I was on a cardamom kick all week, which is so weird because I’ve never cooked with it. Maybe I used the pods once in a curry but I never used the ground cardamom nor have I ever made it the star of a dish. So why the obsession now? Let me introduce you to my weird quirk #995. Sometimes I come across a recipe that is so beautiful and looks so delicious sounding that I forget about the reality and get lost in the recipe. So when I stumbled across a recipe for some cardamom cake, I got it into my head that I MUST try it this week! I tried to make my own cake from scratch. And since this post isn’t about that cake, you can imagine how that turned out. My Kitchen disaster post is going to be quite long, I’m just warning you!
So cardamom. What is it? You may have seen the pods at the supermarket or at specialty stores. It’s an exotic spice popular in Scandinavian and East Indian countries. While cardamom pods are usually more often used in syrups and curries, the seeds can be ground although it loses much of its flavor. Luckily, I didn’t need an overpowering flavor so I used the ground spices. Also I don’t have a spice grinder. If I were being interrogated, this is where the policeman would dubiously say “hmmm…that’s a convenient way to cover up your laziness.”
Anyway so cardamom is a bit more exotic and expensive than regular spices, but because even the ground seeds can be overpowering, you should use it sparingly. It goes well with citrus, pistachios and mild flavours but also pairs well with heavier flavours like curry and cinnamon.
After much deliberation, I quite happily settled on baked apples with cocoa and cardamom. It’s a dessert that takes less than 5 minutes to prepare and is made in those cute little individually wrapped foil packets so you can easily serve it at a dinner party – stick it in the oven before you sit to eat dinner and by the time you’re ready for dessert, each guest has their individual packet to open up. It’s very cool. You can easily scale this up or down – use even one apple and serve it as part of a intimate meal for two. Its still healthy so I’m not going to lie…I had it for breakfast…
I’ve always seen baked apple recipes but it’s been full of cinnamon and nutmeg and all those heavy spices and I’ve personally found that combination on a regular basis a bit cloying. The beauty with Apples though is that because it has such a mild flavor, you can switch up the spices and they go together nicely. I found that the cardamom and chocolate give off a surprisingly savoury-sweet flavor rather than a one-note sweetness. It’s pretty aromatic as well and it filled my kitchen with a warm, homely scent. I half expected to pull a Thanksgiving turkey out the oven 🙂 I’m bringing this to Fiesta Friday as well.
Cardamom & Cocoa Baked Apples
1 Apple of your choice (I used Gala)
2 Pinches of Cardamom
2 Bigger Pinches of Cocoa Powder
Whipped Cream or Ice Cream (optional, for serving, but I highly recommend you use it)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Tear two sheets of foil large enough to fold into packets. Slice apples into 1/8-1/4 inch slices and toss with cardamom & cocoa. Divide in half and place a portion into each foil sheet. Fold the ends up and pinch together and pinch sides closed. Ensure that entire packet is properly sealed. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
That’s all! Please be careful when you open the packets because there will be lots of steam. I know a cardamom facial sounds like something that super rich people do, but let’s not try that, okay?
I say serve with whipped cream, Rabin says it doesn’t add anything to it. Can you please try it and help us break this stalemate?