I love the smell of Cardamom! It has a strong and unique taste, and is very aromatic. It almost has a sweet smokey aroma.It's a common ingredient in Indian cooking and is often used in Scandinavian baked goods; such as Finnish sweet bread Pulla, in Swedish Bullar, or Norwegian Julekake. In the Middle East, green cardamom powder is used as a spice for sweet dishes as well as traditional flavouring in tea and coffee.
According to Wikipedia, Green cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight. It's best stored in pod form because once the seeds are exposed or ground they quickly lose their flavor. However, I purchase ground cardamom at the grocery store, since it is more readily available. When using whole cardamom pods; about 6-8 pods equals 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom.
Cardamon Braid ~ Kardemummafläta
Makes 1 braid
4 tbsp butter (or dairy-free soy-free, dairy-free vegetable shortening)
1 cup milk (or rice milk)
2 tsp dry yeast
2 tsp psyllium husks* (about psyllium, see below)
¼ cup sugar, plus 1 tsp for yeast liquid
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp guar gum
1 tsp gelatin, unflavored (or use vegan gelatin)
1 large egg, whisked (for egg substitute, see below)
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 ½ cups Anna's GF Cake Blend, plus 1/3 cup for rolling dough
3 tbsp pearl sugar* or raw sugar, for sprinkling
1 large egg, whisked
1 tbsp water
12 tbsp butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp cardamon
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add the milk to the melted butter and heat until about 110-115 degrees F. Pour the heated liquid into a medium-sized bowl.
Add the yeast, psyllium husks, 1 tsp sugar and whisk together until yeast has dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes to proof and activate the yeast. The liquid should expand.
Pour the yeast liquid into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar, salt, guar gum, gelatin, the whisked egg, cardamom, and gluten-free flour blend to the mixer. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl occasionally.
Sprinkle your work surface and hands with ample gluten-free flour mix. Don't scrimp on the flour, or your dough will stick to your board or counter. Turn out the dough onto the board, sprinkle with flour mix, pat down lightly.
Divide the dough into three equal-sized pieces. Flour your rolling pin. Take one piece of the dough, roll it into a long rectangle, 14 inches long and 12 inches wide. It should be about 1/4 inch thick.
Soften the butter by warming in the microwave for a few seconds. Spread a 1/3 of the butter evenly over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the dough evenly with 1/3 of the sugar and cardamon.
Gently roll the dough lengthwise into a log. You may need to use a spatula to help coax it to roll.
Put aside and proceed with the other two pieces of dough.
Place all three logs next to each other. Starting at one end, braid all three pieces together into one braid. Tuck each end under, forming a uniform braid.
Using a spatula and your hands, gently transfer the braid onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover the baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let the braid rise in warm area of the kitchen for 1 hour.
During the last 20 minutes of the rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove kitchen towel or plastic wrap from the baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the braid with the egg wash. Sprinkle the pearl sugar (or raw sugar) on top of the braid.
Bake the braid for 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown in color.
Slide the parchment paper onto a wire cooling rack. Place a clean kitchen towel on top. Let the braid cool to room temperature before slicing. If you can wait that long...
Have yourself a Fika break!
*Psyllium husks are the same as Metamusil, which is gluten-free. Get the unflavored variety. This adds fiber, texture and elasticity to the dough.
*For egg-free substitute, I recommend Ener-G egg replacer - 3 teaspoons egg replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons rice milk or water. Or use flaxseed meal - 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tablespoons warm water, let sit for 10 minutes to thicken.
*Pearl Sugar can be found at IKEA stores. It can easily be substituted with turbino sugar, or sugar-in-the -raw. Another great option is to top the buns with chopped almonds before baking.
Anna's Gluten-Free Cake Flour Blend:
2 cups brown rice flour
2 cups white rice flour
1 cup potato starch/or corn starch
1 1/4 cups tapioca starch
Information about Cardamon if from www.wikipedia.org