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Chocolate coffee and cardamon cake

October 20, 2009

choc card cake


choccard cake

An Indian meal needing an Indian dessert…but Indian sweets are way too sweet. I came across this recipe in an old Vogue Entertaining magazine that I was reading while waiting for new tyres to be fitted to my car. No pen in my bag (my kids always take off with them) and I felt too bad to rip out the page so I wrote down the ingredients in my phone. Decided to try it despite the mild performance anxiety associated with having a fellow food blogger over for lunch. How not to impress – try out a new recipe and mess with it. Ah well, I thought, at least we can laugh together if it is a disaster. But it actually turned out to be a fantastic cake and one that I will definitely add to my collection of ‘best’ chocolate cakes. It was a moist, chocolatey, rich yet light cake. The cardamom and coffee added a really nice note to the rich and bitter chocolate. We had it with some lovely jersey cream I bought at the growers market. Yum yum!

The dog fished out the paper I had used to line the cake tin from the bin (disgusting habit usually reserved for meat scraps when she is being naughty). I felt sorry for her and despite all the warnings about chocolate being bad for dogs I gave her a tiny piece. She let out a funny little woof with a leap of all four paws off the floor after that first bite which I reckon was the doggy equvalent of a chocolate moan. It was so funny that I gave her a second bite….don’t tell Sam I gave his dog chocolate!

Chocolate Cardamom Cake

(adapted from a Vogue Entertaining recipe)

As you will see below, I halved the amount of sugar specified in the recipe. The cake ended up sweet enough (for me) with slight bitter overtones from the dark chocolate and the coffee. Just the way I like it. It tasted of chocolate – not of sugar. If you used lower cocoa chocolate (eg the 56% dark chocolate) it would definately be sweet enough for even the sweetest tooth. But if you are used to really sweet things, then go ahead and try the full 400g and let me know if it turns out!

200ml expresso coffee
200g chocolate (I used 70% cocoa callebaut chocolate)
200g butter
3 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
200g caster sugar (the original recipe had 400gm)
170g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/3 cup cocoa (I used dutch processed cocoa)
10 cardamom pods (original recipe asked for just seeds, I used the whole pods)

Simmer the lightly crushed cardamom pods in a few tablespoons of water. The original recipe called for them to be simmered in the expresso but since I don’t like the taste of ‘stewed coffee’ I used water first to extract the flavour, then added the water and pods to the coffee. Melt the chocolate over a bowl of simmering water (or the coffee if you are doing that). Strain the coffee (to remove the pods and seeds) into the chocolate after it has cooled slightly. Beat the eggs, butter, sugar and sourcream until light. Add in the flour and the coffee/chocolate mixture. Bake in a 160 degrees centigrade oven for an hour. The original recipe specified an hour and a half but I needed the oven after an hour so I just took the cake out. Worked fine and I am sure the extra half an hour would have dried it out.

Top with some chocolate ganache. I melted some more 70% cocoa chocolate with a little cream and a splodge of Grand Marnier and Poire William liqueurs. I only topped it with the ganache because Celia (the lunch guest) said it would make for a better photo for her blog!! The things we do….

The photos are courtesy of Celia who is planning on putting other photos of the food from lunch up on her blog. Check out in the background of the second photo the chocolate truffles filled with caramelised white chocolate…and the chocolate brownies…that she made and brought over. And I was worried about not having dessert!

15 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2009 10:46 AM

    Oh puhlease, it was much better with the ganache, and you know it! 🙂 Great day, thanks again, Spice Girl. Here are the photosfrom the rest of lunch, as promised.


    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 21, 2009 3:05 PM

      yeah ok, it certainly looked a lot more appealing. And we needed that extra chocolate…and fat….

  2. October 21, 2009 9:02 PM


    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 23, 2009 9:00 AM

      I think you could probably try it with the cooking chocolate. Sure it will be nicer with good chocolate, but the coffee and cardamom will actually act to “improve” the flavour of the chocolate. I often use standard cooking chocolate when making ganache (when I don’t have any of the good stuff at home), and I just add in a slug of alcohol to boost the flavour. Works a treat.

  3. October 23, 2009 6:47 AM

    I’ve been looking for a slightly different chocolate based dessert to do for an upcoming dinner party and this may just be the one. Can I ask how long you simmered the cardamon for?

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      October 23, 2009 8:57 AM

      I would definately recommend this cake Lisa – the cardamom and coffee add really interesting notes to the flavour (more than I expected). I simmered the cardamom in the water for about 10 minutes to really extract all the flavour. Lightly crush the pods before putting them into the water so the seeds are also exposed to the water. Good luck with it and let me know how it works out!

  4. November 3, 2009 6:32 AM

    I wish my husband loved dark chocolate….I love cardamom…..especially in coffee,Arabica style.

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      November 11, 2009 4:18 PM

      Ooh cardamom coffee sounds nice. I think that is a Turkish thing right? Never tried it but I can imagine that it would be really delicious. Maybe you could try to convert your husband by starting with the 54% cocoa dark chocolate or some Lindt dark chocolate (high cocoa butter content makes it very easy to eat and not taste as strong) – dark chocolate for beginners. Good luck!

  5. November 11, 2009 6:23 AM

    I made it last week and it was just divine – check out the results here I will definitely be making this one again soon, so so good.

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      November 11, 2009 4:15 PM

      Hey I am thrilled to hear that you made it…and liked it! Your version looks spectacular.

  6. December 8, 2009 5:54 PM

    MMMMMMMMM,….what a georgous & festive chocolate cake this is!

    Absolutely divine!

  7. jade permalink
    December 12, 2009 2:38 PM

    Mm, just a note that chocolate is dangerous to dogs and cats because it contains enough caffeine to poison them. Their heart rates go through the roof.

    I’ll definitely try the cake recipie. Thanks for sharing it.

    • spiceandmore permalink*
      December 14, 2009 10:24 AM

      you know right after I read your comment I was at a party where a tiny puppy was walking around hoovering up the chocolate cake crumbs the kids had dropped all over the place…made me feel very anxious!
      Let me know how you go with the cake…it is a really nice one I think.

  8. December 27, 2009 3:54 PM

    Cool Recipes from all over the world. Create meals that will wow your friends and family over? Don’t reinvent the wheel, make proper use of it!


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