Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Cardamom loaf cake

Years ago, I wouldn't have known what to do with cardamom (and please note that it is cardamom, not cardamon) if my life had depended on it. The first time I encountered it, my sister-in-law had bunged a pod in with some coffee that was percolating. It was thoroughly delicious! I also discovered that it was sometimes used in curries. So I bought some and used it occasionally to flavour coffee and curries.

Then, oh glorious then, we went on our first family trip to Sweden. The Swedes have this very civilised observance called elvakaffe - eleven (o' clock) coffee, which equates to the English elevenses. And of course, with the coffee, there must be a little something. And that little something had quite often been baked with cardamom. Where the recipes to which I was accustomed used cinnamon, the Swedes used cardamom instead, it seemed. Perhaps it was the novelty, but I decided then and there that cardamom was the superior flavour.

This recipe is a sort of amalgam of various cardamom loaf recipes I have acquired along the way. I always buy the spice in pod form and then grind it using a coffee grinder. It's a bit of a faff, but it's well worth it for the way it involves your nose in the flavour sensation.

Oven temperature

Mix well...
125g butter
375ml caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
7.5ml ground cardamom seeds
1000ml self raising flour
5ml baking powder
Pinch salt
250ml water
60ml oil (I like it with olive oil, but you should experiment)
Slice and eat with butter

  • Cream together the butter and sugar.
  • Stir in yolks and cardamom.
  • Add flour, salt, baking powder and water.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff and then fold into mixture.
  • Add oil and mix well.
  • Bake in a greased loaf tin for about an hour.
  • Cover with a cloth and allow it to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes before turning it out onto a cooling rack.
  • Slice up and eat with (or without) butter.

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