Someone somewhere was saying that tomatoes are now in season. I hadn't realised they are seasonal in some regions because here, I see them all year round at the market! Well, you live and learn.
Tomatoes have always been to me a savoury ingredient, however at the same time, I was fascinated by its many uses including, quite rarely, in a dessert. I decided to tweak my existing muffin recipe to make sweet tomato muffins. I omitted the egg and butter and replaced those with silken tofu, raspberries and banana, which worked just as well to hold the batter together. Sitting surrepticiously on the shelves, I discovered these delightful dried, candied tomatoes and threw them in the mix for a bit of flavour and excitement. No discernable taste of tomato in there yet, but hey, there's always the frosting. Yes, tomato paste mixed into the buttercream - the sweet-savoury flavour totally worked!
Walnuts, silken tofu, sea salt, candied tomatoes
Of course, when you're serving these, refrain from telling your guests about the secret ingredient (tomato). Listen to them oohing and aahing about the muffins first and when they've finished the whole lot, drop the bombshell. I always enjoy watching people's reactions (surprised, disgusted, appalled, never happy they ate tomatoes as a dessert!). It just shows me how brainwashed we are sometimes about where food should and should not belong - also, it's great party entertainment. *grins*
Makes: 30 standard-sized muffins
1 cup (250g) silken tofu
1/3 cup Maple Syrup or Golden Syrup
¼ cup corn/vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 small, ripe banana
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2 cups plain flour
¼ cup wholewheat flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup candied tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup roasted walnuts, chopped
2 ¼ cups icing sugar, sifted
½ cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line muffin cups with muffin paper.
2. Mix the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa powder and sea salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. In a blender or food processor, pulse together the tofu, syrup, oil, vanilla, banana and raspberries until smooth.
4. Pour tofu mixture into the flour mixture and gently until combined. Gently fold in the tomatoes and walnuts. Fill each muffin cup with about 2/3 full with batter.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean.
6. When completely cool, pipe tomato frosting on the cupcakes.
1. Beat the butter until creamy. Add the icing sugar gradually, beating first at low speed and then fast once all the sugar has been added, Beat frosting until stiff.
2. Add the tomato paste and beat until smooth and creamy. It is now ready to pipe.