Friday 17 December 2010


Allie picked this week's weekword, the apt CHRISTMAS.

I have just finished work for Christmas and don't go back until the 4th. This event was marked with the annual Christmas party, which is one of my favourite school social events. For once, I took my camera and actually used it, so I have lots of good picture memories -

Unfortunately I also have a hole in a favourite dress. Boo. I am hoping the mender lady can help me out with it.

I have been baking Christmas cupcakes today. Last year I blogged in passing about a cupcake I was experimenting with, and this year I think I might have perfected it. Cardamom, especially with orange, has a very strong association with the season for me; I don't know why! It cuts through the sweetness of the chocolate perfectly.

Orange Cupcakes with Cardamom Ganache
4oz butter
4oz sugar
Grated zest of 2 large oranges
2 eggs
6oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
10 fl oz double cream
6 cardamom pods
Dark chocolate (see recipe for amounts)

Beat the butter with an electric whisk (or your hand if you have the energy) until smooth. Beat in the sugar and orange zest, and then the eggs. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and fold in; add some juice from the oranges if you need to, until you have a smooth batter; I would call it "soft drop" consistency. Spoon into cupcake cases and then bake at 180 degrees C for 20 minutes or so, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, put the cream in a small saucepan. Crush the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and add to the cream. Bring to a bare simmer and leave on a very low heat for 15 minutes or so; the best way to test is by tasting - you should get a cardamom flavour from the cream, but not too strong. Strain into a measuring jug: 10 fl oz cream goes with 9oz of dark chocolate, so measure out you chocolate accordingly, chop it roughly and put in a small bowl. Pour the hot cream over and stir to melt the chocolate (I sometimes have to zap the mixture in the microwave for a few seconds to fully melt the chocolate). Leave to cool.
Put the ganache in a piping bag and pipe over the cakes. Then enjoy!

If you'd like to participate in Weekword, check out Allie's blog to see who she picks for next week.


V said...

Ooo! Thanks for sharing the recipe as I have Cardamom in the house (Thai recipe of Husband's) and no clue how to use it.

Enjoy your holiday break!

Carola Bartz said...

Baking is such a pleasant and joyful holiday activity. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I'm currently baking cookies with my daughter, recipes from my childhood. Still good!
Have a wonderful holiday break!

Maria Wheeler, Simply Cool Stuff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maria Wheeler, Simply Cool Stuff said...

These cupcakes with cardamon sound delicious and I plan on trying them. Thanks for the recipe and have a wonderful holiday!