Thunder Cake (Cupcakes)

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(Possible one of the best pictures I have ever taken!)

For those of you who don’t know, my mom is a 2nd great teacher. It’s a great thing because I learn about the secret lives of teachers and how they are really human and do have families just like normal people. The kids that she teaches are always adorable because they’re so tiny, innocent and apparently some of them want to be my sister even though they’ve never met me before. It’s ok though, because my mom always tells them stories about my brother and I. So being 2nd graders, they listen to stories all the time. Recently she read them the story Thunder Cake which is a picture book written by Patricia Polacco.

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It’s a story about how a grandma and her granddaughter make a cake while thunder is coming and hence it is called “thunder cake”. There’s more to the book and its been such a long time since I’ve read it so I don’t really remember. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to read though it but hopefully soon I will have time.

One really interesting thing about this cake is that it contains pureed tomatoes. I’ve always love the concept of adding “secret” ingredients to desserts such as vegetables so you can have a “somewhat” healthy treat. Since we couldn’t find any pureed tomatoes at the grocery store I just opened up a can of diced tomatoes and pureed them in my blender. Surprisingly the cake did not contain any taste of tomatoes and was rather delicious. Since my mom has 24 students I thought it would be easiest for her to hand out cupcakes so I made cupcakes and frosted them each with the Hershey’s frosting that I always use.
The students in my mom’s classroom really enjoyed the cupcakes and showed their appreciation by writing me letters which were very thoughtful and adorable.

Blending the tomatoes. If you look closely, you can see tomatoes seeds. For some reason after baking the cupcakes I couldn’t find any. Oh well, good riddance to something not needed.
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Tomato puree.
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Beating egg whites and when adding egg yolks.
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Make sure not to over beat them!
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Creaming butter together with the other ingredients.
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Adding the egg mixture and pureed tomatos.
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Dry ingredients.
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Cake batter.
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Ready to bake.
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All done and cooling.
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All done and frosted!
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Thunder Cake from Patricia Polacco

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together one at a time:
1 cup shortening (I used butter instead)
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, separated
( blend yolks in. Beat whites until they are stiff, then fold in.)

1 cup cold water
1/3 cup pureed tomatoes

Sift together:
21/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup dry cocoa
11/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Mix dry mixture into creamy mixture. Bake in two greased and floured 8
1/2 inch pans at 350 degree for
35 to 40 minutes. Frost with chocolate butter frosting. Top with
strawberries.

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