G reen tomatoes in a cake? That was I thought when I first saw Paula Deen's " Green Tomato Cake" on the Food Network. If you give this cake some serious thought, its isn't as surprising as at first glance. If one can make cake or bread using carrots, pumpkin or zucchini, why not with green tomatoes? I didn't bookmark the recipe, but that cake was the first thing I thought of when I saw the first lot of this season's green tomatoes at the market! If you follow this blog religiously, you'll know we love our green tomatoes. I have previously posted Green Tomato And Onion Curry, Green Tomato Pickle, Green Tomato Khorma, Green Tomato Relish and the journey is far from over yet. Right now it's thhe turn of green tomatoes in cake.
I trawled the net looking for a recipe that called to me and didn't really find one. Most recipes (including Paula Deen's) seemed to call for a lot of butter, sugar and eggs! So I just went along with my intuition and came up with one where the ingredients were okay for me. I put together the ingredients for a smaller cake, for one thing. You may double these ingredients if you want a larger cake.
I reduced the butter and used just 1 egg (you can try leaving this out or substitute for it if you wish). I also used some light brown sugar but if you want your cake to have a whiter colour, please use all granulated white sugar. Since green tomatoes are acidic, it seemed a better idea to use baking soda. I left out the walnuts as our daughter doesn't like them and instead of the usual nutmeg and cinnamom found in most recipes, I decided to use " chai/ tea masala".
My sister gave me this idea. Indian chai masala consists of a variety of spices which would be complementary to this type of cake. I also chose not to add a frosting or glaze but duted the top with powdered sugar mixed with about 1/4 tsp of chai masala. Don't be tempted to go heavy on the masala or you could end up with a "spicy" cake instead of a "spiced" one.
When the cake is done, and you serve it, very few people will be able to tell you that what they just ate had green tomatoes in it! Surprisingly, unlike other cakes with vegetables or fruit in it, this cake is not at all dense. It is quite light, spongy and moist.
1 cup chopped green tomatoes
1/4 cup Iranian green raisins (or golden)*
50gm salted butter (unsalted is also fine) soft and at room temperature
* Iranian green raisins are small with a greenish colour and delightfully sweet. The Indian green raisins are also pretty good. Otherwise use golden raisins or what you have on hand. Do chop up the tomatoes rather small or you'll end getting a "crunchy" salad feel to your cake.
In a bowl, beat the butter and sugars with an electric mixer, for a couple of minutes. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat well. Sift together 1 cup of the flour, baking soda, baking powder and chai masala powder. Add this to the mixture in the bowl and beat, on medium speed, till well mixed.
Take another bowl and put the chopped tomatoes and raisins in it. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and mix, using a wooden spoon, till the flour has coated the tomatoes well. Add this mixture to the batter in the other bowl and fold in till well mixed using a wooden spoon. The mixture will be quite thick.
Scrape this mixture into a greased and floured bundt/ tube pan (mine is small - a 4 cup bundt pan) and smoothen the top. Bake at 180C for 40 to 50 minutes still a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
Cool at room temperature for about 10 minuted and unmould the cake. Cool on a rack. Cover with glaze, dust with powdered sugar and leave plain as the cake has enough flavour to not want any further additons. This cake serves about 4 to 5.