Monday, August 22, 2011

Sugarsweet Tomato Nut Torte

Unlike anything I have ever baked this torte, with the unusual addition of tomatoes, surprised me. The recipe was found in a book called Great Cakes by Carol Walter.


3/4 of a pound of really ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
1 1/2 cup of macadamia nut (optional)
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour Not Sifted
1 cup sifted unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar lightly packed
2 teaspoons of freshly grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Blanch and peel tomatoes. Remove the seeds. Puree the pulp. You should have 1 cup of tomato puree. Stir in the vinegar and set aside.

Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter a 9 inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

Put nuts and the 1/2 cup of unsifted flour in a processor and pulse 8 to 10 times until nuts are chopped to medium size. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Melt butter and set aside to cool.

Sift together the 1 cup of sifted flour baking soda, salt, and spices in a triple sifter. ( I just sifted mine a few times because I don't own a triple sifter) Set aside.

Place the eggs in a large bowl. Beat on medium high speed until thickened and light in color, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the brown sugar while beating over a 2 to 3 minute time period and then beat for 3 minutes longer. The mixture will be very thick.

Reduce mixer speed to medium low. Blend in the lemon peel and vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the tomato puree, dividing the dry ingredients into three parts and the puree into two parts, starting and ending with the flour. Scrap the sides of bowl as needed. The batter will be very loose.

Quickly pour in the butter, then add the nuts, beating just until blended.

Immediately pour the batter into the prepared pan. Center the pan on the rack and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the cake is golden brown, the sides begin to pull away from the pan, and a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and set the pan on a rack to cool completely. Release the outer rim of pan, invert the cake onto the rack, peel off the parchment paper. Place top side up on a serving platter. Just before serving dust with powdered sugar.



A few notes about this cake and recipe. After making several cakes from this particular book, I have found that my bake time is quite shorter than the book suggests. It could be my oven but, the bake times are fine with other recipes. Just use the description of the done cake as your guide and start checking it around the 40 minute mark. The book actually suggested 55 to 60 minutes. Again, this would have been way too long for me.
Another note, the last step of adding the melted butter and nuts, dump and stir. Don't go crazy, but don't under stir either.
This cake will keep for 5 days, covered at room temperature.

On a personal note, I made this for my step-dad for his birthday. At the same time, I also took to their home a Marble Cake for my Mom's birthday. I used the same cookbook for both recipes. I found the Marble Cake was a little dry and I suspect it was over baked per recipe bake time instructions. I want to try that one again, before I post the recipe.

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