The light fragrance of the freshly ground cardamom brings a sweet flavor to the cake while the saffron brightens the color of the yolks in the cake. What could be more wonderful than something so simple and delicious for an everyday cake.
By Nik Sharma
I find olive oil pound cakes to be a little more fascinating than the butter based versions because the oil affords a lot more flexibility if you want to get adventurous with flavors. It’s a good and heavenly marriage of flavors! A little bit of an herb or a spice seasoning can go a long way with olive oil and this remains true for most olive oil based cakes. This cake also has a slight nutty flavor from ground almond meal and uses skim milk (you can go with whole milk, if you prefer) This version of the pound cake, also uses a sprinkling of freshly ground green cardamom pod seeds and a pinch of saffron strands. The light fragrance of the freshly ground cardamom brings a sweet flavor to the cake while the saffron brightens the color of the yolks in the cake. What could be more wonderful than something so simple and delicious for an everyday cake.
- a little olive oil for greasing loaf pans
- 2½ cups of all-purpose flour
- ½ cup almond meal
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 cups sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground green cardamom seeds
- a pinch of saffron
- 5 cold large eggs
- 1 cup low-fat or skim milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling on the surface of the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two loaf pans with parchment paper and then grease with a little olive oil.
- Sift the flour, almond meal, and baking soda. Return any bits of almond meal that might remain in the sieve back to the flour mix.
- In a stand mixer, attach the paddle and beat the sugar, salt, olive oil, cardamom and saffron in the mixing bowl until smooth. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the entire batter becomes creamy and light yellow in color.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the batter and beat until completely blended. Pour in the milk and the rest of the flour mix and beat until completely blended.
- Pour and divide the batter into the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until the centers are firm or until a bamboo skewer or knife comes out clean from the center. Sprinkle the extra sugar on the top surface of each cake and put the tins back in the oven for another 5 minutes. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes in their pans. Slide a knife around the edges of the cake to release it and transfer it to a wire rack to cool. Slice the cakes with a sharp serrated knife at room temperature.
Nik Sharma is the cook, author and photographer behind "A Brown Table" and currently resides in Washington D.C. He is a self-taught cook that is constantly trying to infuse "exotic" spices and ingredients by learning different cooking techniques in day-to-day meals with the motto of keeping all cooking methods fun, simple and useful.