Cardamom as muse, you might say.
This weekend, I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer, so I put my computer away and hauled out the mortar and pestle instead, grinding the pale green pods until they popped and then working away at the fragrant insides. To continue the muscle toning, I took out the citrus reamer and squeezed the juice from four oranges.
The end result was more or less a gigantic doughnut—the good old-fashioned kind with a fragrant citrusy note and enough cardamom to scent the apartment for the week. We ate it for dessert and then again for breakfast, as is the requirement with a cake like this.
Cardamom Orange Cake
adapted—hilariously— from Cooking Light.
3 cups all-purpose flour (plus enough to flour your pan)
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup orange juice (I juiced 4 oranges and added a few tablespoons of water)
2/3 cup canola oil (plus enough to coat your bundt pan)
2 tablespoons orange rind
1 tablespoon lemon rind
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1. Preheat the oven to 350°
2. Coat a Bundt pan with canola oil and dust with flour. Set aside.
3. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the mixture and add orange juice, canola oil, orange and lemon rind, vanilla and eggs. Beat with a mixer on low (or, not too aggressively, by hand) until combined.
4. Spoon batter into your floury cake pan, spreading evenly. Bake for 55 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 or so minutes. If the cake doesn’t slide out easily on its own, give it a good thwack on the counter and it should.
5. Wait until the cake is entirely cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar (if you’re into sweet things, the original recipe calls for a citrus glaze…follow the link above).
I’m offering this cake up virtually to all of you who have written me sweet notes in the past week and who are still waiting patiently to receive some of my own in response. And to Pete, who gave me the soundtrack of my childhood and the courage to believe that peace is possible.