Spice- Inspired Cakes using Nutmeg, Cardamom and Cloves
Author: Shelley Bennetts Date Posted:9 August 2018
Nutmeg, cardamom and clove are the new chocolate in these spice-inspired cakes! These aromatic sweet delights are certainly a breakaway from your old sponge cake recipe, but their exotic flavours will be pleasers. Fruits and spices are lovely combinations; orange and cardamom, apple and nutmeg, cinnamon and pineapple, ginger and apricots. Using spices for flavouring sweet treats, for flavouring anything really, goes back through history, and is on-trend as we wake up to their health benefits.
I have a lovely recipe to share for a Nutmeg Cake. It’s one of those recipes that I’ve been using for years and it never fails to be a hit. I’ve shared the recipe with so many friends, and it’s the cake I’m asked to make for our social gatherings. The basic dry mixture is divided into two equal parts. One half is pressed into a cake tin and gives a crunchy biscuit base. The other half is mixed with the wet ingredients to make the top cake layer. The smell of the nutmeg spice is mouthwatering and fills the whole house. Either served warm with a blob of stiff cream, or cold with coffee, it’s an absolute winner!
On the other hand, I have a recipe for a Cardamom Cake. I’ve made it in the past, and it was gorgeous. But I tried it the other day, and it was a complete flop! I suspect that the gluten-free self-raising flour I used may have been the culprit. It didn’t rise at all and I was so disappointed. The aroma was spectacular, and the family had waited patiently for it. It was a trial run for a Sunday lunch gathering with people who love unusual flavours. Their food offerings never flop!
Feeling a little defeated by the Cardamom Cake recipe, and in the mood for a spiced cake, I thought I’d try a Clove, Cardamom and Pear Cake instead. The result produced an unusual and quite exotic flavour, and the diced pear was a nice addition. Do be careful not to overdo the clove spice as it can be quite overpowering. Now, I’ve never made custard from scratch before and, apart from the rigorous whisking required, it was a great success. So much nicer than the ready-made or powdered mix that I’ve used in the past.
If the heady aromas of the spices are enticing, try this mulled wine recipe as an accompaniment!