I definitely have a lot of random ingredients in my pantry, mostly because the Baker bought and forgot about them. My usual tendency is to look up recipes that will incorporate these random ingredients, and serendipitously, my friend Marianne usually posts recipes that include these culinary components. Cardamom is one of these. Its appearance reminds me of pistachio, but it is nothing nutty about it. Cardamom’s fragrance is rather complex, and foreign if you do not have exposure to spices. As I was grinding the pods, my kitchen was filled with its aroma. It is just as pungent as nutmeg, but not as spicy at the first whiff. It is not as mellow and peppery as Allspice. In fact, Cardamom has the reminiscence of sandalwood to me. Of course, my description is probably not entirely accurate, so take a sniff next time while you visit the market.
|Looks a bit like pistachio, but the fragrance is a lot more complex.|
The recipe that Marianne wrote is Cardamom cake. It is a bit different from the cakes I baked in the past because it called for wheat flour instead of regular all purpose. The batter is also a lot thicker than ordinary cake. Over all, this cake tastes nutty, a bit spicy, aromatic, and hearty. It pairs very well with tea or black coffee. The nuttiness is not from the almond on top, but the wheat flour. The first bite gives that wholesomeness of the wheat from wheat bread.
|Cake dough, thicker than ordinary one.|
|Cross-section of the cake|
Given that this is the first time I bake with cardamom, I reduce the amount to 1/2 teaspoon, where the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon. Even with the reduced amount, the fragrance is still prominent, and only strengthen as the days go by.