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Coffee and Cardamom

November 1, 2010

Something a little bit different:

Cardamom entered my life sometime toward the beginning of this year, it quickly went from being a spice I had never heard of and certainly couldn’t spell, to a spice I have a rather tempestuous relationship with. Sometimes I think I love it, but tasting rice flavoured with cardamon will bring on a temporary hatred of the spice, until I see another recipe using cardamom in a most intriguing way.

One of my birthday presents was a book entitled ‘The Flavour Thesaurus’ by Niki Segnik. A brilliant book that lists pairings of flavours that work together, I’m desperate to spend more time pulling unusual combinations out of it to try or even just reminding myself of more common parings to take my cooking out of the mundane rut it usually runs into at uni. Unfortunately I don’t have too much time to delve into this book, in order to shop and cook imaginatively at the moment, but there is one combination that I haven’t been able to forget.

The Bedouin prepare their coffee with cardamom, its hardly surprising that this is a combination I have not previously come across. Niki Segnik suggests topping a cardamom sponge with coffee icing, so that is exactly what I did.

This bizarre and unusual combination really works. The cake is too fragrant on its own, the coffee kick in the icing is a little too intense, but together… together this combination make a cake that is quite something else, I can’t describe the flavour, lets just say I will never make a plain coffee cake when I have cardamom in the house.

I made these as little cupcakes and had a bit of an incident with them overflowing the tins and had to do a trimming job after. I think the mix probably had too much raising agent it, next time I’ll leave out the extra baking powder.

Cardamom and Coffee Cake

from ‘The Flavour Thesaurus’:

makes 6 cupcakes, double to make a cake

90g sugar

90g SFR

1/2 tsp baking powder

50g softened butter

ground seeds from 6 cardamom pods

1 egg

2 tbsp milk

Cream butter, cardamom seeds and sugar together, beat in eggs and milk, fold in flour and baking powder.

Spoon into greased and lined tins, and bake at 180˚C for 15-20 mins.

for the icing mix together 1tbsp boiling water and 1tsp instant coffee with 100g icing sugar.

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