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Thursday, July 25

Cardamom pound cake with tea-poached plums

Butter, unsalted, room temperature
¾ cup +
2 cups +
Baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons
Cardamom, ground
1 teaspoon
Salt, kosher
¾ teaspoon
Milk, whole
¼ cup
Crème fraîche
½ cup +
1 cup
Eggs, large, room temperature
Vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon
Almond extract
¼ teaspoon
Almonds, sliced
¼ cup
Plums, small
1 ½ pounds
Tea, strong black
3 bags
¾ cup
Cardamom pods, lightly crushed
Star anise pod
Vanilla bean, halved
  1. Place a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 350°F. 
  2. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; line bottom and long sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving an overhang.
  3. Butter the parchment, and dust the pan with flour; tapping out any excess.
  4. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.
  5. Whisk the milk and crème fraîche in a small bowl; set aside.
  6. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  7. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to blend between additions, and occasionally scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  8. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.
  9. Reduce speed to low, and add the dry ingredients in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture in two additions.
  10. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the sliced almonds.
  11. Bake the cake, rotating halfway through, until golden brown, and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes.
  12. Transfer the pan to a wire rack, and let the cake cool for 15 minutes.
  13. Using the parchment overhang, gently remove the cake from the pan, transfer to the wire rack, and let cool.
  1. Using a paring knife, score the plums all the way around, starting and ending at the stem end, and cutting just through the skin (keeping the plum intact). 
  2. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  3. Remove from heat, add the tea, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes; discard the tea.
  4. Add the sugar, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve.
  5. Reduce heat, and add the plums, cardamom, and star anise, scrape in the vanilla seeds and add the pod.
  6. Simmer until the plums are just tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat, and let cool.
  8. Discard the vanilla pod, cardamom, and star anise.
  9. Halve the plums, remove pits, and return to the poaching liquid.
Serve with the cake, and a dollop of crème fraîche.
Recipe from Bon Appétit, August 2013.

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