Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Playing Mouse

It’s funny what happens when my mom goes off on a business trip. Not only does the entire heartbeat of the home stop, but like stagnant water things start to go “off”. I’ve learned that all those “bits and pieces” in the fridge will grow fur and wander off on their own if left to their own devices, no matter how confident my mom is that the rest of the household will use them up in her absence. For some reason – and I’m sure he isn’t alone in this – my stepfather finds it easier to go out and buy food every night (even if he – gasp! – cooks it at home) than to open the fridge and cupboard to find his favourite cabbage rolls, soup and chili that my mom lovingly prepared the nights before she left. So the last of the cheese, the milk, the last few eggs and half a can’s worth of crushed tomatoes sit. And sit.

Well, that is until I get the baking itch – usually sparked by being fed up with seeing all the wasting food. But it was such a random mix of ingredients that filled our fridge, I wasn’t sure even I could pull something off. Luckily, adding sugar and cocoa to pretty much anything is a good start, and I took that theory and partnered it with an old, fairly popular “Tomato Soup Cake” recipe and some goodies from my pantry (including the to-die-for flavour of mesquite powder) to make a moist, tangy, slightly spicy and just sweet enough loaf cake nobody ever suspected was just the wrapping on a wealth of leftovers!

Special Spice Cake
Serves 10
1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves)
1 tbsp mesquite flour (optional)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup canola oil
1 oz soft goat cheese (if you don’t have leftover chevre, use cream cheese)
3 tbsp whole milk
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 2/3 cups crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup dark raisins, soaked in hot water and drained

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, grease a loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, spice, mesquite flour and cocoa in a medium bowl.
  3. In a large bowl combine oil, goat cheese, egg, sugars, vanilla and tomatoes until well blended.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly to combine (do not beat).
  5. Fold in the raisins.
  6. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until tests done.
  7. Cool in pan for 1 hour before unmoulding onto wire rack. Frost with cream cheese frosting if desired.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 284.0
Total Fat: 7.2 g
Cholesterol: 20.3 mg
Sodium: 127.1 mg
Total Carbs: 55.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.5g
Protein: 5.5 g