Yesterday afternoon, I noticed a facebook update from my friend Lesley Balla, editor of TastingTableLA, saying “Bake sale for haiti at scoops. Goes until 6!” Tiny G and I jumped in the car and drove over to Heliotrope and got in line with Lesley, where Tiny G quickly lost interest in her gorgeous silver bangle and so we fed him a chocolate chip cookie to keep the peace. (Though the cookie did the trick while he was eating it, there was anything but peace for the hours that followed. Tiny G was smacked out on sugar for the rest of the evening. Will think thrice before forking over his next cookie.) The Cookies Without Borders bake sale raised over $4,000 to benefit Doctors without Borders efforts in Haiti. I managed to snag the last Casablanca Cake, a cardamom sour cream pound cake that Lesley had baked. If you like cardamom, this cake will change your life. Even more so if enjoyed with a cup of coffee.
UPDATE FROM LESLEY ON BELOW RECIPE. SHE WRITES: A note about that recipe: I added about a 1/2 tsp of vanilla per batch, and upped the cardamom about 1/2 tsp or so. Also, the Greystone recipe is for a bundt pan; I found that it doesn’t translate to 1 loaf pan. So I doubled the batch, which filled 3 loaf pans perfectly.
Casablanca Cake (Cardamom Sour Cream Pound Cake)
Adapted from the Greyston Bakery Cookbook
For the Cake
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 10″ bundt pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until soft and light, add the sugar gradually, beating well. Beat in the eggs a little at a time, and beat thoroughly.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, cardamom, salt, and baking soda.
Beat the flour mixture into the batter, alternating with the sour cream and ending with the flour.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, distributing it evenly and smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes, or until cake pulls away from the side of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
Let cake cool for 5 minutes in the bundt pan, then turn it over onto a rack, releasing the cake to cool completely. Leave to mellow for several hours before sprinkling with powdered sugar.