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Monday, October 3, 2011

Vanilla Bean Cardamom Bundt Cake with Chai Tea Syrup

My future sister-in-law, Andrea, just came back from a trip to Madagascar, and she sent me whole vanilla beans. When I got them, I was SOOOO excited. I've seen vanilla beans used on cooking shows and I have always wanted to use some myself, but they tend to be pretty pricey. When I received these, my first thought was "I have to find a recipe!" This is what I came up with: Vanilla Bean Cardamom Bundt Cake with Chai Tea Syrup from

You gotta smell this cake

I've never cooked with cardamom and didn't even know what to expect, and wow, its some strange stuff. I bought a jar (the stuff is pretty expensive) and got to work. Here is the recipe:

Cardamom Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake with Chai Soaking Syrup
Makes 10-inch bundt cake, serving 12 to 14

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground cardamom powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed (empty vanilla bean used for the syrup)
1 cup sour cream

⅓ cup water
⅔ cup granulated sugar
2 chai tea bags (whatever you like)
Leftover vanilla bean pods (for extra flavor)

Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 350. Grease and lightly flour inside of 10 inch bundt pan.

Whisk together flour, ground cardamom, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.

Using either a stand mixer (paddle attachment) or a hand mixer, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugars and beat at medium-high speed until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time, beating for 30 to 40 seconds after each addition. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla bean. At low speed, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with sour cream. (Add a bit of flour, a bit of sour cream, a bit of flour, a bit of sour cream, a bit of flour.)

Scoop batter into pan and spread with spatula. Smooth with spatula.

Bake cake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then invert it onto another rack. Place the cake, on the rack, over a baking sheet.

While cake is baking, make syrup. Combine water, sugar, teabags and empty vanilla pod in a small non reactive saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Using a pastry brush, dab syrup generously all over surface of the warm cake, allowing it to soak into the cake before reapplying. Let the cake cool completely.

Finished product... yummy

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