Cardamom. I can’t remember when or how I fell in love with this spice. But, I’m glad I did. Maybe I was wondering through Jerusalem’s Old City Souk. Maybe I was wondering through the spice aisle at World Market or Trader Joe’s. That doesn’t matter. What matters is that I found it! And, now I can share this exotic fragrant spice with you in my pearl sugar cardamom tea cake.
Cardamom is common in cooking in India, the Middle East, and it’s used in baking in Nordic countries. There are two kinds, black and green with black being more smokey. The green seeds are ones that I use when I make spice mixtures that are found in my cookbook. Then you can always buy ground cardamom, which is actually quite common now a most grocery stores. Actually, cardamom is the tropical fruit of a plant similar to ginger.
There are healthy benefits of spices and cardamom, the ‘queen of spices’ is no different. According The EpiCenter, cardamom is: “A stimulant and carminative, cardamom is not used in Western medicine for it own properties, but forms a flavoring and basis for medicinal preparations for indigestion and flatulence using other substances, entering into a synergetic relationship with them. The Arabs attributed aphrodisiac qualities to it (it features regularly in the Arabian Nights) and the ancient Indians regarded it as a cure for obesity. It has been used as a digestive since ancient times.”
If you want to tip your toes into cardamom, then this recipe is just perfect! xoxo ~ally
- Preheat oven to 350
- 2 cups flour, all-purpose
- 1 Tbl. Baking powder
- 1 tsp. ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbl. canola oil
- 1 tsp. rose blossom extract (optional—can substitute orange or vanilla)
- 2/3 cup Greek yogurt, plain
- 1 cup milk, 2%
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/3 cup pearl sugar (can substitute 1/3 chopped up sugar cubes), divided
- Have two mixing bowls. In one put the flour, baking powder, cardamom, salt, and sugar and blend together well.
- In the second bowl put the eggs and oil and whip with a hand mixer about 60-90 seconds. Add the rose extract and yogurt and blend. Drizzle in the milk and blend well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend well into a thick batter.
- Fold in the blueberries and one-half cup of the pearl sugar (don’t beat).
- Put in a greased/floured baking pan; sprinkle the remaining pearl sugar on top. Bake in a preheated 350 oven about 33 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick basically is clean. Cool on a rack.