Monday, January 28, 2008

Pistachio Saffron Cakes

I would have to say that one of the main pet peeves I have with regards to food bloggers is that they provide a picture of a beautiful cake they made without giving the reader a glimpse of the inside. Obviously flavor is essential in a good cake, but I would have to argue that texture follows closely behind. A cake with great chocolate flavor but that is crumbly and dry is still a bust.

I want to see the insides, people! Its not too much to ask. I know that every now and again you cant take a photo of the innards because either the cake is being given to someone or perhaps the cake was devoured before proper pics could be taken. Its like the saying about judging a book by its cover.

The cover may entice you but the writing inside has to hold your interest. With that being said I present you with two photographs and you can tell me which most compels you to make the following cake. Leave me a comment with your opinion...

Photo 1: Outside of cake

Photo 2: Inside of cake

Pistachio Saffron Cakes

3 T warm milk
1/2 t saffron
3 large eggs
1/2 t vanilla extract
2/3 c flour
1/2 c sugar
3/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
3/4 c butter
1/4 c pistachios chopped

Preheat oven to 350

Soak the saffron strands in warm milk for about 10 minutes to draw out flavor and color.

Combine all dry ingredients and add cubed butter. Beat.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat to combine. Add vanilla.

Add the milk and saffron then add the pistachios.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Makes 12 mini-cakes.

I suggest using a pastry bag or plastic baggy to neatly deposit the batter into the mini cake pans. I found the batter difficult to navigate into the tiny dishes and the ghetto pastry bag really helped make the process neater.


Anonymous said...

"Ghetto Pastry Bag" made me laugh out loud. Is this your term for a giant Ziploc baggie with a hole snipped in one corner? Sandra Lee is the QUEEN of Ghetto Pastry Bags.

White On Rice Couple said...

I totally agree with you about showing the insides of pastries and cakes. The insides are the most intimate and best parts. I made some cakes for a party but I was SO busy and was not able to photograph the insides of them and I regret it so! The inside tells the whole, luscious story behind the dessert. Thanks for bringing up a great point for all fellow food bloggers.

Patricia Scarpin said...

These cakes look so good, Sarah! Mind if I grab one? I love pistachios. :)

Amy said...

Dear Sarah,
I love your blog. I publish a food-centric magazine called
"one for the table" and I love this piece you wrote about wanting to see the inside of the cake...and I wanted to know if you would let me cross-post it with a link back to your site...
and occasionally do similar things...
Let me know if that would be okay.
We are obviously primarily based in L.A. but we have contributors from all over.
Thanks so much!
Amy Ephron

Chuck said...

Sarah, your mini cakes look delicious. I have never had a cake with Saffron. Is the Saffron taste very strong?

Beverly said...

I like the inside of these cakes! The outsides are beautiful, too.

How do you make up your own recipes like this?! I have no problem making up my own dinner entrees and lunch dishes, but for baking, I have to follow someone else's recipe. I'm apt to mess up the proportion of flour and baking soda and all that stuff otherwise. I am really impressed! These look delicious. I love pistachios; will have to make these once I'm done with this healthy eating kick!