Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Cardamom and Pistachio Cake: A cake in dreams


This cardamom and pistachio cake is what we call cake elhail wl fustok. Cardamom (hail in Arabic) and Pitachios (fustok) are very popular in Arabian Cusisine. They are used in both savory and sweet food. To add to it, cardamom is also traditionally used in Arabic (or  coffee. The smell of cardamom always brings me back to my childhood, when I'd wake up to school every morning to the smell of my dad's Lebanese coffee infused with Cardamom. Lebanese coffee is the coffee we drink back home, usually at local coffee shops in Lebanon (absolutely not Starbucks) you can easily spot the smell of cardamom being infused into the coffee. Its amazing how sometimes the mere smell of good coffee can cure headaches..

Now to the cake... Where do I begin... All desserts are perfect to me. But this one is a special dessert. Its not a dessert you have everyday, nor is it a dessert that would make you go on sugar coma, this dessert will simply awaken your taste buds. Imagine a creamy texture that melts into your mouth, the nutty flavor of pistachios combined with the spicy taste of cardamom. It's truly a marriage of tastes.Its cake made in heaven. It's moist, but not too moist, sweet but not too sweet, nutty but not too nutty..

I've written this recipe based on several trial and errors. Am happy to say that to me, the proportion of cardamom and pistachio is ideal. Sour cream adds moisture to the cake, while the conrstarch gives the cake a light and fluffy texture.

I admit that this is not the fastest cake to make. Making your own cardamom spice is tedious. But you'll forget how tedious it is once you smell the fresh aroma of freshly grounded cardamom, aka hail...


 After you finish reading this post, please visit your grocery store, buy all the ingredients and give it a try. After all, its a bundt cake. Nothing is easier than a bundt cake.


P.S. You can also use a 9" cake pan (but it wont look as cute as a bundt cake)

Cardamom pistachio cake 

Source: my original recipe
{Click here for printable recipe}

For the cake
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 300g
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ tspn salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup or 100g unsalted chopped pistachio
  • 1½ teaspoon fresh ground cardamom about 20 pods
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 sour cream
  • ¾ cup or 150g butter
  • 1 ½ cup or 300g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs for coating the Bundt cake
For Rose water cream cheese frosting:
  • 1 pack or 200g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 5 tablespoons rose water
  • 5 tablespoons milk
  • ½ cup or 62 gram powder sugar
  • 3 tablespoons natural unsalted pistachios to garnish
  • Melted Chocolate for drizzling
  1. Preheat oven to  180°C /350 °F /Gas mark 4.
  2. Butter a 12 cup bundt pan and coat with fine dry breadcrumbs. Set aside.
  3. On a chopping board, gently ponder the cardamom seeds till split open. Using your hands, remove and discard cardamom’s green shells. In the mortar, crush the cardamom seeds till powdery. Or use a small coffee grinder to grind the seeds.
  4. In the food processor, blitz the pistachios until they are finely grounded.
The Cake:
  1. In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt, cornstarch and baking powder three times.
  2. Add the pistachios and cardamom..
  3. In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. About 5 to 8 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time. Mix just until combined. Then add the sour cream. Mix for three to four minutes or till combined.
  5. Beginning and ending with dry ingredients, alternate between the liquid and dry ingredients.
  6. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then ½ the milk, then 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then ½ the milk and finally the last 1/3 of dry ingredients.
  7. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan, spreading evenly.
  8. Bake in the third rack of the oven, for about 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Once done, allow the bundt cake to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before inverting it.
  10. Let the cake cool completely before decorating and frosting.

To make the frosting:
  1. Sift the icing sugar.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the bowl of the mixer and mix until combined.
  3. Mix all the ingredients in the bowl of the
  4. Spread the frosting over the cakes. Sprinkle with pistachios & drizzle with chocolate then let the cake cool for one hour hours before serving.

Devour & Enjoy..

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