The last time I had a few days off after nights I decided to visit Stockholm with a friend, who also randomly had some days of compensation (the one plus about working as a doctor – you get random days off to compensate for your ridiculous hours = free holidays!). One thing the Swedish know how to do well is the so called “Fika“, or coffee break with lots and lots of pastry. It belongs to the daily routine apparently, like breakfast, lunch and dinner. Genius. The pastries the Swedish are most famous for are, correct me if I’m wrong, cinnamon bullar (buns), cardamom bullar, cardamom cake and also saffron bullar. When I read cardamom bullar for the first time, I must admit, I was a tad sceptical as I immediately associated it with curry (ew…. curry pastry… not what I had in mind for my tea break). Retrospectively, I can proudly call myself an Idiot. Ground cardamom is the new cinnamon! Every pastry with cardamom was amazing – indescribable! I have even started adding it to my morning muesli instead of the good old cinnamon…. it seems to go with everything.
Anyways, with this newly revealed secret ingredient, being responsible for the sweet side of a Christmas family gathering, I decided to attempt to recreate something from my trip – a Swedish cardamom cake. It went down extremely well. You should try it!
Swedish Cardamom Cake
adapted from a random cookbook, unknown name and author, read in Stockholm airport.
makes a 26cm Diameter Cake
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/4 cup milk
3-4 tsp pearl sugar
roughly chopped almonds
- Line your cake tin with baking paper and grease the edges with butter. Preheat your oven to 150 °C (fan).
- Melt your 200g butter and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Add your flour, baking powder, cardamom, milk and melted butter, mixing until well combined.
- Pour into the prepared cake tin. Sprinkle generously with pearl sugar and the chopped almonds. (HAHA blond moment – I have never worked with pearl sugar before and was convinced it would melt if baked for such a long time – how wrong I was).
- Bake in the bottom half of the oven for about 50-60mins until a skewer comes out just clean.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool for a 10 minutes before removing from the tin. Allow to cool completely before digging in.