Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cardamom Vanilla Pound Cake

***Okay, so there are a few ingredients on this earth that I simply could not live without. Cardamom and vanilla are easily on the top of this list. There's something about the warm spicy taste of cardamom...with that delectable little hint of orange that gives it that extra little bit of "specialness". And there's vanilla...who doesn't love the classic and comforting taste of vanilla? Plus, it doesn't get much better than fresh vanilla seeds scraped from the vanilla beans...!

So, because of my love for both cardamom and vanilla, this cake was an extremely easy choice. I didn't have to think too hard about making this one! I'm so glad that I did. The cake was scrumptious, and the combination of the 2 flavors was just over-the-top delicious! Plus, the little flecks of vanilla seeds throughout the finished cake just add another little special touch.

As the magazine mentions, the flavor of this cake intensifies after the first day, so it's even better on the second day! This cake made an easy and delicious breakfast (I know...not exactly a breakfast of champions, but that was the last thing on my mind as I bit into my yummy piece of cake!). I found the texture of this cake to be perfect...just dense enough, but still fairly tender...just like a good pound cake should be.***

Cardamom Vanilla Pound Cake
Source: Gourmet magazine, March 2009

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups chilled heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- a 12-cup kugelhopf or bundt pan
- a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat together butter and granulated sugar in mixer at medium speed, scraping side of bowl occasionally, until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans with tip of a paring knife into butter mixture, reserving pods for another use, and beat until combined well, about 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in lemon juice until combined well. At low speed, add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture, mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into pan, smoothing top. Gently rap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.
Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool in pan 1 hour, then invert onto a rack and cool completely, about 1 hour more.

Beat cream with confectioners sugar and vanilla extract using whisk attachment of mixer until it just holds stiff peaks. Serve cake with whipped vanilla cream.

Cooks' notes:
• If you have green cardamom pods, you can grind the seeds using a mortar and pestle or an electric coffee/spice grinder
•Cake keeps in an airtight container at room temperature 3 days.


Christina said...

Call me crazy, but I swear I can smell how good that cake smells just from the picture :)

Anonymous said...

Your pound cake looks amazing! Can't wait to try out this recipe!

cspurlock said...

A suggestion, you need to separate out the ingredients for the cake from the whipping cream. It kinda reads all-together, which is the mistake that I made when adding the milk && whipping cream as a mixture in with the dry ingredients into the butter & vanilla mixture. I guess I'll soon see how this change will effect the texture of the cake.

cspurlock said...

Okay, I pulled my mini-bundts from the oven & cooled slightly. The texture isn't as dense as a pound cake normally is, but it is tender & moist. I also didn't use vanilla pods for the seeds, instead used pure vanilla bean paste. The paste seems to add extra vanilla-flavoring, which complements the cardamom exquisitely. Frankly, I find cardamom to be overpowering in many recipes. I also paired my cakes with a drizzle of honey, which completes the taste, but I'll whip up the glaze as suggested. Also, the mini-bundts only need to bake for 30min at 350F if anyone is interested. Thxs for the recipe.

madeleine said...

I made this cake today, and it is wonderful! It will certainly become a favorite in my house! Keep up the good posts, and thank you for this blog.

Heli said...

I halved the recipe and baked it as cupcakes but it was very good all the same! I loved the combination of flavours. Definitely a keeper!