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At some point Emily decided she did not like regular cake, only Thundercake...[see more]


This recipe comes from the book Thundercake by Patricia Pollacco. Emily loved the 


story, about overcoming fear. She also had clear ideas of her likes and dislikes, and she 


decided at some point that she did not like regular cake, only Thundercake. So for many 


years when she was little the cake she would have on her birthday was Thundercake. 


The frosting recipe is one I got from a friend. (One of the things she seemed to like about 


Thundercake is that it was different—it has tomatoes in it—but don’t let that scare you 


away, it didn’t scare Emily even though she didn’t like tomatoes, and you can’t tell 


they’re in there.)


Once Emily was roughly in her teens, she decided she preferred Rice Krispies Treats to 


any cake, so we switched to a special Rice Krispies Treat cake, recipe also given on this 




Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.


Cream together one at a time: 


1 cup shortening 


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: 


2 ½cups cake flour 


1/2 cup dry cocoa 


1 ½teaspoons 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 frosting. 


Chocolate Frosting (from Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate 




Makes about 3 ½ cups


1 1/3 cups heavy cream


1 ½ cups sugar


6 ounces unsweetened chocolate


1 stick (4 oz) plus 2 tablespoons butter


1 ½ teaspoons vanilla


pinch of salt


In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and sugar to a boil over 


moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring 


occasionally, until the liquid reduces slightly, about 6 minutes (I find 


it can take longer). Pour the mixture into a medium bowl and add the 


chocolate, butter, vanilla, and salt. Let stand, stirring occasionally, 


until the chocolate and butter are melted.


Set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water. Using a hand-held 


electric mixer, beat the frosting on medium speed, scraping the 


sides occasionally with a rubber spatula, until thick and glossy, about 


5 minutes. Use at once.

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