A lot of what I decide to cook or bake depends on my mood. At the end of the day I don’t create recipes and blog them for the sake of it, I do it because I want to take a craving or an idea and make it a reality! In the winter I usually feel like making indulgent treats and comforting meals, but now that February is here and spring is around the corner all I can think about is bright and bold flavours that are going to lighten my mood!
Cardamom has really come into its own in 2015 and the beginning of 2016. No longer is it sitting sadly on the spice shelf getting stale, waiting to be used in a curry! It’s now being used a lot more in sweet deserts and baking, because it adds a certain fragrancy that you really can’t put your finger on. It’s a lot more subtle than cinnamon or nutmeg, but it always amazes me how such a small amount can fill the kitchen with an exotic aroma.
Orange, Cardamom and Pistachio cake
185g caster sugar
150g softened unsalted butter
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla extract
125g plain yoghurt
185g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
100g chopped pistachios
100g icing sugar
- Beat together the sugar, softened butter and orange zest in a mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, followed by the yoghurt. If the mixture starts to split, add a tablespoon of the flour.
- Gently fold in the flour, baking powder, ground cardamom and pistachios by hand.
- Spread into a loaf tin and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool before pouring over the icing. Simply add a few drops of orange juice to 100g of icing sugar and mix to a paste. Add more orange juice until its a spreadable consistency.