Monday, 30 March 2009

Cardamom Vanilla Pound Cake with Lime Glaze

Perhaps I was born in the wrong generation, but I quite like a Bundt cake. The balance of delicate density and the ability to soak up great flavourings. Like a good bread, a good Bundt cake will actually improve in flavour for a couple of days after it is baked.
I found this recipe for Cardamom Vanilla Pound Cake in the March issue of Gourmet Magazine, the recipe originally coming from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham. (Not Richie's mom, the cook!)
I switched the lemon juice for lime, and added the glaze myself - never wanting to miss an opportunity to lend more great flavour to the versatile Bundt!
I love cardamom, I think it is an underused spice and could certainly take some of the burden off of cinnamon once in a while. It lends itself very well to traditional pie-type spicing as well as tropical flavours. For this recipe I built a bit on the tropical and added more lime flavour. Very tasty indeed!

Cardamom Vanilla Pound Cake - 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
1 1/8 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I used the juice of 1/2 lime)
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
2 1/2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

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 bean with tip of 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.
For whipping cream: 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.

Lime Glaze
Juice of 1 lime
Small splash of water
1/3 cup sugar
Place all in small saucepan and heat on medium until sugar dissolves.
Brush on cooled cake.
* I served some of this cake again for breakfast this morning, with plain yogurt and slice kiwi, bananas and grapes. Nice!

Magazine Mondays - yes, sometimes we even cook from them!