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Cardamom


Berlinsbreads
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I have a renewed interest in Scandinavian baking after two recent events:

1) At our most recent theme-based potluck we hold, the theme was Scandinavian cooking/baking and among other things, we made Aebleskivers and

2) recently finding out my Danish great grandfather was a famous/successful baker in Denmark before immigrating to the US (explains a lot for me).

Anyhow, after looking through various recipes calling for Cardamom and then opening my new Penzey's Spice catalog today, I am wondering which type of Cardamom I should be using for Scandinavian-style baking. In Penzey's they carry "Scandinavian White Cardamom" in the pod and the only ground one is a Guatemalan Cardamom. At the bakery where I bake, the owner has a thing for Cardamom and we sprinkle it on everything but it is a dark color. Has anyone out there used the white kind? I'm assuming I would grind the little seeds from the pods before using it in baked goods. Is there a difference? Your help & discussion on this matter would be greatly appreciated :biggrin: !

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The seeds inside are always dark, it's only the pods that are multi-coloured. The black ones, in India, are typically used for savoury dishes; the green for sweets. The white cardamoms are bleached, and IIRC begin life as the green kind.

I use the green for my baking. I grind them in my mortar and pestle, usually. A few quick knocks to crack the pod, then grind the seeds together with any other spices I may be using. If there is salt to be added at the same stage of the recipe, I'll sometimes put the salt in with the spices to speed the grinding (extra friction). Of course you could use a motorized spice grinder, as well.

I don't recommend buying pre-ground unless you use a lot, and will be going through it quickly (and have a source of reliably fresh-ground cardamom).

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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White cardamom and green cardamom are essentially the same, except the white ones have bleached pods. The seeds (which are the part that's ground) are brown. Black cardamom is a different type with larger pods and is used primarily in savory Indian dishes.

Scandinavian bakers have a preference for white (bleached) pods, but since cardamom doesn't grow in Scandinavia it all comes from a tropical source. The ground Guatamalan type will be fine.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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I bought a book that I'm sure is wonderful (even though I haven't made anything out of it, yet). It's called The Great Scandinavian Baking Book, written by Beatrice Ojakangas. It was originally published in 1988 in hardcover by Little, Brown and Company. I recently bought my addition at a local book store.........republished by The University Of Minnesota Press in 1999. I seem to think it was nominated for a Beard Award this year....... but I need to double check that.

Anyway.........are you at all familar with Beatrice's work? I stumbled onto her baking recipes in some older books published by HB. Everything I made from her was terrific. I'm not totally certain at this moment, but didn't Julia Child have her on her tv show as a Great Chef? I'm thinking she was the author in Baking With Julia who gave us the blitz style danish dough recipe (of course she has an excellent regular version of dd too). Yep.....just checked my book.

So if your really serious I think you'd love exploring that book! I know I want to. I've found her work to be very good tasting and that they've worked well for me in other published sources of her work.

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Anyway.........are you at all familar with Beatrice's work? I stumbled onto her baking recipes in some older books published by HB. Everything I made from her was terrific. I'm not totally certain at this moment, but didn't Julia Child have her on her tv show as a Great Chef? I'm thinking she was the author in Baking With Julia who gave us the blitz style danish dough recipe (of course she has an excellent regular version of dd too). Yep.....just checked my book.

So if your really serious I think you'd love exploring that book! I know I want to. I've found her work to be very good tasting and that they've worked well for me in other published sources of her work.

I'm a long time Beatrice fan. Her danish pastry dough in Baking with Julia is superb. I have her whole grain breads book. Do look into works, her instructions are clear, she bakes like my norweigian grandmother..there is no higher compliment.

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Hi,

for danish baking, we use the ground white/green kind - readily available in the supermarkets of Denmark. Black cardamom does not feature at all in traditional danish cooking or baking.

Traditional danish birthday bread rolls are made with a slightly sweetend buttery dough with a fair bit of cardamom in it and sometimes raisins, and danish dessert crepes often have cardamom in them. Cardamom is very widely used in various danish christmas cookies and if one makes Glögg (mulled wine, very traditional danish....) from scratch for christmas, cardamom is a very nice addition to yhe orange, lemon, ginger and cinnamon.

Have fun on the danish cardamom adventure!

/Mette

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Thank you for the information! Coincidentally, I ordered The Great Scandinavian Baking Book last week and it should be showing up today from Amazon. I didn't put the 2 and 2 together that she's the same person in my 'Baking with Julia.' I have made that Danish recipe in there a few times and just love it! I'll have to check out her other books, as well. Especially that bread one.

On a related note, I also ordered an Aebleskiver pan! I'm looking forward to continuing that tradition, too. Have any of you made those? My grandfather used to make them for us. He was so proud of his pan as he had inherited it from his baker father (unfortunately, it "disappeared" when the movers moved their belongings to a storage unit, though).

I will be getting the green cardamom then! Thanks for the help.

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As mette notes, black cardamom is not used for scandanavian cooking or baking in general.

While Black and Green Cardamom are in the same plant family (Ginger or Zingiberaceae), they are are classified in different Genera and are native to different regions of the world. Black Cardamom is native to the Eastern Himalayas. Green Cardamom is a tropical plant from South India and Sri Lanka.

Gernot Katzers' Spice Pages links:

Black Cardamom

Green Cardamom

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Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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There may be another option in between pods and ground cardomom. In my local Indian markets I can buy the seeds themselves, as well as the pods. When a recipe calls for ground cardamom I can easily make what I need in my spice (coffee, actually) grinder. I just use the pods whole in things like savory dishes, mulled wine or cider.

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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On a related note, I also ordered an Aebleskiver pan! I'm looking forward to continuing that tradition, too. Have any of you made those? My grandfather used to make them for us. He was so proud of his pan as he had inherited it from his baker father (unfortunately, it "disappeared" when the movers moved their belongings to a storage unit, though).

Æbleskiver are traditionally eaten around christmastime, and they are normally served with powdered sugar and some kind of jam to dip in. The word æbleskive actually means apple slice - in the olden days, a bit of apple was added to the batter in the pan. I have never heard of filling them with strawberry or banana (yikes, coming from someone who detests warm banana).

I make them occasionally, though mostly at christmas. One always have to make a bigger batch than expected :smile: At by daughters daycare, they had æbleskiver just the other day for the afternoon snack. If you make a big batch and keep them warm in the oven, they will not retain the round shape but become slightly flat, rather football-shaped, no effect on the taste, though. I've only ever seen the industrially produced stay round for any length of time (Yes, in DK there is a market for frozen æbleskiver, which you reheat in the oven - perfectly round, but most makes taste like warm cardboard)

If you like, I'll post my tried and true recipe.

Have fun with the pan

/Mette

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How embarassing..........I've never had them with apple inside! Oops. I'll have to do that.

My Mom used to make them for breakfast like pancakes. I like them with syrup, powdered sugar makes me choke because you can't eat these delicious treats slowly.

Mette, I'd love to try your recipe.

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Black cardamom has a fantastic, smoky, and some think medicinal, flavor and is used in Indian cooking. I love it, but it's not for baking.

When you get going with the aebleskiver, here's a trick from my half-Danish stepson: turn them as they cook with - a knitting needle!

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We always turn our aebleskivers with a little cocktail shrimp fork. That works great too. When I was a kid, we were taught that it was traditional to fill them with applesauce and sprinkle with powder sugar. I like mine with peanut butter and Mrs. Butterworth's syrup. Messy but wonderful! :wub:

Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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I received my aebleskiver pan yesterday and made them this AM and they were yummy:biggrin: ! I bought The Great Scandinavian Baking Book and used her recipe. They tasted wonderful. I put a little drop of homemade strawberry jam in the middle. The recipe suggested applesauce but I liked the jam. I'll have to try the apple, though! I read in a few places that people often use a knitting needle for turning so that's what I used and it worked wonderfully. They were fun to make, too! I'm definitely going to continue to make them...

Edited by Berlinsbreads (log)
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Mette, I'd love to try your recipe.

Sorry, my binder of recipes seems to have grown legs and left. When I locate it, I'll post the recipe. In the meantime, this recipe looks pretty close, I normally use whole milk:

Æbleskiver:

250 g. flour

3 to 4 eggs (depending on size)

4 ½ dl cream or milk or mixture

25 g. fresh yeast

1 tsp. sugar

½ tsp cardamom

a pinch of salt

shortening/butter for frying

Sift flour with sugar and salt. Heat milk to app. 35 degrees celsius and dissolve the yeast in the milk. Mix in the eggs one at a time.

Leave to rise for 2 hours. Pour batter in a jug. Melt a bit of shortening/butter in each dent in the pan and fill them 2/3 with batter. Turn over while batter is still liqid in the middle. Bake until brown, turning frequently.

Serve with powdered sugar and jam.

Enjoy

And here's a pic of some æbleskiver (from a recipe site) so those of you not in the know can get an idea of what æbleskiver look like

photo

/Mette

(edited for language)

Edited by Mette (log)
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  • 3 years later...

I'm testing a cardamom creme brulee for one of my restaurant customers and am having a much harder time than expected infusing the cardamom flavor into the custard.

My base recipe is:

2 quarts cream

8 eggs

16 egg yolks

14 ounces sugar

flavoring

After bringing the cream and powdered cardamom to a boil I slowly add it to the egg/sugar mixture. Strain and bake in water bath until done.

In making a recipe 1/4 this amount (1 pint cream) I added 1 tsp powdered cardamom. After chilling, the creem brulee had very little cardamom flavor in it.

It's been this way when using crushed pods, as well as powdered spice. In fact, I purchased new spice from Penzeys yesterday in case my current spice was old.

I've searched online and found recipes for Cardamom creme brulee but nothing different than what I'm currently doing.

Anyone work with cardamom and can help me make a creme brulee with a more pronounced flavor?

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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Have you thought of maybe steeping the cardamom in the cream for 15 to 20 minutes before continuing on with the recipe? Maybe giving it a chance to bloom before combining with the sugar and the eggs. I also think that freshly crushed cardamom would be the way to go over powdered. As with most spices, once you powder it, the essential oils dissipate quickly.

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I agree that you will get a much better product if you use crushed cardamom seeds instead of powder. And if you lightly toast the seeds in a small skillet before crushing them, it will help pop the flavor.

Eileen

Eileen Talanian

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As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow

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I've made cardamom ice cream and got a subtle but definite flavor by steeping 8-10 pods in 2 cups of hot cream for 15 minutes or so.

OK - I've gotten the subtle cardamom flavor with the fresh spice from Penzey's last night. Customer wants a bold flavor. Thoughts?

Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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