Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Year Eve's Dessert: Cardamom and Orange Upside Cake

This is one of those kitchen mishaps that didn't seem like a total fail.  

But before I let you in on the story of how this cake successfully made it to our New Year's Eve table, let me just give you some info on cardamom, as it is not a common spice in our country. However, hard to find, I have a space for it in my heart and my tummy too.

In India, where it is said to come from, cardamom was traditionally considered as an herb and was one of the ingredients in Ayurveda (the ancient Indian science of medicine and lifestyle) and traditional Chinese medicine. It was believed to be a remedy for teeth and gum infections, throat problems, congestion of the lungs, pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of the eyelids, gastrointestinal disorders, disintegrating kidney, and gall bladder stones, and was also used as an antidote for poisons and venoms.

It is found in the form of a small pod with black seeds inside. Both the seeds and the pod give a pleasant aroma and flavor. Therefore, they are used as flavoring agents in Indian cuisine. Its use is just not just limited to hot and spicy dishes; the seeds are also added to desserts and beverages to complement the sweet flavor. Cardamom tea is a very famous beverage, along with ginger tea, in India.  But I never had cardamom tea yet, I guess I have to experiment on that next time.

I bought a bottle of cardamom pods at SM Hypermarket in SM Aura, in the imported products section.  It costs a mere P 150 but until now the bottle is half full as two or three pods can make a lot of difference in the flavor.

The aroma of cardamon a mesh of spicy, sweet, somewhat floral and camphoraceous. The sensation of cooling yet warming and also the spice note that is released leaving of a eucalyptus afternote is what makes it a special spice.

Thus, this cake pretty much gives the same flavor in every bite, that is if you haven't forgotten to mix it in the cake batter before putting it inside the oven.  Well, apparently, I did forget putting the ground cardamom seeds in the batter, and it ended as a topping (bottom layer of the cake) in the upside down cake.

Aside from that I didn't turn over the cake as needed, leaving the caramel level sticking on the pan and not on the oranges until it hardened.

 Prep Time 30 minutes
 Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
 Total Time 2 hours
 Servings 10
 Author Jennifer Schmidt



90 g caster sugar
2 tbs water
30 g butter
pinch of salt
2 oranges skin, pith and any seeds removed, sliced


190 g unsalted (3/4 cup) butter at room temperature
275 g (1 1/4 cups) caster sugar
3 eggs
300 g plain ( 2 cups) all purpose flour
3 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb baking soda
60 g almond meal  (1/2 cup ground almonds)
1 cup yoghurt


Preheat the oven to 180 celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and grease a 23cm (9 inch) cake tin and line the base and sides with baking paper.  I used a spring foam pan.

Begin by making the caramel for the topping.

1. Place the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir well.
2. Place over a medium high heat and bring to a boil.
3. Let the sugar bubble away until it turns a pale golden and remove from the heat and add the butter. 4. Stir well until all the butter is incorporated and pour into the base of the prepared cake tin.
5. Top with orange slices, making sure to fill in any gaps with pieces of orange trimmed to size.

Cake batter

1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, around 10 minutes.
2. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each addition, until well combined.
3. Place the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom and ground almonds in a bowl and stir to combine.
4. Switch the mixer to it's slowest speed and add half the flour mixture along with half the yoghurt. When combined add the remaining flour mixture and yoghurt and beat until the mixture just comes together.
5. Carefully spread the cake mixture over the top of the oranges and smooth the top. Bake for 1 hour, then loosely cover with foil, and bake for a further 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked.
6.  Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool for 20 minutes before removing the cake from the tin.

As you can see the caramel didn't melt into the cake. only a part of it has gotten on top, but the caramel should however stay on the top as it is originally named Caramelised Orange Cardamom Upside Down Cake...


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