This week we hear from Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall, authors of Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. Evan loved this book so much that she chose it for our next KCRW Cookbook Club selection.
Anna and Johanna describe Kardemummakaka, or Cardamom Cake, as the quintessential fika snack. In the book they write, “Cardamom may come from the other side of the world, but Swedes are huge consumers of the spice, and it shows in Swedish baking. In our humble fika opinion, you can never have too much cardamom.”
This recipe was inspired by Johanna’s mother’s cardamom cake. They suggest purchasing whole cardamom seeds and crushing them yourself for maximum flavor.
kardemummakaka CARDAMOM CAKE
makes one 6-cup Bundt cake
10½ tablespoons (5.25 ounces, 148 grams) unsalted butter
3 egg yolks, room temperature
¼ cup (1.88 ounces, 53 grams) firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup (3.75 ounces, 106 grams) all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons whole cardamom seeds, crushed
3 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
3 egg whites, room temperature
¾ cup (5.25 ounces, 148 grams) natural cane sugar
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a Bundt pan.
In a saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the brown sugar until frothy. Pour the slightly cooled butter into the egg yolk and sugar mixture and whisk together a little longer. Sift the flour, then stir it carefully into the batter along with the cardamom, lemon juice, and salt. Stirring as little as possible, work the ingredients together until you get a smooth, even batter. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites, ideally with an electric mixer. When soft peaks form, add the cane sugar little by little. Whisk until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold the sugar and egg white mixture into the batter and keep folding until the batter is evenly blended. Be careful not to overstir. Pour directly into the Bundt pan.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. The cake is done when a knife or toothpick comes out clean when inserted at the thickest part of the cake. If the cake starts to get a golden brown color earlier (which can happen after 20 minutes), remove it from the oven, cover it with aluminum foil, and put back in the oven. This will prevent the top of the cake from burning.
Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for a bit before inverting it onto a plate.
Reprinted with permission from Fika, by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Johanna Kindvall