Serious Eats: Recipes

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache

Canned tomato soup and chocolate!? Yep.

[Photographs: Caroline Russock]

There isn't one cake in Rose's Heavenly Cakes that doesn't look incredibly delicious but when choosing recipes to share one in particular jumped out at me. Before I read the title and recipe for this Chocolate Tomato Cake with Mystery Ganache I looked at the photo. It was a gorgeous chocolate cake iced with a dark chocolate ganache and rimmed with Pirouette cookies dotted with red buttercream. The cookies made the cake look like a tiny castle—it was really adorable. But then I glanced over to the recipe.

"Canned tomato soup and chocolate!?" This was a recipe that I had to try out for myself, since I figured that the results would be either be fantastic or kind of foul.

Rose Levy Beranbaum created this cake for Campbell's soup and explains in the introduction to this recipe that the tomato soup adds both color and a zing to the cake. She also claims that no one is ever able to guess what the mystery ingredient is when she brings this cake to a party.


There's a full can of tomato soup in there!

I'll admit that I was dubious when I started baking. I tasted the tomato soup out of the can and while it brought to mind a crisp grilled cheese, there was no way I could see it pairing well with chocolate. I was dying to see how the flavors would transform during baking and how tomato soup would work in a ganache.

After a full afternoon of baking and assembling the cake I was left with a picture-perfect cake and lots of worries as to how it would taste once I sliced it open. My fears were assuaged with the first bite. The texture was light and moist with a great crumb, and while I knew the tomato soup was there, if someone served me this cake I would have no clue. There were vegetal back notes but they were similar to those that you would find in some very dark chocolates.

Aside for being a beautiful and tasty, this chocolate cake is the ideal dinner party bring along, imagine ending dinner with a game of guess the mystery ingredient.

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