It’s that time of year again! The baking season is upon us! Now, some of you might think I’m a bit early….I know, I know…it’s not even Halloween yet…but, remember all those things you have to do between now and that dreaded Holiday Season? Yeah…there ya go! The sooner we get started, the better! Not to mention, it IS Pumpkin season again! Enter warm spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom….what’s that? Cardamom? YES, Cardamom! I know most of you have heard of it, but how many of you get to raise your hand when I ask who has it in their pantry????!!! HUH????!!! Me!!!!!! MEEEEEE!!!! Okay, okay…I’ll stop gloating now! Yes, I love that little something extra called Cardamom. It’s my mystery ingredient in many fall recipes…some of which you are familiar with….like my Pumpkin Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust, or my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scones, and others.
Now, I know I probably didn’t list this ingredient on my recipes but, trust me, I’m by far not the ONLY one who has left that little extra something off the ingredient list. But, I’ve officially come clean! LOL! I don’t even measure it because I just literally put in a dash. So, enjoy this tip and no….this is NOT an endorsement for Simply Organic…just happens to be my favorite image!
I quote Wikipedia here:
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black cardamom has a distinctly more smokey, though not bitter, aroma, with a coolness some consider similar to mint.
Green cardamom is one of the more expensive spices by weight, but little is needed to impart flavor. It is best stored in the pod as exposed or ground seeds they quickly lose their flavor. Grinding the pods and seeds together lowers both the quality and the price. For recipes requiring whole cardamom pods, a generally accepted equivalent is 10 pods equals 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of ground cardamom.
It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. It is also often used in baking in the Nordic countries, in particular in Sweden and Finland, where it is used in traditional treats such as the Scandinavian Jule bread Julekake, the Swedish kardemummabullar sweet bun, and Finnish sweet bread pulla. In the Middle East, green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes, as well as traditional flavouring in coffee and tea. Cardamom is used to a wide extent in savoury dishes. In some Middle Eastern countries, coffee and cardamom are often ground in a wooden mortar, a mihbaj, and cooked together in a skillet, a mehmas, over wood or gas, to produce mixtures as much as 40% cardamom.
In Asia both types of cardamom are widely used in both sweet and savory dishes, particularly in the south. Both are frequent components in spice mixes, such as Indian and Nepali masalas and Thai curry pastes. Green cardamom is often used in traditional Indian sweets and in masala chai (spiced tea). Both are also often used as a garnish in basmati rice and other dishes. Individual seeds are sometimes chewed and used in much the same way as chewing gum. It is used by confectionery giant Wrigley; its Eclipse Breeze Exotic Mint packaging indicates the product contains “cardamom to neutralize the toughest breath odors”. It is also included in gin and herbal teas.
Okay! So, there’s the deets! What’s YOUR favorite way to use Cardamom? Comment below! And remember, a love of baking is baking in some love!