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Cardamom Cake With Dried Cherries and Pistachios

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Cardamom pods and cardamom powder
Maximilian Stock Ltd./Photographer's Choice/Getty Images
Cardamom subtly perfumes this unusual cake, and marries beautifully with the cherries and pistachios. A great complement to tea or coffee, this cake also makes a lovely dessert for Indian, Middle Eastern, or Scandinavian menus.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted pistachios
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • Confectioners' sugar for serving (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350° F (If you are using a dark or nonstick pan, reduce the heat by 25° F). Grease and flour a bundt pan, making sure to tap out excess flour. Tip: Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the pan with shortening (preferably non-hydrogenated) before flouring. This works especially well when baking in decorative bundt pans, such as the rose pan used for the cake pictured above.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Using a stand mixer, electric handheld mixer, or manual rotary beater, cream together the butter and sugar until well blended.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

Fold in the flour mixture and sour cream in three additions each, starting with the flour and ending with the sour cream. Make sure the ingredients are well incorporated, but do not overmix.

Spoon just enough batter into the prepared pan to cover the bottom (this will help keep the cherries and pistachios from sinking to the bottom of the pan). Stir the cherries and pistachios into the batter in the bowl, then spoon into the cake pan. Smooth the top of the cake with a spatula if necessary.

Place the cake in the preheated oven and bake for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Test the cake at about 40 minutes, and monitor until it is done.)

Cool the cake in its pan on a rack for 30 minutes. Invert the cake onto the rack, remove from its pan, and continue to cool.

Just before serving, dust cake with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Store cake covered, at room temperature for two to three days, or in the freezer for up to three months.

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