This is a cake to accompany the hot coffee that you’ve poured in your favorite mug, as you watch the first misty mornings of the new season from your window. If it’s hot where you are (in the south in northern hemisphere), or where winter is just ending (in the southern hemisphere), this is just a very flavorful cake, with not much of an excuse needed to partake.
The cream cheese goes exceptionally well with the walnut batter, and the cardamom gives a soft, lovely aroma. Pair with a glass of Kopke Fine Tawny Port.
For the cake
(for an 8-inch tin)
½ cup butter
¾ cup caster sugar (granulated sugar works, too)
1 cup ground walnut
½ cup milk
¾ cup plain flour
2 tablespoon plain yogurt/sour cream
About 20 cardamom pods OR ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
For the espresso cardamom cream cheese frosting
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoon caster sugar (or granulated sugar)
2 cups cream cheese
1 tablespoon espresso coffee
¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
Some espresso powder to sprinkle on top (optional)
Preheat the oven at 350F.
Line an 8-Inch cake tin with baking parchment and butter.
If you’re making your own cardamom powder from pods, pound them in a mortar to remove the seeds from the pods, then pestle with a tiny amount of sugar until you get a powder.
Cream the butter with the sugar and add the cardamom powder. Add the eggs one by one and mix well. It’s ok if the batter is not perfectly homogenous at this step. Mix in the walnut powder, add the salt and baking powder to the flour, then gradually add the flour mixture in three steps, alternating with the milk.
In the end, add the yogurt/sour cream. Don’t overwork the batter.
Pour in the tin and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Don’t over bake.
While the cake bakes, make the cream cheese frosting.
Cream the butter with the sugar very well, then add the cream cheese and keep whisking. Mix in the cardamom powder. Add the coffee gradually and stop whisking once the cream is smooth. Keep in the fridge while the cake bakes.
Spread the frosting over the cake once it has cooled down.