Sunday, October 4, 2009

Green Tomato Chocolate Cake

Sept. 2009 167If you don’t have a garden, this post may send you running to a neighbor’s just to snatch a few green tomatoes. Green tomatoes in chocolate cake? Yes, quite odd I know, but no less strange than the beer that’s also part of the recipe.  You won’t taste the flavor from either, but you will get a moist cake with a light, spongy texture that’s perfect for layering or for cupcakes.

You can bake this recipe in a large 9 x 13-inch pan, or in 8-inch cake pans, or as cupcakes, or a combination of them. I baked it in two 8-inch square pans, and had enough batter left over to make 10 cupcakes. It should come as no surprise when I tell you there’s been entirely too much chocolate cake consumption around here. So we toted some off to relatives in Pennsylvania yesterday to spread the wealth (and the calories).

Sept. 2009 248Sept. 2009 174 

These are the remaining vestiges of this year’s tomato harvest. I needed about three green ones for this recipe, and there were more than enough here. We’ve been eating the yellow and red ones in salads, and will be sorry to have to revert to tasteless, supermarket tomatoes soon.  Sept. 2009 149 For this recipe, cut up the green tomatoes and put in your food processor:

Sept. 2009 150

Then pulse until you have a smooth puree:Sept. 2009 152

Follow the rest of the recipe as follows, which is adapted from “The Tomato Festival Cookbook," by Lawrence Davis-Hollander

Green Tomato Chocolate Cake

Printable Recipe Here

2/3 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups sifted unbleached flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 T. instant espresso
1 cup beer
1 cup pureed green tomatoes
1/4- 1/2 cup water (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan, or two cake pans, or cupcake tins. (I used two 8-inch square pans and had enough to also make 10 cupcakes.) In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir in chocolate, then, one at a time, the eggs. Add vanilla.
In a medium bowl, sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with beer, tomatoes and instant espresso. If batter appears stiff, add water (I didn’t need to add any, but moisture content of tomatoes varies).
Turn batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack.

For the cupcakes and the layer cake, I made a coffee-ricotta filling and frosted with a chocolate ganache frosting.

Coffee Ricotta Filling:

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

2 T. coffee liqueur (or brandy or other liqueur)

1 T. instant espresso

Put the instant espresso into a cup with the coffee liqueur and stir until granules are melted.

Put ricotta cheese into mixer and add confectioner’s sugar, and instant espresso/coffee liqueur mixture.

Mix until blended.

To insert the filling into the cupcakes, use a pastry bag with a plain pointy tip. Insert the tip into the center of the cupcake from the top and squeeze the pastry bag to release some of the filling. Be careful not to overdo it or your cupcake may burst open.

Frost with the ganache frosting. Get out your pastry bag again, but use a star tip and decorate each cupcake with another squirt of the ricotta filling on top.

 Ganache Frosting

1 cup heavy cream

8 oz. dark or bittersweet chocolate, chopped in small pieces

Bring cream to a boil. Remove from heat. Place chocolate in heat-proof bowl and pour hot cream over it. Let it sit for a minute, then stir slowly to blend the cream into the chocolate pieces. Keep stirring until all the chocolate is melted and the frosting is smooth. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool down, then pour or spread on cake and/or cupcakes.

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  1. I love the way you present this...looks so yummy :)

  2. oooh, I love the filling! Now that's a clever way to use up those green tomatoes!

  3. Oh my gosh those looks so good. I don't know too many things to do with green tomatoes so i'm gonna bookmark this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    In the meantime, err.. do you deliver?

  4. This is just too interesting to pass up. I'm sure I have a neighbors with enough green tomatoes to try this. It will be so sad to see the end of tomato season. They've been outstanding this year.

  5. How cool is this recipe??? I love it- so unusual, and you're right... I can't believe it works!

  6. Oh! I like this so much! What a novel way to use up some green tomatoes. The ricotta filling sounds so good.

    I must buy that cookbook seems to have so many good recipes.

  7. A great idea! That cake must be very smooth and moist! Perfect like the zucchini-chocolate combination...



  8. now this is a new one on me! what beautiful cupcakes...the chocolate with the coffee filling is sending me over the edge....YUM!!

  9. I had to read the recipe twice. I would never guess that there was tomatoes in that beautiful cake. It looks so moist and delicious! Great work!

  10. Sumptous! I wish I had those green tomatoes!
    I'm going to check your blog for cupcakes to bring to school for my son's birthday - they have to be fail proof!

  11. Wow, how interesting to use tomatoes! I definitely would love to give this a try.

  12. Your cupcakes look awesome! Tomatoes, who'd a thought?

  13. Holy Mole! I love this cake! Thanks for pointing me in this direction. The amazing things we do to food, huh? I have copied this recipe and will make it this week, due to the fact that I have about a zillion green tomatoes.

  14. I would have never thought of adding green tomatoes, but I am so willing to give this a try. I'll bet that it's really moist. As for the ricotta filling-- wow! I have everything I need to make this.
    So glad you stopped by my blog. I've seen your name on mutual friend's blogs and I'm glad I came to see yours. It's lovely! I'll be back!

  15. This sounds like a wonderful recipe, Linda. I've used zucchini in chocolate cake, but have never tried green tomatoes. Too bad I'll have to wait until next season to give it a whirl.

  16. The title of this post and the end-result are the most unusual couplings of food I've seen.

    I expected something green and I got chocolate heaven! Food stretches the imagination, indeed!

  17. What an interesting way of using tomatoes! It looks delicious . . .

  18. Wow! I would have never thought to out tomatoes into chocolate cake. It looks so moist and yummy! And that coffee ricotta filling sounds amazing!

  19. Now that is interesting. I can see how that would enhance your cake.

  20. Wow. This is so weird it might actually be amazing.

  21. Made this with a combo of oat flour and quinoa flour and it worked out well. Is there anything I could substitute for the beer and still get the cake to work? Thanks!

  22. To anonymous - If you're looking for something other than beer, and non-alcoholic, I'd try ginger ale, or even seltzer water. Let me know if it works out for you.