This is a fantastic, tasty and moist loaf, perfect for a snack, with coffee or herbal tea, and amazing right out of the oven smeared with butter.
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease/flour - line with parchment paper (you'll need a bit of grease on the sides so the paper'll stick)! - a small loaf pan (22cm x 11cm, of for my American readers 8.5 x 4.5 inches).
2. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, individually, and cream some more. Add vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, sift your dry ingredients together. Alternately stir this into the egg/butter mixture with the milk, until well-combined.
4. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a knife. Bake for 55 - 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning it onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes to the readership.
- If using a glass pan, decrease the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
- Cardamom is an expensive spice. I tend to buy it in small amounts from the bulk store to keep costs down. It's a wonderful spice, though, and can be used in savoury dishes as well. The Afgan Horsemen (see sidebar under Vancouver) use it in their cooking and it's so fragrant and tasty. It's delicate and warm, so don't overpower it with stronger flavours. In baking, it's often paired with citrus because they make a great team, and the citrus helps bring out the flavour. In school, I made an orange cardamom white chocolate mousse that was excellent. Paired with orange, it would make a great addition to cheesecake, too, I think, or even creme brulee. In this recipe, it's on its own, so you'll get a real sense of its flavour and what else you can pair it with.
- I don't think I've ever baked this for the full hour or so, but I have a hotter oven. Just keep an eye on it and give it at least 45 minutes before checking on it the first time.