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Cardamom and Orange Ginger Cake

This amazing-looking Cake came from Steffy Liza. One could tell by the look how fluffy, soft and delicate this cake is. Hope you guys enjoy it, bake it many times, and share it with others.

A bit of story…these are Steffy’s own words

My mother’s native place is in the high ranges of Kerala and has a lot of cardamom plantations. My aunts’ and cousins’ clothes smelled of cardamom. The fondest memories of my childhood are all linked to this place. So, if I were to pick a recipe to represent me as a person, it has to be something with this ‘queen of spices’, cardamom in it.

I’m sharing here the recipe for a simple two-layer cake with Cardamom flavored sponge and Orange-Ginger Cream cheese frosting.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients
For the Cake

All purpose Flour – 144g (1cup + 2 Tbsp)

Baking powder –  1 tsp + a pinch

White Sugar (powder it before using) – 180g (about 3/4 cup +2 Tbsp)

2 Eggs

Unsalted butter at room temperature – 57g (4 Tbsp)

Milk, at room temperature – 150 ml (2/3 cup)

Crushed cardamom seeds – 1 1/2 tsp to 2 tsp (crush the pods and take out the seeds, crush them with a mortar and pestle. Alternatively, grind the seeds with some sugar from the ingredients in a blender/mixer-grinder)

For the Frosting

Egg whites – 3 (separate yolks and whites with clean hands into grease-free bowls. whites should not have traces of yolk)

White sugar – 200g (1 cup)

Unsalted butter (room temperature, cut into cubes) – 1 cup (227 g)

Cream cheese, at room temperature – 1 2/3 cups (375g)

Zest of two oranges

Ginger, grated with a microplane zester or fine grater – 2 tsp

a pinch of salt

Procedure:
For the Cake

1. Preheat the oven to 375 F/180 C

2. Grease and line an 8″ round cake tin.

3. Take the eggs, sugar and cardamom powder in a bowl and stir to combine. Set this over a pot of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Keep whisking (or you’ll get scrambled eggs) until the mixture is slightly hot and the sugar is dissolved. Run your fingers in the mixture and if it feels grainy, continue whisking. This could take 3-5 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture triples in volume.

5. Place a sieve over this bowl and add the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture. Gently mix in.

6. Microwave or heat milk and butter together for 30-45 secs or until the mixture is hot and the butter is melted.

7. Add this milk mixture to the batter and gently fold. The batter will be thin.

8. Pour this into the cake tin and bake at 375F / 180 deg C for the first 20 minutes and then, without opening the oven door at 350F / 160 deg C) for the next 15 minutes.

9Insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out relatively clean, the cake is done.

10. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely and keep chilled in refrigerator until ready to frost.

Frosting

Using a Swiss Meringue Buttercream as the base of this frosting.

If you plan to make the frosting in advance and keep it frozen, do only the buttercream part and freeze it. Thaw in the refrigerator one day before use and mix in softened cream cheese and the flavorings on the day of use.

(These frostings with cream cheese won’t come back to the silky smooth consistency after they had been frozen)

1. Make sure all the bowls, whisk attachments, measuring cups and spatula are grease-free.

2. Take the egg whites and sugar in a bowl(if the sugar granules are too big, powder it before using) and stir together. Set this over a pot of boiling water and continue whisking like you did for the cake, until it no longer feels grainy and the  mixture is slightly hot.

3. Cool this down to room temperature and beat the mixture with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until you get stiff peaks.(If you invert the bowl, the meringue will not fall). With mixer on low speed, add the butter one cube at a time, waiting until one is incorporated before adding the next. The mixture will appear liquidy but once you add all the butter, it will turn into silky smooth buttercream in minutes. If it does not, don’t worry, keep the bowl refrigerated for 5 minutes and beat the mixture again after that. It will stiffen up.

4. Beat the cream cheese until smooth in a separate bowl and add this to the buttercream. Combine well.

5.Add the orange zest and strain the juice of the grated ginger through a strainer into the bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon or your hands. Also add the salt. Mix the frosting with a spatula.

Assembly the CAKE

Divide the cake horizontally into two layers. Apply the frosting in between the layers as well as on the sides and top. This is not a very stiff frosting and cannot be used to pipe patterns. Add chopped nuts on top. Keep refrigerated until 15 minutes before use.

-Enjoy!

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