One of the things that bugs me (aside from ill-fitting shoes and knives put away in the wrong slot) is putting up yucky-looking pictures on my blog. I must confess that I have a folder bulging with delicious meals and desserts that I've prepared but I am not eager to post as the pictures are either bleh or downright nasty. Like a proud parent sending her child off to the first day of school, I want my little blog to look it's best.
But there are times, and recipes, that I have to close my eyes, or squint, and hit the publish button because the recipe is so good and I can't bear to not share it with you. Today is one of those days.
Just in case any of you are suffering from the delusion that everything that comes out of my kitchen is a feast for the eyes, as well as the tummy, I'll talk you through the process of photographing this cake. Hopefully you'll have a laugh, then go bake the cake, because it's worth it.
I made this soup and realized the pictures were bland so I went to the store and bought the most beautiful pears I could find, just to take their picture to dress up the post.
After I'd done that, well, I couldn't just waste the pears. So I found a recipe that called for exactly two pears and I had all the other ingredients. But, hold the phone, it called for a cup and a half of vegetable oil. Euwwww- that's a lot of oil! Thankfully, from my low-fat cooking days, I learned that you can easily substitute up to 1/2 a recipe's oil with non-fat yogurt or applesauce. Since I had yogurt, I went with that.
The cake came out of the oven late at night. I had to have a slice to see if it was as heavenly as it smelled. Yes, it was. Divinely moist, tasting of pears with a hint of cinnamon. Then it was time to take pictures. The lighting was poor and I realized after I looked at the pics that I'd have to try again in the morning. But in the morning, the glaze was as wrinkly as a senior citizen in Florida without sunscreen. Not a good look.
So I thought, I know! Pears + caramel = delicious, so I'll drizzle some lovely caramel over the top. Well, drizzle would have been good if I hadn't overcooked the caramel to the consistency of shoe leather and had to press it onto the cake. Now my lovely cake looked like it was going to the prom in a caramel-colored duct tape prom dress with the slip showing. Tacky. I even tried to get some sexy, caramel dripping shots. It looked much more like something that would take out a filling than something sexy. DIY dentistry is not sexy.
But the good news was that sitting under the cake dome softened the caramel so that my teeth were no longer in danger. And it really was delicious. The recipe goes in my keeper file. Not the pictures, though.
Moist Pear Cake
- adapted from Taste of Home
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup non-fat, plain yogurt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 cups finely chopped peeled pears (about 2 medium)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
2 Tbsp milk
caramel sauce (optional)
1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F. with a rack in the center of the oven. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.
2- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat eggs on medium speed. Gradually add sugar, oil, and yogurt; beat thoroughly. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda; add to the egg mixture and mix well. Stir in the pears and vanilla; the batter will be stiff.
3- Spoon the batter into the prepared tube pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
4- In a small bowl, combine confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle over the warm cake. Or, if you prefer, drizzle with caramel sauce. Cool completely.