Do you use your local library? Do you still have one? I've always loved to loose myself in a library. However these days it's the kid's who seem to bring back towering piles of books. Browsing libraries with kid's in toe just doesn't work. So when they do grace me with five minutes in the adult library, I head straight for the cook books.
I grab two or three that take my fancy and then once at home will delve into them and sometimes discover a gem of a recipe. One of my recent book loans was 'Rachel's Favourite Food at Home' by Rachel Allen. I made a few of her recipes including this one for Cardamon Sour Cream Cake. I baked it last week when Lily and Arthur's three great aunties visited. It is, after all, an occasion that always calls for a cake.
The recipe calls for a 20cm cake tin. I don't own that size in my collection, so opted for a slightly smaller one over a slightly larger one. Although the recipe still came out fine, I will choose the larger tin next time as, although delicious, the cake was a little on the 'chunky slice' side and I feel a cake with such a delicate aroma as Cardamon would benefit being served as 'shallow slivers'. It's really just personal preference. If you do stray from the stated pan size, just keep an eye on the cooking time as it may need a little less or more time in the oven.
Cardamon Sour-cream Cake
- 1 egg
- 200ml tub sour cream or crème fraîche (reserve 1 tbsp for icing)
- 175g caster sugar
- 225g plain flour, sifted
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp ground cardamom seeds
- 125g icing sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp sour cream or crème fraîche
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Grease the sides of a 20cm (8in) round cake tin and dust with flour; line the base of the pan with a disc of greaseproof paper.
Whisk the egg in a large bowl. Add all but 1 generous tablespoon of the sour cream or crème fraîche and the sugar and whisk to combine. Add the sifted flour andbicarbonate of soda, then the salt and the ground cardamom. Fold the mixture to combine; do not overmix. Transfer into the tin and place in the oven. Cook for about 35 minutes, until the top of the cake just feels firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes before removing from the tin and cooling on a wire rack.
When the cake has just cooled, make the icing by mixing the reserved tablespoon of sour cream or crème fraîche with the icing sugar sugar. If it is too stiff add just a drop of water; if it is too runny, add a bit more icing sugar. Spread the icing over the top of the cake, allowing any extra icing to drip down the sides.
The flower garnish is entirely option, but I find I just can't help myself.