While my blogger friends are all over displaying these fabulous desserts for Valentine’s day, I was indecisive about what/how to bake. Oh! The pressure. I almost zeroed down on baking a Red Velvet Cake and nothing says Valentine’s day like Red Velvet Desserts. Right? But then I decided against it. I am going to reserve baking a decadent red velvet cake for the late summer/early fall time and I would love to share a funny story behind my first time baking a red velvet cake.
Now coming back to what-to-bake, I thought of trying this recipe that I had stumbled across a few months back in New York Times – Cardamom Cake. First I thought I would follow the recipe to the T, but the control freak that I’m, I ended up modifying a bit here and a bit there to give it a personal touch. The outcome was great however. The taste of cardamom will linger much after you have cleaned off the plate. This is a fresh, moist cake with great, but subtle cardamom flavor, and the mascrarpone- cardamom icing compliments it nicely.
Another challenge that I faced was to – how I should present the cake. Should I cover the cake with Frosting or not (I suck at frosting. Period) I gave it some thought and then decided to present it with just the frosting on top. I decided to keep the sides naked. Naked cakes are kind of cool, right?
Recipe adapted from New York Times.
How I altered the Recipe:
- I took out the yogurt from the frosting and replaced with full cream
- I didn’t go for the ricotta filling. Instead I used the mascarpone icing for filling
- I used a basic Sponge Cake Recipe.
For The Sponge Cake:
- 3 Cups Cake Flour
- 1 Cup milk
- 2 Sticks Butter
- 2 Cups sugar
- 2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 4 Eggs
- 1 Tsp salt
For The Milk Syrup:
- 2 Cups whole milk
- 4 Cardamom pods
- 6 Tbs granulated sugar
- 1 Tsp rose water
For The Mascarpone Frosting:
- 1 ½ sticks (12 Tbs) tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 Cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 Tsp rose water
- ½ Tsp ground cardamom
- 8 Ounce cold mascarpone
- ⅓ Cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- In a small saucepan, combine the milk and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the milk until it reduces by half, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Let cool, strain the mixture to get rid of the cardamom and any coagulated milk, then stir in the rose water.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease two 9-inch cake pans with butter and dust with flour
- Sift Cake flour
- Cream butter in a large bowl
- Gradually add sugar until light and fluffy
- Sift the cakeflour once again with baking powder and salt
- Add eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture, beating well
- Add flour mixture alternately with milk and blend
- Do not over mix
- Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20/25 minutes
- When the cakes have cooled, brush cake layers on all sides with milk syrup.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, confectioners’ sugar, rose water and cardamom until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- On low speed, beat in mascarpone and yogurt until the mixture is just combined and looks smooth.
- Do not overbeat
- Place one cake round on a cake stand, then top with one-third of the mascarpone filling, leaving a small border around the edge of the cake.
- Frost top of the cake with the mascarpone frosting.
- Top with chopped pistachios and candied rose petals if using; chill until ready to serve.
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