I’m a winter type: I love the cold, evenings in front of the fire, long walks on the beach when it’s freezing, and of course Christmas! So when I bought The Hummingbird Bakery’s Cake Days book, this cardamom loaf was one my “must try this”-list. Of course, it was summer, and cardamom is such a warm and wintery spice that I had to wait for the right time. I hear you say “but it’s still August?!”. Ah yes, but with the time we’re having, we’ve been complementing each other on what a lovely autumn weather we’re getting. And autumn is the right time for a cardamom loaf! Did you know that Belgium is now officially the wettest country in the world? We beat the UK, can you believe it? On the other hand, we’re finally a world champion at something… although that could be because of lack in participants.
Anyway, back to the cardamom loaf! If you are wondering what to do with the rest of the cardamom, you can use it to make speculaas or you can add a few cardamom pods to the water when you’re boiling rice for a change in flavour, very delicious! Or just make more loafs, this is such a fast and easy recipe that it already became a favorite in my house!
First, preheat the oven to 160 C and grease a loaf tin with butter and dust it with flour (or put a layer of baking parchment in it instead). Mix 190 g softened butter with 190 g caster sugar and the crushed seeds of 10 cardamom pods (split them and crush the seeds with a pestle and mortar) until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add 1/4 tsp salt and half of 190 g self-raising flour (or use plain flour and add 1 tsp baking powder), mix again and add the other half of flour again mixing until it is just incorporated. Finally, mix in 1 tsp vanilla essence and 25 ml soured cream (if, like me, you don’t have soured cream around, just use plain cream instead and add a splash of lemon juice, it works just as well).
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for 50 min until the sponge is firm and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool a little in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. I’m sure you can keep this cake for a few days, but I can’t say for sure, ours was gone too quickly! Enjoy!