Thursday, 8 March 2012

Cardamom Bliss Coffee Cake

With a few extra rose petals for oomph...
Cardamom Bliss Coffee Cake
Well it had to happen.  Sooner or later I would harken back to my mother’s famous coffee cake, the baking of which is hilariously described in my sister’s email.  Today is International Women’s Day, and I’m off to a celebration of that, as well as the full moon.  The group of women I’m meeting with tonight are mostly Russian, led by the lovely Galina who heads a school of Sacred Feminine Eastern Dance. 
I had thought of taking kheer, a luscious Indian rice pudding, but considered the necessary paper Dixie cups and plastic spoons deleterious to celebrating our femininity.  Then I considered using the Kheer flavourings to trick up a cakemix to produce mini cupcakes, but stopped short when I thought of the patriarchal conglomerates that produce chemical laden cake mixes, fictiously named.  Then I suddenly remembered my own mother’s coffee cake, and I thought what better celebration of womenhood could I create?

My recipe is more floral than hers, but I think she would have liked it.
The Batter
Purchase these fragrant petals!
¾ cup white flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
6 tablesoons vanilla sugar (you can use regular if you don’t have)
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons dried rose petals
9 green cardamom pods, dehusked and ground to a powder (reserve 1/3)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup frozen unsalted butter
ten slices candied ginger, finely julienned (reserve a few strands)
½ cup milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon rosewater
The Topping
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons white flour
½ cup raw sugar cane crystals
remainder of ground cardamom
remainder of candied ginger
½ cup walnuts
pinch coarse salt
Turn the oven on to 425 F and butter and flour a loaf pan.  Thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together, then stir in the candied ginger.  Grate the frozen butter over the dry mix and stir well.

Before finishing the batter, move on to the topping.  Put the flour, butter, remaining cardamom, raw sugar, walnuts and bits of ginger into the blender.  Pulse to a course mix.  Stir in the pinch of coarse salt.
Getting back to the batter, beat the eggs, milk, vanilla and rosewater together, and pour into the flour mix.  Stir to encorporate, but don’t whack it into submission.  Muffins and quick breads don’t like to be over stirred.  (This may be called coffee cake, but it’s a type of quick bread.)  Spoon a layer of batter into the loaf pan, then sprinkle some of the topping over the batter.  Spoon in the remaining batter and sprinkle with the remaining topping.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, till it smells amazing, looks golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool completely before slicing.  Happy International Women's Day everyone! 

No comments:

Post a Comment