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Published January 08, 2013, 11:35 PM

Halgrimson: Spices add to Tomato Juice Cake

The only thing I remember my mother using cloves for was to stick them in the scored fat of a ham before it was baked. So in the early years of my marriage, when I baked a spice cake that called for cloves, I added whole cloves. I was not familiar with the ground variety.

By: Andrea Hunter Halgrimson, INFORUM

The only thing I remember my mother using cloves for was to stick them in the scored fat of a ham before it was baked.

So in the early years of my marriage, when I baked a spice cake that called for cloves, I added whole cloves. I was not familiar with the ground variety.

The cake was called Tomato Soup Spice Cake and I think it came from the back of a can of Campbell’s soup. Or perhaps from a magazine ad. I probably forgot to put “ground” in front of “cloves” when I copied the recipe. But it wouldn’t have made any difference.

The recipe sounded good. And it was. So I took a piece over for Gram to sample. She bit into a whole clove and almost broke a tooth. She spit it out. Then she laughed and instructed me in the use of ground cloves.

I was reminded of that recipe recently when I saw a recipe for Tomato Juice Cake in the Penzy’s catalogue. It was similar and since I don’t use canned soups any longer, I gave it a try and liked it.

And since I don’t use prepared ground spices any more either, I ground whole spices separately in my trusty electric spice grinder, measured them and then ground them together with the salt required in the recipe. The fresh spices are much more aromatic.

Penzy’s sells a wonderful orange extract which I substitute for vanilla because I like it better.

TOMATO JUICE CAKE

1¼ cups white flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground allspice

1/3 cup butter, room temperature

¼ cup applesauce

¾ cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup tomato juice

½ cup golden raisins

½ cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped

Frosting:

3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

½ cup butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup confectioners’ sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together butter, applesauce and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add flour mixture alternately with tomato juice, beating until smooth and well blended.

Stir in raisins and walnuts. Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely before frosting. For the frosting: Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low and gradually add confectioners’. Mix until smooth. Spread over cooled cake and serve.

Source: Penzeys Spices, www.penzeys.com

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