One of the reasons I think I’m good at baking–besides genetics–is that, unlike cooking, it relies on precision. One quickly learns that a “pinch” of salt is really just that, and you better have the right sized fingers to avoid an unpalatable cake. The time-tested example of cakes being more than the sum of their parts is an absolute truth; when parts, in specific and scientifically-based proportions, are combined, they create something entirely different and amazing. #synergy
This recipe represents a milestone in my baking life because it’s one of the first times I’ve rougely experimented with a baking recipe. Usually, I can make a handful of substitutions to a preexisting mix with success, but this bread/cake was a much looser interpretation.
I’ve been on a real cardamom kick these days, a newly acquired taste post-Ayurvedic cleanse, and since September hit, I have been wanting to welcome fall (helloooo, fall! please show up soon; you forgot to visit the east coast…) with something warm and cozy-like. But for some reason, so many of the cardamom loaves and cakes I researched as bases read as overly complicated flavor-wise; they featured citrus or carrots or bergamot or–the list goes on. I’m also being very conscious of my sugar intake, which added to the challenge of finding something sans the requisite addition of sugar, be it white/granulated or something similar, like honey or maple syrup.
I decided to not call this recipe a “cake” because I did, in fact, succeed in cutting out added sugar, in both practice and theory. This bread is hardly a sweet at all: just enough sugary-ness to balance out the spiciness of the other ingredients. For me, this pseudo-dessert is just right, and if my lucky streak with experimentation continues, it may even coax a brisk autumn chill out of Mother Nature.
Sugar-Free Cardamom Bread
- 2 flax eggs
- 2 medium ripe bananas about 1 cup mashed
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Scant 1 cup chai-infused milky tea
- 1/2 cup cashew cream
- 1-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup chick pea flour
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/3 cup raw pistachio meats whole or chopped
- sprinkle of unsweetened coconut flakes
- To make the cashew cream, soak 1 cup raw cashews in water overnight. Drain, and blend in a processor until smooth. For this recipe, I wouldn’t add customary mix-ins so as to not mess with the flavor combination.
- To make the milky tea, steep two tea chai teabags in a standard mug and add milk until very light in color. (I used Tazo’s Vanilla Carmel Chai, but a plain chai would also do.) Let it cool to room temperature.
- Add the vinegar to a 1-cup measuring cup, and fill the rest with the prepared tea. Set aside. (This is a form of buttermilk.)
- Mash the bananas in a small bowl with a fork until almost smooth. It’s okay if there are some lumps, but try to minimize big pieces.
- Combine flax eggs, banana, cream, vanilla, and coconut oil in a bowl; stir well. Add spices and flour, and stir until well mixed. Add milky tea last.
- Pour batter into a loaf pan and spread evenly. Top with pistachios and coconut.
- Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes. A knife should come out clean when it’s ready, and the top will be medium-brown in color.
- Let cool before slicing, and enjoy!
Originally published on Peaceful Dumpling