A question about a recipe: Clementine Pound Cake I also posted this on the recipe itself. It's about cardamom and it's intensifying over time.

Wondering if anyone else has made the Clementine Pound Cake, and then eaten it after three days. I made it on Friday for a dinner party on Saturday. (Glazed it with a light blueberry syrup from raw pack blueberries I'd put up last summer, which I reduced then brightened with some Meyer lemon zest). I put aside two slices for our dessert last night. The cardamom was overwhelming in those last two pieces. You could not taste the clementines, and you could not taste the cake. All you could taste was the cardamom.

I understand that the author of this recipe used ground cardamom (i.e., already-ground when purchased). I used cardamom seeds that I had removed from pods, then crushed fairly fine using my mortar and pestle (but didn't grind them in an electric mill). Could that be the difference? Is there something about cardamom that makes it intensify over time?

I'm interested in knowing whether the food52 testers had the same issue. I suppose it could also be the type of cardamom I bought (at an Indian grocer, which looked exactly like all of the other green cardamom pods I've ever bought). Also, I only used 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom, measuring after I crushed it, because I kow from other uses that a little goes a long way. Even with the reduced amount, the flavor was overpowering.

This is important because one of the beauties of a pound cake is that it holds well, and can be made a few days in advance of a party and still taste great when served. If that is not the case with cakes made with cardamom, a cautionary note is in order. ;o)

Clementine Pound Cake
Recipe question for: Clementine Pound Cake


innoabrd February 23, 2011
I'd imagine that store-bought ground cardamom would have lost much of its flavour to begin with. Good, fresh cardamom has a real punch to it, which is why a lot of the time I use it whole. BTW, you might pick up some black cardamom sometime at your indian shop and play with that.
wssmom February 22, 2011
You bring up an interesting point! I tested howtocookabear's fabulous cocktail recipe for a Bloodhound, which called for a blood orange reduction spiced with smashed cardamon pods. We've made it several times; one day, amazingly, we had some of the syrup left over. After less than 24 hours, even with refrigeration, the cardamom flavor ran rampant.
MaryMaryCulinary February 22, 2011
I use very powerful whole cardamom too, and I've noticed this effect in both cakes and custard. I've never had it become too unpleasantly strong for my taste, but I have some friends who find it overpowering. I am soon making a cardamom cake with a lot of the spice in it, so I'll get back to you on how it ages. I guess reduce the measure if you're using strong spice and keeping it for a few days is the best advice for now.
aargersi February 22, 2011
Hey there - someone made my cranberry coffee cake a little while ago and said the same thing - it was really cardamomey (is that a word?) after a couple days. I say, eat the whole thing right away! :-)
AntoniaJames February 22, 2011
Also, still would like to hear from the food52 testers/tasters . . . but I suspect theirs was all consumed right away. ;o)
AntoniaJames February 22, 2011
Yes, thanks, ChefJune. I was really wondering about why it tastes even stronger after a couple of days. It seems from another comment that the store-bought, pre-ground cardamom (which I'd never buy) doesn't have the long-term effect. I reduced the amount by 1/2 and the cake tasted fine on the second day. On the fourth day, the texture, etc.was fine but the cardamom flavor was unpleasantly intense. ;o)
ChefJune February 22, 2011
I answered on the recipe page, Antonia. Hope that helps.
AntoniaJames February 22, 2011
Yikes, that was supposed to be "its," not "it's" before "intensifying." Typing way, way, way too fast. That is so embarrassing. Fingers crossed my kids don't see this. ;o)
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