Chocolate Tomato Cake
Tomatoes and chocolate don't grow together but they sure taste great together. That's right, you read that sentence correctly. This recipe for chocolate cake incorporates a little tomato juice to give the flavor an extra zip.
The town of Warren, Arkansas, is famous for the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival and that's where I was introduced to the Chocolate Tomato Cake.
Now if you can, use canned tomato juice, but it's more fun to use tomatoes you've grown yourself. Choose a juicy slicing type such as 'Big Boy' or 'Beefmaster' or follow the Bradley County tradition and grow a pink variety such as 'Arkansas Traveler'.
Plant your tomatoes when the soil has warmed and night temperatures stay above 50°F. Tomatoes need 6 to 8 hours of full sun. Get your stakes or trellises in place when you plant. Plant tomatoes deep; bury at least two-thirds of the plant's stem. This will give the plant strong roots and better fruiting. If the plants start looking worse for wear toward the end of summer, cut back and fertilize for a new flush of growth.
- 1 cup pecans, chopped, toasted
- 1 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
- 1/4 cup and 4 tbsp. cocoa
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 cup water, hot
- 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup tomato juice
- 1/2 cup and 1/2 cup margarine
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 cups flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp. water
Line a 15 ½ x 10 ½ x 1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with non-stick spray.
Cream together margarine, shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each.
Sift together cocoa, flour and soda. Add to butter mixture, combining thoroughly.
Combine tomato juice, hot water and marshmallows; add to batter.
Add vanilla. Batter will be thin and marshmallows will come to top.
Pour the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan. Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 35 minutes.
Turn cake out onto a cutting board and start on the icing.
Combine the margarine, tomato juice, water, cocoa and salt in a sauce pan and heat until boiling. Pour this mixture over the powdered sugar and beat well. Stir in the nuts.
Spread the hot icing over the cake. The icing sets up quickly so you have to work fast.
Time to prepare: 50 minutes.