Now that you’ve hopefully been enticed through picture, I shall catch you up to speed. Last week I made a summer feastie, inspired by a wonderful Bon Appètit issue. The above photos feature the Cardamom Pound Cake and Tea-Poached Plums. It was sooo yum! Here are the secrets:
I am always enticed my recipes that feature cardamom, one of my favorite spices. Naturally sweet, it is always a little more flavorful if it has just been ground. If you have a mortar and pestle handy, have at it! I used almond milk because it’s what I had lying around, easily replaced with your choice of milk-beverage.
Cardamon Pound Cake
adapted from Bon Appétit
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature (+ more for pan)
2 cups all-purpose flour (+ more for pan)
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cardamom
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup crème fraîche (+ more for serving)
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds
*Tea-poached plums, see recipe
Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Butter a loaf pan; line bottom and long sides with parchment paper, leaving overhang. Butter parchment and dust pan with flour, tapping out any excess.
Whisk baking powder, cardamom, salt, and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl; set aside. Whisk milk and crème fraîche in a small bowl; set aside.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat sugar and 3/4 cup butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl, them add vanilla and almond extracts.
Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with crème fraîche mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients; beat until just combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
Bake cake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. (Tent with foil if browning too quickly.)
Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes. Using parchment overhang, gently remove cake from pan and transfer to rack; let cool.
Slice cake and serve with Tea-Poached Plums and crème fraîche.
Again, I am drawn to use of cardamom and black tea for aromatics. Be careful not to overcook the plums, as I did, and be sure to use left over poaching liquid in cocktails, as I did.
adapted from Bon Appétit
makes 1 quart
1 1/2 lb. small plums (15-20), preferably Italian
3 bags strong black tea
3/4 cup light brown sugar
6 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 whole star anise pod
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
Using a paring knife, score plums all the way around, starting and ending at stem end and cutting just through the skin (you want to keep plums intact).
Bring 2 cups filtered water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, add tea bags, and let steep about 5 minutes; discard tea bags. Add sugar and bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat, add plums, cardamom, and star anise; scrape in vanilla seeds and add pod. Simmer until plums are just tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heath and let plums cool in poaching liquid.
Discard vanilla pod, cardamom, and star anise. Halve plums, remove pits, and return to poaching liquid. Delicious when served with Cardamom Pound Cake (see recipe).