular) you will know what this tastes like...really good.
I love this post! I always find it totally cool how weird combos are so fabulous!
Uncommon, but.. testy!
A little advice if you permit, Rachael. Before adding eggs you can mix them with lick of cooled(!) slightly salted(for good eggs mixing) fresh boiling water, to made pastry a bit more freshness

My husband used to be a liquor salesman and has two bottles of Petite Liqueur. We have never tried it because we don't know how to drink it. Any suggestions?

I was looking for something creative like this. Then tried this awesome recipe. This recipe does not disappoint. It's a snap to prepare and really tasty.
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