September 2, 2008

a picture is worth a thousand drools

Like many of you, I really enjoy looking at pictures of food. Even if it's a dish that I wouldn't particularly care to eat (fish, anyone?), I can appreciate a thoughtfully-displayed and carefully-taken photo.


Also like many of you, I have a ridiculously long list of favorite blogs. One on that list is Susan's Food Blogga--her writing is sharp and completely enjoyable, and her pictures are always stunning and usually of things I like to eat. Not long ago, she posted a recipe for a breakfast cake containing blackberries and cashews. The photos were so breathtaking that they stuck in my mind and when my buddy picked all those blackberries for me, I knew I needed to make that cake. (I really set myself up for disappointment though, because my pictures will most assuredly never be on par with Susan's.)

I did make some changes (as I'm wont to do), the most obvious of which being an increase in cinnamon. I used whole eggs rather than egg whites and all all-purpose flour and white sugar rather than a combination including whole wheat flour and brown sugar. I also increased the oil a tad. Basically, what I did was make it less healthy. Hmm. Also, instead of just cashews, I used a mixture of cashews and walnuts, and I bumped up the blackberries as well.


(mmm...berry goo)

Happily, my changes didn't seem to affect the cake's scrumptiousness. However, as you can see, they did affect the picture quality. Yes, those changes are most certainly to blame for the fact that my pictures aren't as nice as Susan's. It has nothing to do with my picture-taking abilities, to be sure...

Blackberry Breakfast Cake
(based on this recipe)

Cake:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice)
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup quick oats
2 cups fresh blackberries
1/4 cup chopped nuts

Topping:
1/4 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup quick oats

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter or coat with cooking spray an 8x8-inch pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
In a separate large bowl, combine the sugar and eggs. Stir in the vanilla, buttermilk, and oil. Add in the dry ingredients, including the oats, and stir just until incorporated. Coat the blackberries and nuts in a bit of flour and then fold in until well blended.
Pour the batter into the pan and gently shake it to even it out. Sprinkle the chopped nuts and oats evenly over the top of the cake.
Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted deep into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool at room temperature.

60 comments:

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

OMG! I'd be happy to have this for breakfast, lunch and dinner! It looks wonderful!

Kim said...

I can not believe that I have let the summer go without eating one blackberry! Not one to use cashews in baking because it just doesn't cross my mind, this looks wonderful. Good job Grace.

Half Baked said...

This looks scrumptious! I love breakfast cakes so I'll have to give this one a try.

Lorraine E said...

LOL at making it less healthy! I wish blackberries were more common here so I could make this *sigh*

Y said...

I'm not one to eat cake for breakfast, but that looks very good indeed! I like the closeup pictures of the berry tinged cake. Yummy!

Bunny said...

You always take good pictures Grace. I love your close ups ( of all the goodies you make) of the berries in the cake. Berries of any kind are so pretty whether they're baked or a la natural. And yes i will look at pictures of food that i would have no intension of making and think.....geez the picture looks so good it almost makes me want to make it.

Albany Jane said...

Oh, that crumb. It looks moist, airy and flat-out delicious.

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

If those aren't good pictures, I'm afraid to see what is. I'm already salivating from the texture in those pictures...soft and moist. Yum!

Prudy said...

OH, I'll take a hearty helping. Cashews are my favorite and I love them in just about anything so I'd be cuckoo for this one.

Melanie said...

Your pictures are making ME drool, if that makes you feel better. That cake looks divine. I've always loved the concept of breakfast cake. What a novel and inspiring idea to eat cake for breakfast.

Lucy said...

Ooooh my word, isn't that looking scrumptiously DELISH!!

OhioMom said...

Your pics have me drooling, that would have been wonderful for breakfast this morning ... hey if it has fruit it is breakfast food in my book :)

kat said...

I don't know what you are talking about those pictures are certainly drool worthy!

Katie said...

This looks really good and my cereal bar just isn't cutting it after seeing pictures like this.

eatme_delicious said...

Haha usually people modify recipes to make them healthier not more unhealthy. =)

RecipeGirl said...

Yum.. I'd eat this any time of day :)

Sandie said...

Excuse me, I would leave a longer comment but I have a breakfast cake to go make...

Tiffany said...

If I'm going to eat a muffin, I prefer that it not be healthy. In other words, I would be likely to make your changes to the recipe as well.
Looks delicious, Grace, and your picture-taking abilities are superb!

Maria said...

Blackberries are my ultimate favorite!! Love the photo!

Bridgett said...

This would go perfect with my coffee right now. Mind sending me over a piece? ;)

Haley said...

I think your pictures are fabulous! They made my stomach growl!


We'd like to invite you to participate in our September apple and peach recipe contest. All competitors will be eligible to win one of three prizes :)! Please email me, haleyglasco@gmail.com, if you're interested. Feel free to check out our blog for more details: http://blog.keyingredient.com/2008/08/29/september-kick-contest/

Thanks :),
Haley
KI Blogger

Rachel said...

Wow I can have that any time of the day...

Deborah said...

I like the less healthy versions!! This looks amazing!

noble pig said...

Oh now you're talking! I think your pics show off the exploded fruit and amazing cake very well! Yum-o.

farida said...

Yummicious!!!! Loved it!

Emiline said...

Oh, that Food Blogga. Her pictures make me jealous.

Blackberry bread sounds really good to me right now. Or is it blackberry cake?

Paula said...

Excuse me while I wipe my chin! Your photos are great, and I like your modifications to the recipe too! Of course, I might as well just paste these to my thighs as I'm sure I'd eat enough of them to quickly plump me up!

Sharon said...

I pretty much always double the amount of cinnamon that a recipe calls for so of course I'm lovin' your changes!

I think your pictures are fabulous, especially since berry goo is something I'd like to eat.

foodhoe said...

mmmmm yay for less healthy and yay to cake for breakfast. btw I think the pictures look very scrumptious

Sophie said...

I would loooove to wake up to the smell of this! Looks dreamy! :D

The Blonde Duck said...

Those pictures are still tasty enough to make me drool. It looks fabulous!

Lori said...

you and your love of cinnamon. it always makes me smile. :) (see?) the photos are making my mouth WATER!

Lisa said...

Ok, you sure have me drooling!

sliceofsueshe said...

i think your photos are droolicious! and all those berries in the cake...yum!

LyB said...

Cake for breakfast, yay! I'd happily eat this right now, actually. Did you really add more cinnamon, really? :D

Elle said...

I'm sure it'd be great for after dinner, too! Like, right about now...

hot garlic said...

Yum! I'd love this for breakfast {or any other meal}!

I think I'd change the nuts to walnuts or pecans though. Cashews, really? Maybe it is one of those you've got to try it things!

Laura said...

Your photos are plenty scrumptious for me. And your changes cracked me up--I always make baked good less healthy. It is a terrible habit!

Peabody said...

Looks like a great use of blackberries. YUM.

Pam said...

My mouth is drooling, I am hungry for breakfast and it's 11:00 at night. Great recipe - this looks just beautiful Grace.

Foodycat said...

I love that you can put "breakfast" and "cake" in the same phrase.

EAT! said...

Just what I need this morning. Got an extra piece you can part with?

Marjie said...

Dunno why you wouldn't want to make something less healthy! Breakfast should be fun - why else wouldn't you just mumble, "Oh, crap to this!" and wander back to bed?

I love breakfast cakes any time of day. I like not-so-sweet treats!

Helene said...

I really want to taste this. I love fruits in my desserts.

Indigo said...

Breakfast... cake. Breakfast cake. Breakfast. Cake.
Why have I never had this?

...I'm so having cake for breakfast tomorrow. Possibly this cake. In one sitting. Phwoarr.

Hillary said...

Haha I love the "thousand drools" and I also love berry goop! Nice breakfast cake!

Gloria (Canela) said...

Grace, is absoluitely fantastic and yummy!!! Gloria

Gigi said...

Cake for breakfast is the best! And your pics do look scrumptious!

Ann said...

"Basically, what I did was make it less healthy."

Okay, remember when I asked if we might be twins? Yeaaaaaaaaaaaah. 'Nuff said here.

Rosie said...

OH my goodness this is pure heaven to me!! I could eat this cake any time of day!! A must try - thanks for sharing :)

Rosie x

Mike of Mike's Table said...

If your pictures are bad, then I have low standards--this looks (and sounds) delicious to me! And lol, I didn't have to get past the first pic to know that there would be a respectable amount of cinnamon in this! ;-)

Kevin said...

I like those huge berries in the cake. Ops, I am drooling. What a nice breakfast.

Bellini Valli said...

Mmmm blackberries. Did you see the photo of the humungous blackberries on my blog from England...Black Butte:D

Vera said...

Grace, the less healthy dish the tastier it gets; that's a fact :) The cake looks great!

Grace, you don't eat fish?! You are full of surprises :)

Jude said...

Mmm berry goo. I could use a platter of that this cold September morning.

sara angel said...

Mmm I loooove breakfast :)

Jeanne said...

Now THAT'S what I call a breakfast! And I love you you list all the modifications you made & sum them up with "I made it less healthy"! LOL - my kinda modifications :)

nicisme said...

I really want some of this! It looks so comforting and delicious!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I made this cake this morning -- with not so great results. Has anyone else actually make this? All the comments were about how pretty the photos look. The batter was very runny for a cake -- I should have known something was off then! The top burned, while the interior did not ever set right. It was gooey, yes, but not in a pleasant way. It tasted and looked half baked -- even though we baked it for over an hour and 10 minutes.

grace said...

i'm so sorry it didn't work out correctly for you! i have no explanation, but if you're ever inclined to try again, how about making muffins or something that might bake through move easily and evenly?