Two ways to cook . . . cardamom

This spice can be used to enhance both sweet and savoury dishes, so here are suggestions for both

A 1930s upside down pineapple cake gets reinvented with cardamom-laced sweet and juicy fruit, and it works

A 1930s upside down pineapple cake gets reinvented with cardamom-laced sweet and juicy fruit, and it works

 

VANESSA’S WAY... PEAR AND CARDAMOM UPSIDE DOWN CAKE

In a cookery school, interesting twists on old favourites occur on an almost daily basis. Lemongrass scented Madeira cake, followed in close proximity by chocolate fondants infused with lime leaf syrup, were recent creations at Cooks Academy.

Cardamom is an Indian spice with an aromatic sweetness that is no stranger in our spice drawers as a key ingredient in much loved Indian curries. But like many Scandinavian bakers, I adore spiking bakes, cakes and many yoghurt and cream desserts with cardamom.

Here, a 1930s upside down pineapple cake gets reinvented with cardamom-laced sweet and juicy fruit, and it works. Grinding cardamom seeds is easy in a mortar and pestle, but squashing them with the back of spoon will do. As an alternative to cream, try serving it with luxurious Velvet Cloud sheep’s yoghurt, made in Mayo.

GARY’S WAY... CARDAMOM GREEN TEA POACHED DUCK WITH CARDAMOM MAPLE GLAZE

Cardamom is a spice I’ve loved using through the years. A little tends to go a long way. It can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes and in Indian cookery in particular it often is. It’s native to India but since 2000, Guatemala has become the largest global producer.

It’s the third-most expensive spice – behind vanilla and saffron. Duck takes to spice really well and this is a dish I’ve been making for years. You won’t get the pinkness from the duck breast that I’d normally be looking for, but fear not as if you follow the steps carefully, I guarantee you this is truly a melt-in-the-mouth way of eating it.

I’m very fortunate in Viewmount House to have Ken Moffitt from Blacklion supplying me with his Thornhill duck. It’s a Peking duck, has wonderful fat content and is perfect for this method of cooking.

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