The flavors of coffee and cardamom went so well together in the Turkish Coffee that I want to keep the vibe going with this aromatic little cake. I’d already roasted my cardamom pods and seeds for the coffee, so when I saw this recipe for Toasted Cardamom Pound Cake it was a no-brainer— I tweaked it by adding dark rich coffee and a luscious vanilla bean glaze.
I toasted the green pods in a large frying pan over the stove. I let them toast for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Then I used a rolling pin to partially crack open the pods, and released the seeds.
I ground the seeds in a spice grinder…I use a small coffee grinder that I keep just for spices. You could use a mortar and pestle, or just buy the cardamom already ground. But keep in mind that, as I learned from my spice monger at the farmer’s market, cardamom loses flavor and freshness rapidly, so you will get vastly better flavor from freshly ground seeds.
Above you can see the three stages of the spice…the green pods, the seeds, and then the ground powder. All three are used in cooking, and in both sweet and savory foods. I love the ground cardamom because not only does it have a unique, woodsy, amber aroma, but it’s a beautiful soft grey brown speckled color. Between the coffee and the cardamom this pound cake has a nice caramel tone when you cut into it.
- 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp toasted and finely ground cardamom seeds (measured after grinding)
- 1/2 cup sour cream or creme fraiche
- 1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- seeds from 1 vanilla bean
- heavy cream (a few Tablespoons)
- Set oven to 325F
- Whisk the first 5 dry ingredients together and set aside.
- Mix the sour cream, vanilla seeds, and espresso powder together, until the espresso powder completely dissolves. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Add the flour to the butter and sugar, alternately with the sour cream. Blend until combined, and then spread in a greased loaf pan.
- Bake for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- For the glaze, mix the sugar and vanilla seeds together, then add the cream, slowly, until you get a thick but spreadable glaze. Glaze the cake when it's completely cool.
Be sure to cool the cake completely before spooning the thick glaze over the top or it will melt and slide right off. This is a simple old fashioned cake, without a lot of bells and whistles, but it has a very distinctive exotic flavor. The aroma in the kitchen while it’s baking is pretty amazing.
Pound cake dries out quickly, so if you don’t eat it the same day, put it under a cake dome or cover with foil. It’s an unfortunate fact that glaze never look as fresh after it’s been covered and stored.
Kate, one of my commenters from yesterday shared a link to this Turkish Coffee Ice Cream…it wouldn’t be a bad idea on top of this pound cake!