Tomato Soup Cake

I love the flavour of this unusual cake. It’s made with tomato soup. I used a ready-made tomato soup powder for making the soup. It has to be really thick.

The addition of cinnamon and nutmeg together with walnuts and raisins make for a very rich and dense cake. The recipe calls for wholemeal flour and brown sugar, which makes it healthy and wholesome. The cake is so soft that it just melts in your mouth.

I made the soup on the previous day and left it overnight in the fridge, but you could also make it on the same day as the cake. Make sure that it’s not too hot while adding it to the butter. Or you could use a can of condensed tomato soup.

If you do make this cake, it would be fun not to tell your friends what the cake is made of until they have eaten it. I’m sure they will never guess that it’s made with tomato soup. It’s just the thing for unconventional foodies.

This recipe is from The Zodiac Cookbook by Rose Elliot.

DSC01728

 

PREP: 25 minutes COOK TIME: 11/2 hours

Ingredients

225 gms plain wholemeal flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

½ tsp salt

100 gms butter

175 gms brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

300 gms condensed tomato soup

90 gms raisins

90 gms walnuts

 

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Grease and line a 1 kg loaf tin with greased parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.

Place the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl and beat until the mixture is pale and creamy.

Add the baking soda to the tomato soup in a small pan and heat on a reduced flame, until the baking soda is dissolved. This mixture should just be warmed slightly. Add this to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well. Fold in the flour mixture with the raisins and nuts. Turn the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 11/2 hours or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. (My oven took about 50 minutes only). Cool for 10-15 minutes and turn the cake out on to a wire rack to cool.

Ambrosia

This medley of fruits in a sugar syrup with dry fruits, honey and nuts is a dish that our family makes every year for a festival called Dussehra. It’s a celebration that lasts for about nine days and is celebrated by Hindus all over India.

I love the richness of this dish which is so satisfying and yet so light and refreshing. The aroma of the ghee and cardamom is delicious. It’s also vegan and could be served as dessert with a dollop of coconut cream.

It’s very simple to make. Once the sugar syrup is done you just have to add all the fruits and nuts, honey, ghee and cardamom. For those of you who want to cut down on sugar, you could add less of it.

20191007_135148-01

PREP: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 10 minutes SERVES: 6

Ingredients

½ cup jaggery

½ cup water

1 apple

2 bananas

2 oranges, segmented

2 guavas, cut into cubes

1 cup grapes, cut into two

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp ghee

1 tsp cardamom powder

½ cup dates, chopped roughly

½ cup cashewnuts

½ cup raisins

Instructions

Combine the jaggery and water and cook over a moderate heat until the jaggery melts. Strain into another pan and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Add all the ingredients except the apple and bananas. Core and cut the apple into small cubes. Add to the sugar syrup immediately. Slice the bananas into the sugar syrup and mix well. Refrigerate and serve with a dollop of coconut cream.

Semolina Pudding

A very light and tasty pudding – this pudding is very easy to make. It’s called kheer/payasam in India. There are many varieties of this which can be made with sago, vermicelli, nuts and even bread. Most of them are milk based and it usually accompanies a traditional lunch or dinner.

Most Indian desserts have cardamom, saffron, nuts and raisins. This pudding also has edible camphor. A very little of it goes a long way. The taste that this camphor imparts to Indian sweets is very unique.

20190902_125739-01

PREP: 10 minutes COOK TIME: 30 minutes SERVES: 6

Ingredients

  • !/2 cup semolina
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup cashewnuts
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • A small pinch of edible camphor
  • ¼ cup+6 tbsp ghee
  • A few strands of saffron (optional)

Instructions

Heat a large wok or pan and add the 6 tbsp ghee. When it melts, add the semolina and saute it until it just starts to change colour. Do not allow it to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat the remaining ghee in a small pan and add the cashewnuts. When they turn a light golden brown, add the raisins. When the raisins swell up, remove immediately and set aside.

If using saffron, take the strands in a small cup and pour about 1 tablespoon of hot water or milk on it. Using the back of a spoon, press the strands until the colour oozes out. Set aside.

In a large pan, heat the sugar and milk. Stir until the sugar has melted. When it starts boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and add the fried semolina very gradually, stirring all the while. Do not allow it to form lumps. Cover and cook until the semolina is soft. Add the cardamom powder, saffron (if using) and the fried nuts and raisins. Remove from heat and cool. If it becomes too thick, you can add some more milk. I added another cup of milk and a little extra sugar. This can be served hot or cold.

Moist Zucchini Bread

Zucchini is one of my favourite vegetables. It’s so easy to prepare and it’s so versatile. It can be used in a variety of cakes and other baked goods. It doesn’t alter the taste and it’s super healthy and so moist.

When I saw this recipe from King Arthur Flour, I decided that I must try it. The result was so good and the best part about it is it’s so easy. It was chock full of walnuts and raisins and very moist. The top tends to be a bit soft, but as long as the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done.

Since it contains zucchini, it doesn’t keep for very long. It can be stored in a container for several days or frozen if you want to keep it for a longer period. But I must tell you, it doesn’t last that long!

20190804_144708-01

 

This recipe yields an 8 ½” x 4” loaf.

PREP: 15 minutes COOK TIME: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4th cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 3/4th cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 3/4th cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3/4th cup golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar for sprinkling on top

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease an 8 1/2”x 4” loaf pan.

Beat the brown sugar, milk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until smooth.

In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the flour. Mix the dry ingredients with the liquid ingredients until creamy and smooth.

Stir in the zucchini, walnuts and raisins.

Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top as required and sprinkle the brown sugar on top.

Bake for 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove the bread from the pan after it has cooled for 10 minutes. Turn it out on to a rack to cool completely. Slice the bread after it has cooled completely.