Thunder Cake














Thunder Cake

3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup pureed tomatoes

Ganache
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 (9-inch) cake pans.

In a medium bowl, using a mixer on high speed, beat the egg whites (reserving the yolks) until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes; set aside.

In an additional medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together oil, butter and granulated sugar until well combined and creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Beat in yolks, vanilla and tomato until combined. Reduce mixer speed to low and gradually beat in flour mixture until combined, about 2 minutes; fold in egg whites until combined.

Divide batter into cake pans. Bake 33-37 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into cakes comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool pans on wire racks for 12 minutes; run a knife around outside edges and invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

To make the ganache, heat cream in s small saucepan over medium-low heat, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and whisk in chocolate until melted; whisk in butter, corn syrup and vanilla until combined. Pour and spread ganache over cooled cake layers.

Makes 10-12 servings

47 comments:

  1. Tomatoes in a cake. Very interesting!

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  2. This is an awesomely inspired cake recipe, Emily! I totally LOVE IT!!!! You rock!

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  3. I think you are the most instinctive baker there is.. You really must pursue this, as I know you will be a huge success! Your photos are excellent too..

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  4. That was a very daring move. Chocolate and tomatoes can be a daunting idea if not done well.

    My mother said when she was young and she and her friends were all marying, the cake that everyone gave to brides at their showers was a tomato soup cake. It was a spice cake rather than a chocolate cake, but Mom noticed that it has disappeared from people's recipe files. Now thanks to the internet, it's making a comeback.

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  5. Fantastic - I adore the name of this cake! I have never seen tomatoes used in a cake before, but I am adventurous and happy to give it a go - it looks delicious.

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  6. Says the reading teacher - love the idea of pairing books and food. Always a winner with kids. *Now I have to find my own copy of "Thunder Cake".

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  7. I can't believe how good that tomatoe cake looks! I have never read the book, but I feel like running out and buying it and baking "thunder cake" with my son! Seriously, what better way to get your kid to eat veggies then to bake them in a cake! I love it. Can I come over, neighbor?

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  8. What a fun post - I've never heard of that book before, but I'd love to try a piece of your thunder cake :)

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  9. That is one great cake. And I bet you are so proud you've made a Thunder Cake!

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  10. How have I never heard of this children's book? I am a baker and a teacher!!! I might go try this right now . . . we just picked a bunch of tomatoes from our garden!

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  11. Looks yummy! I don't think I've ever read that book but it sounds cute.

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  12. I've never read the book nor heard of Thunder Cake, but it looks and sounds great. ganache topping - oh yum, the best.

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  13. I loved that book when I was little! The cake looks delicious as usual too.

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  14. Absolutely, unspeakably awesome. And I don't even know the book. Headed out back to my tomato plants now!!

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  15. what a cute idea, to recreate this recipe! using tomatoes does sound crazy, but i've done enough vegan baking to know that lots of crazy-sounding things work as sources of moisture in cakes.

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  16. tomatoes in thunder cake!?!?! that sounds awesome actually. i must be pretty sweet from using fresh, juicy tomatoes. i love this. x

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  17. That cake looks soo moist and delicious!

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  18. Tomato in cake?? Eventhough it looks delicious...that just doesn't seem right. :)

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  19. Wow what a beatiful post! This really takes me back to my childhood...I used to LOVE patricia Polloco books, I couldn't take my eyes off the illustrations as a kid.
    I had practically forgotten about thundercake. what a great way to bring some nostalgic joy and childlike love to your cooking!!!

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  20. what gorgeous photos! i reallyreallyreally need a slice of that cake right NOW. especially that frosting!!!

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  21. I have an award for you on my blog.
    http://talleyfam.blogspot.com/2009/08/your-blog-is-fabulous-award-who-me.html

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  22. I bet too much of this cake will also give you thunder thighs!!! Most amazing recipe!!!!

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  23. Kids would have loved this book Emily. What a unique and delicious way to use those sun-ripened tomatoes.

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  24. I've never heard of that book, but it's cool to show kids about cooking at such a young age.

    Tomatoes in a chocolate cake sound pretty interesting. Ever hear of tomato soup cake? Tomatoes can do anything I tell ya :)

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  25. right, so i never, ever heard of such a combination, but i'm up for it. also, "the thunder rolls" by garth brooks is now stuck in my head. :)

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  26. That is fantastic, I never read that book but now I want too! I have never heard of tomato puree in a cake!

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  27. So could you taste the tomato? Looks very moist.
    ~ingrid

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  28. Emily you are so creative! I remember reading this book to my older sons when they were little. I know I will be trying this.....

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  29. How fun! I remember reading some food based books as a kid - Strega Nona with the overflowing pasta pot and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. So fun that you made a recipe from the book!

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  30. Cool story! My tomatoes are just starting - I picked the first one today, but will for sure keep this in mind as the 30-some plants go full feary!

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  31. I make a chocolate tomato cake for my birthday every september. I use yellow tomatoes and I call it a chomato cake (chocolate+tomato=chomato). I think the ripe tomatoes add an amazing depth of flavor and moisture to the cake. Everyone thinks I'm crazy when I tell them about it, but then they try it and agree, tomatoes in cake work!!! I'm glad you agree too!

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  32. This is precious. No, seriously. I love that you baked from a book.
    The tomato thing--wow, it looks like THE moistest cake I've ever seen.

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  33. You are beyond amazing. You could probably add ANYTHING to a cake and it would be good. What could you do with cole slaw? Oh wait, isn't there a sauerkraut cake? YOU could make it good.

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  34. I love reading this story aloud. I've never got around to making the cake though. Thanks for the reminder! I'm going to make it now.

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  35. I wish I could remember but somewhere, a group is making desserts with vegetables. This would make a great contribution. Why don't I bookmark. If you know the group, this would be fun for you to share. It is interesting.

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  36. Awesome. I recently made a killer chocolate cake with zucchini in it. You've got tomatoes. Hmmm, what else? Oh, please don't do onions! (I hate onions!)
    But seriously, the cake looks fab and I love your telling of the story. I love children's books and haven't heard of this one. sounds like a great one! Great job on the cake!

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  37. I love that book! I always wanted to make it! Delicious!

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  38. Many many years ago there was a recipe for chocolate cake that used a can of Campbells Tomatoe soup in it. Was very nice, moist and rich. Made the chocolate taste even more chocolatey.

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  39. My son made "Thunder Cake" when he was in 2nd grade and LOVED it. The teacher had the kids make reciepe books and Thunder cake is in it. He has asked and asked me to make this again. I am not a baker and have put him off till now. He is now in the 4th grade and soon turning 10. Instead of taking cupcakes to school for his birthday I am going to take the kids to thier teaching kitchen and let them help make the cake to enjoy. Now I need to decide if I am going to use the reciepe from the book or use yours! Thank you for sharing your your idea.

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  40. I just couldn't fathom tomato in cake..........???????? I tried it this weekend and made it for my husband for Valentine's Day! It is delicious and "NO" you cannot taste the tomatoe. I did think it was a little dry, but I followed the recipe in the book. Next time - which will be real soon - I'll try the Sugar Plum version.

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  41. I read this book when I was a wee one and my mom and I tried out the recipe together. I no longer have a copy of the book but I was thinking of it today when I decided I wanted to make a chocolate/tomato cake. I searched online for a good recipe, and I was so tickled to see that your cake was inspired by the same book! Here's hoping that mine turns out just as moist and delicious...

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  42. I want to make this cake in my classroom! YAY! I'm glad to hear that the tomatoes don't make the cate gross. :)

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  43. I've seen this cake on Food Network Challenge. Thought I have to try it, searched and found your recipe. It's smashing! I did substitute the 3/4 cup oil with 3/4 cup smashed tinned black cherries. For a frosting, I melted a slab of Blueberry & Nut chocolate, mixed it with some melted butter, cooked couscous & prickly pear syrup. It was delicious!

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  44. I am planning on reading this book and making the cake this weekend for my kids. Thanks for your altered recipe! YUM!

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  45. I am so glad that you made this! I just grabbed this book for my son and he's excited to bake this cake with me. I've been wanting to make it since I was a little girl. Reading from the comments above, I think I might try your recipe to begin with. Did you ever make the original recipe first? Or did you just start with your modifications?

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  46. My daughter and I love this book too! She got it from MY grandma as a gift, and I had never heard of it before. We both have wanted to try the recipe too. We plan on making it for sure, especially now that I have read your blog on it! Thanks! :)

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  47. Just wondering what is the best way to puree tomatoes? I dont want any seeds in the cake.. thanks in advance!

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