When I saw this recipe I thought to myself: I have to make that. One of the reasons was that I really like cardamom. The other reason was that I had never had a cardamom cake in my whole life. According to Rachel Allen’s notes this was meant to be one of the most delicious cakes ever. Enough for me to give it a go.
I had no ground cardamom in the house but I decided to use my cardamom pods and grind them in my coffee grinder. Great. It was all sorted. Whilst grinding the cardamom and getting the batter ready I could always smell the cardamom – that beautiful smell. I expected that once I took the cake from the oven the whole kitchen would be invaded by its wonderful aroma. I have to admit that I did get disappointed smell wise as the cake came out of the oven and I did not feel inebriated at all. It made me doubt the cake immediately. After all it had ‘let me down’ (in my mind).
Despite that I decided that I should finish it off as I would have in case I wanted to eat it – even though I did not anymore. I used a hexagonal cutter and cut the cake into little hexagonal cakes. I did regret not having baked it into a square tin as it would have facilitated my cutting. I prepared the icing and ‘dressed’ it pretty. I used a wee bit (and I really mean tiny, tiny) of ground cardamom just so that the icing didn’t look bare. I then decided that I had to have a bite since I had baked it. The moment I had my bite I realized that I had been wrong about the cake, my doubts were unfounded. The cake tasted very elegant. The cardamom flavour was just right but certainly noticeable. I so loved it. If you like cardamom I recommend this cake. It is lovely!!
200ml tub sour cream or crème fraiche ( reserve 1 tbsp for icing)
175g caster sugar
225g plain flour, sifted
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1tsp ground cardamom seeds
For the icing:
1 tbsp sour cream or crème fraîche
Preheat the oven to 180oC (gas mark 4 – 350oF). Grease the sides of a 20cm (8in)round cake tin and dust with flour;line the base with greaseproof paper.
Whisk the egg in a large bowl. Add all but 1 tablespoon of the sour cream or crème fraîche and the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the sifted flour and bicarbonate of soda, then the salt and the ground cardamom. Fold the mixture to combine, do not over-mix. Transfer into the tin and place in the oven. Cook for about 35 minutes until the top of the cake just feels firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and transferring it to a cooling rack.
Make the icing just by mixing all the ingredients listed above and pouring it over the cake once it has cooled.