Oilve Oil Cake with Orange and Cardamom

Yes, it’s a long title. Yes, it’s a long prep time. Yes, there are some extra steps. Yes, it is totally worth it.

I had dinner club on Sunday and finally was able to make dessert. Enough salads and sides, I was ready to bake. Baking is what I first fell in love with – I loved the structure of recipes, the comfort in baked goods and the excitement that every time you bake it’s kind of like a science experiment. As kids my parents used to let us play with flour and water and I would mix them to different consistencies making all the separate ingredients of pies and cakes all while pretending to host my own cooking show – with Graham Kerr and the Frugal Gourmet as inspirations I was off!

My interests continued to grow and eventually I was breaking into a new savory ground and have been dabbling with all sorts since. Recently, my interest has been piqued by herbs and spices. From my potato salad and black pepper balsamic strawberries, to the lavender infused french toast at Mission Beach Cafe I am constantly surprised by what a big impact a little spice can make. So when I saw this cake called for cardamom, a spice that I have not cooked with before, I knew it was worth trying.

Green Cardamom Pods

This cake had me using my Kitchen Aid as well as my hand mixer, straining syrup through my gold tone coffee filter and frantically trying to cool my old oven as I realized the 350 degree oven crept up to 450 degrees after 20 minutes of baking – good times, but as I said before, totally worth it. I made the orange/honey/cardamom syrup that filled my kitchen with an aroma right out of India, the native country of this curious spice, and while that was simmering I made the cake which had, along with the olive oil, ground cardamom, orange zest, semolina and stiff peaked egg whites folded in.

After the syrup is strained and the cake is pulled out of the oven piping hot, I poked a ton of holes and poured the syrup over. Garnish with the candied orange slices and some chopped pistachios. The end result was just delightful. Not too sweet, not greasy and just the right amount of citrus & spice – as a friend told me the other day it hits the ‘Goldilocks spot’. After eating the cake I learned that cardamom is part of the ginger family and I think that slight savory flavor is definitely reminiscent in this cake. I had several testers and everyone seemed to be surprised at how moist and light it was. The semolina adds some great depth of texture and the flavors are light and refreshing – just perfect for a summer evening dessert!
recipe here
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  1. […] Olive Oil Cake with Cardamom and Orange […]

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