My boy read the book "Thunder Cake," by Patricia Polacco at school. It is a nice story about a grandmother who helps her granddaughter overcome her fear of thunder by baking a cake as the storm approaches. The last page of the book contains the recipe for the special cake.
He thought it would be fun to bake a Thunder Cake of our own. As promised the boy brought the secret recipe home with him from school today. We immediately started baking.
The recipe calls for tomato puree. While this is an unusual ingredient for a cake, it doesn't alter the flavor in any way. The cake is moist, chocolaty and delicious.
1 c. shortening
1 3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs, separated
1 c. cold water
1/3 c. tomato puree
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
Beat the egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the shortening, sugar, vanilla and egg yolks. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the water and tomato puree.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the wet mixture and beat until well combined.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the cake batter, stirring gently until combined.
Pour the batter into two greased 8 1/2 inch round pans. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes.
Invert the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.
To frost the cake, use Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
Place one layer of the cake on a cake stand. Top with a generous layer of the buttercream.
Top with the second layer of cake. Use a small amount of frosting to give the cake a crumb coat.
Top with the remaining frosting.