Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Cardamom Loaf

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
2 eggs
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.


Isabella di Pesto said...

Thank you for this mouth-watering recipe. There's a little Swedish bakery on Cape Cod that creates gorgeous cardamon bread every Christmas. The smell of that bread wafts out onto the street and makes all the passers-by delirious with hunger.

I will bake this tonight.

On another note. My recipe for the vegetable stew used shitake mushrooms because they were there, and I wanted to use them up. I love porcini mushroom, but they are wildly expensive, and shitakes are meaty and woody flavored (similar to porcini).

Thanks again for posting this recipe. Can't wait to try it!!!

Wandering Coyote said...

Let me know how it goes. I love this for breakfast, too.

I love shiitake mushrooms. I have a great soup recipe that involves them, though dried. I should post that one, too, because it's amazing. I'll have to go track it down. At school we put them on the pizza, but it was a no-no because they were meant for culinary. And often people didn't know to discard the stems - chomp! Well, we were students, after all...

greatwhitebear said...

I have only had cardamom bread once. It was years ago at a Syrian bakery at the Eastern Market in Detroit. It was still warm and was excellent. I will have to try this one soon!

Isabella di Pesto said...


I just removed the cardamon loaf from the oven [I didn't have time to bake last night].

The aromas wafting through the kitchen are driving me [and probably the neighbors on my floor] into delirium.

I don't know if we [a very close friend and I] can wait for the loaf to cool a bit before we lunge into it, cut a slab and slather it with butter. Oh my, oh joy!

Thank you so much again for this wonderful recipe.

Wandering Coyote said...

Let me know how it turned out. I may have to make one tomorrow, myself...

Isabella di Pesto said...

I think I left a comment on your cardamon loaf over at Wandering Coyote.

Anyway, I pronounce it a great success.

I live in an apartment building in the North End of Boston [the Italian district].

Today, as I got into the elevator, a neighbor's visitor commented on the aromas coming from the apartment. He recognized the scent, he said. I confirmed that, yes, it was cardamon that he smelled.

He is a Finn visiting from California where he is doing work in physics at Berkley.

The loaf had a wonderful texture. Even and velvety. And the aroma is heavenly.

Engagement Rings said...

This will perfect with my afternnoon tea. Thank you!

la said...

Hey, I googled "cardamom loaf" and you were the first return! xD

I may bake this tomorrow. I'm hopeful the aroma will attract a handsome Finn... but if not I'll settle for smthg tasty to serve to my guests.


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