The tomato soup cupcake deserves some explanation. Though the unusual main ingredient adds a hint of kitsch to the recipe, it makes for a moist and easy-to-put-together cupcake. Additionally, it brings an interesting flavor to the over-saturated cupcake market (don’t worry—the tomato taste is not prominent). If you’re tired of the same vanilla-frosted chocolate cake, this recipe merits your attention. Tomato soup cake does not dominate a certain region, though it seems to have touched a nerve with a great many Midwestern grandmothers (according to our nonscientific study). This recipe is based on one that originally served as the foundation for a spice cake. We tinkered with it to tone down the spice so that the tang provided by the tomato soup is not completely overwhelmed. Feeling adventurous? Try this recipe.
In a large bowl, sprinkle the baking soda over the top of the tomato soup and stir well. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and baking powder.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and both sugars together on medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat for a few seconds. Turn the mixer to low. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the tomato soup, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Scrape down the bowl again, and mix on low speed for a few more seconds.
Fill the prepared cupcake pan about three-quarters full.
Allow the cupcakes to cool for 30 minutes in the pan, then turn them out onto wire racks to cool completely.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened butter until it is completely smooth. Add the mascarpone and beat until combined.
Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Be careful not to overbeat; this will cause the frosting to lose structure. (At this point, if you want to, you can tightly cover the frosting and refrigerate it overnight. Let it soften at room temperature before using.)
If you have a pastry bag, simply fit it with the largest tip, fill the bag with frosting, and pipe enough over each cake to cover the cupcake with a big mound. If you do not have a pastry bag, use an ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to scoop the frosting and dispense it onto the top of the cupcake. You can also use an offset spatula to frost the cupcakes.
Refrigerate any leftover cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Bring the cupcakes to room temperature before serving.
© 2010 All rights reserved. Published by Abrams Books.