“All that glitters is not gold.”

The popular form of this expression is a corruption of a line in William Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, which employs a 17th-century synonym for “glitters.” Shakespeare uses “glisters.” But the expression has evolved into “All that glitters is not gold” and we all know what it means.

All that glisters is not gold;
Often have you heard that told:
Many a man his life hath sold
But my outside to behold:
Gilded tombs do worms enfold.
Had you been as wise as bold,
Young in limbs, in judgement old
Your answer had not been inscroll’d
Fare you well, your suit is cold.

Can you guess where I’m headed here? My cake…my absolutely beautiful cake pictured above. I found a recipe for Praline Cake and thought it would make a special Christmas Eve dessert. I assembled the ingredients which included sour cream and butter — all the makings of a rich, moist cake. I made my own sugared pecans, created the garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and cranberries, and served it for dessert.

I can’t give you the recipe, but I can share the photo. Why? This dessert was as dry as the Mojave Desert! That happens to all of us. Did it ruin the dinner? The night? Nah…hospitality reigned.

But you have to admit, it sure was a pretty cake.

Click here for the sweet pecans recipe.

Click here to learn how to make the rosemary/cranberry garnish.


8 thoughts on ““All that glitters is not gold.”

  1. Loved this posting! You’re right, it was a beautiful cake and you did a great job of decorating it AND photographing it. What would you change about it if you were to make it again? What would you add to make it more moist? What was it missing to achieve culinary perfection?

  2. Hi Cindy: Thanks for the comment. You know, it could be that I froze the cake a week ahead of time, defrosted it on Christmas Eve morning and frosted it with the wonderful cooked frosting. That may have caused it to be dry. However, when you freeze a chocolate cake, it makes it more moist and delicious — at least all my friends agree on this. It could be it just didn’t work for this recipe. I have a wonderful recipe for Southern Pecan Cake that I am going back to but I will use the cooked frosting from this recipe. Those two in combo should be a winner. Last night, Bill sliced a piece of the dry cake (yes, we still have some), smeared it with a slab of butter and put it in the microwave and said: “Now, this is a good cake!”

  3. It was delicious anyway. Really. Perhaps the dryness was caused by overbaking?

    I’ve seen recipes for “toasted” poundcake, where they have you saute slices of pound cake in butter. I think Bill is on to something! Of course, dry cake makes delicious trifle too!

    • Thanks Melanie for the input. One day I was visiting my brother John, when he sliced a piece of Entemann’s raspberry danish, buttered it, and sauteed in a pan, and gave it to me. You never tasted anything so good! (See, I told you hospitality is genetic!)

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