Friday, October 20, 2006

Pear-Cardamom Disappointment

(10/19) Sigh. Why do I keep trying to experiment with stuff that I don't like to bake with? I am breaking all my own rules for cakes that rock.

October 12, 2006
Name of Cake: Pear-Cardamom Bread
Occasion: Lindy's Potluck Party!!
Constituents:Pear-Cardamom (Quick)bread from the recipe book "Three Bowls" by Seppo Ed Farrey

Pear Cardamom Bread

For those of you who don't know about Three Bowls, it is a cookbook written by a man who was the head chef at the Dai Bosatsu Zendo in the Catskill Mountains. I spent some time up there for a quantum shiatsu seminar in 2001 and although we spent most of our time in our workshop, we did do morning and midday meditations with the monks, and more importantly, Seppo cooked for us in addition to cooking for all the monks.

Seppo was well known for his yummy cooking, almost vegan and low-fat as it was. I have to agree, his cooking was pretty damn tasty, and I am a card-carrying, devoted meat eater (not to mention anti-soy). I was so impressed by his food that I bought his cookbook and intended to make every single dish in there.

That I still haven't done, although there are some winners in there that I like to make on a fairly regular basis....and that I usually add a little animal flesh to.

But his little dessert section drives me batty. Way too healthy. But I keep trying to make it work anyway. Someone hit me over the head and tell me to stop trying, please!

I chose to make this bread for Lindy's Potluck mainly because everyone who was attending has already been subjected to my tastier cakes for a couple of years now--I mean, like sometimes twice a month I would show up with an awesome cake that they would have to help eat--and I'm not saying that they didn't like eating them, but now most of them have sworn off sugar to some you know, I feel bad bringing around one of my goodies.

So I thought, "Hey that Seppo has some of them healthy cakes there in that book..maybe I'll try that!" And so Pear-Cardamom bread it was.

This quick bread is made with 100% whole wheat pastry flour, is sweetened with maple syrup, and fattened up with non fat yogurt and unsweetened applesauce.


In rebellion I bought full-fat, cream on top, vanilla yogurt, forgot to get applesauce, and bought a couple of bosc pears that were a little under ripe. I thought they would mush out less.

What a Cool Teaspoon I Have

And I discovered that my teaspoon can double as a pear corer/melon baller!! Cool!

What a Cool Teaspoon I Have

Since I forgot the applesauce, I turned back to using full fat 100% real butter. And unfortunately, there was no half-and-half in the house so I had to use my roommate's soy milk. I didn't use much of that. Ick.

The yogurt was sweetened a bit already (with maple syrup) so I cut back how much maple syrup the recipe called for and omitted the vanilla extract (not on purpose).

The Cardamom

I used twice as many pear cubes as were called for and a bunch more cardamom and cinnamon. The batter tasted....okay...and so I put it in a loaf pan and let it bake up.

People at the potluck were excited for my quick bread, but I warned them that it was experimental and I didn't know what it tasted like. Which was a good idea, because the bread was
  • dry
  • boring
  • tasteless
  • kind of gummy even though it was baked thoroughly
  • the pears weren't even juicy
  • somebody said, "there's cardamom in here??"
  • and somehow, even though it was wrapped up, the fruit flies were all over it the next day--YUCK
Oh well. I'm going to have to do something drastic to make up for it...

(6 hours later) I did do something drastic...I baked brownies...from a BOX!!!

I Cheated

(at least the frosting is my mocha buttercream from scratch)


  1. WHACK!
    Stop trying to make stupid healthy zendo cake, you moron!

  2. (rubbing head) ow. Thanks Zetta. You're right, you're right. I know you're right.

  3. Healthy and cake just don't belong in the same sentence, you know?

    I won't whack you, though. One whack is enough.

  4. Yeah. I never understood the impulse to claim that things like fruit and sorbet are desert. Is not the point of desert to challange the diner's pallate to the brink of gastro-culinary destruction? "Oh, come on! Just one dinky fallen chocolate souffle with caramel ice cream won't hurt. . .will it?"