Very, very rarely can you binge watch a show in all its entirety and then find that you actually learned something from it.
In this remarkable instance it was the wonderfully produced Great British Bake-Off. Granted it is a cooking show, but I can’t say I ever watched Cutthroat Kitchen and was like “Um that totally inspires me to make a botched up version of egg’s benedict.” Or after I watched Chopped I wasn’t like “Hey I should totally go get myself a cow’s tongue!”
But when you are watching the infamous duo of Merry Berry and Paul Hollywood (and also the nicest and sweetest home bakers of all of Britain) it turns out this show isn’t just something to binge watch on a dull, rainy Sunday with no other prospects.
After plummeting through five seasons of custard tarts, sweet buns and suet puddings I actually found myself learning a lot of cool and useful things (like people actually bake with hart fat from the kidneys and loins aka. suet aka. that sounds gross). There is something really special when you get to watch a person who has been baking for almost 40 years in a sort of personal setting (like when they are handling suet). I feel like you don’t really see that on television much!
One thing that I loved was how they experimented with different flavors and spices! They were so willing to experiment with ingredients like anise, lavender, ginger and chai but the one that caught my attention (and tastebuds) the most was cardamom!
Cardamom was definitely a spice that I wanted to try and get myself acquainted with. It was always described as an ingredient that if you used too much of it, it would give almost a numbing taste (and that’s got to be quite a lot) but if you use a teaspoon or two it resembles a spiced and aromatic citrusy flavor that is really quite subtle and very lovely.
Immediately when I smelled cardamom I knew it had to to be paired with ingredients that aren’t too sweet yet also have a nutty and rich flavor. I of course thought of brown butter, as I knew it would complement the cardamon but also thought of cornmeal as well and after a few tries, eventually canceling out flavorless flours, I also went with almond flour.
There is nothing more satisfying once you finally perfect a recipe after many attempts and many edits. That first bite after the third or fourth try, when if finally gives you the results that you have been seeking this entire time makes me so happy (and also my stomach). I literally do a little happy dance or if I’m sitting down I wiggle in my seat and look up as if thanking the food gods for helping me reach such gustatory happiness.
I absolutely adore this cake. Almond and cardamom is my new favorite flavor combination and I can’t wait to indulge in all its delicious yumminess when I bake this many more times in the future. I hope you indulge with me too!
What are your thoughts on cardamom! Do you love it as much as I do?
Cardamom Brown Butter Almond Cornmeal Cake
2/3 cup almond milk
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup grass-fed butter
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat with butter, set aside.
In a small bowl, add cornmeal and the almond milk and mix together. Set aside (for at least 15 minutes) so that the cornmeal absorbs the milk.
In a bowl, whisk together the tapioca flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, and cardamom, and set aside.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep an eye on the butter and stir occasionally. Soon the butter will start to brown fairly quickly. Remove from heat when butter solids become an amber color and butter smells slightly nutty. Immediately pour hot butter into a small bowl and set aside, or the butter will burn. Make sure you get all the brown bits into the bowl as well cause that’s where all the flavor is!
In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter, coconut sugar and honey together. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well until combined, then add in vanilla. Mix in the cornmeal/milk mixture (you should be able to tell that the milk has been completely absorbed in the cornmeal) and then add in the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
Spoon batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.