tomatoes in a cake? absolutely! once blended with spices, raisins and pecans, no one will know unless you tell them. it's also a way to use a few when the garden produces more than you thought it could. however, when your supply runs out, use some purchased tomato juice or puree as long as it doesn't have flavors such as garlic or onion added. —janeofmanytrade
preheat the oven to 350. grease and flour the pan and set it aside. place the raisins in a pan and cover with water and place it over medium heat on the stove. bring it to a boil, turn the heat off and allow it to cool. drain well before using.
toast the pecans until fragrant, about 5 minutes. allow them to cool. while the pecans toast, bring a pot of water to a boil to blanch the tomatoes. drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for about a minute and then remove them and drop them into iced water to cool. peel the skins off, cut them in half and with your fingertip, remove as much of the jelly and seeds as you can. puree the remaining tomatoes in the blender or food processor until smooth. measure out 1 cup of puree for the recipe and use the remaining puree for another recipe.
place the flour, baking soda and spices into a bowl and whisk to combine. using a mixer on medium speed, cream the butter with the dark brown sugar and the vanilla until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
add the egg to the butter mixture and mix it. scrape the bowl well and mix it until it is fluffy again. remove the batter from the machine and using a spatula, scrape the beaters well. sift 1/3 of the flour mixture over the bowl and fold it a couple times with the spatula. sprinkle half of the tomato puree over the batter and fold it in. sift half of the remaining flour mixture over the batter and fold it in, top it off with the rest of the puree and fold together. sift in the final portion of the flour and fold the batter completely together. fold in the raisins and the pecans and scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
bake until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the cake, about 50 minutes. cool it in the pan for about 15 minutes then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely.
to serve, simply dust it with powdered sugar or make a powdered sugar and milk glaze to drizzle over the cake.