As part of my endeavour to make one new recipe a week, I've been trying a bunch of different things. While I probably average that, often it's been a one day-three new recipes deal. It's not quite my goal but it's working. The bottom line is that I'm cooking more, period, even dragging out old favourites that have long been ignored, and that makes me happy.
I am a sucker for cake, and a fan of things I can eat with my hands, so a good snack cake is always welcome. In flipping through old cookbooks, I have often come across the old Soup to Nuts Cake recipe which contains, as one of its ingredients, a can of condensed tomato soup.
Yes. Soup. When you remember that tomatoes are technically fruit, it seems far less weird. After all, we throw veggies in cakes all the time. Carrots, zucchini, I've even heard tell of beets! Perhaps you've heard of these cakes. I imagine they've come from a long lost soup can label or brand-name recipe book. The recipe is far older than I am. As this is the summer of making new things, I decided that what has long intrigued me would be made and tasted.
Oh, the colour! No amount of late-night, poorly lit, kitchen photography can capture that orangey-red.
The smell when mixing reminded me quite a lot of pumpkin cookies. The spices would be mostly responsible for that, I'm sure, but even the soup helped to evoke that scent. The batter was delicious!
Again, the camera let me down here and shows the cake as kinda saffron-y instead of more pumpkin-y hue. Perfect with a brown sugar frosting but lovely without. It was moist and delicious, improving in texture the next day but it didn't last much longer than that. I'm not going to lie, I loves me some cake, people! This one did not disappoint so I'll definitely be making it again - in fact, I have since the original photos were eaten in the two weeks lost in the Great Computer Crash of Twenty Twelve.
The recipe called for walnuts but since we had pecans, I used them instead. I prefer pecans to walnuts anyway. I skipped the currants. I have even subbed in craisins. I baked it in a 8x12 pan! It's a very forgiving recipe. By changing the butter to margarine, you could very easily make this cake vegan, since there are no eggs in it. I double-checked the ingredients on the soup can to be sure, so I was impressed with that, though eating vegan is always more incidental than intentional for me. I'm little and pale so going meatless will likely never be a viable option for me, (and I believe not-so-secretly that margarine is evil) but it's nice to have recipes when inviting vegan friends for tea or taking to potlucks when you know there'll be people with dietary restrictions. Until such an occasion, I'm using butter.