Friday, July 13, 2012

Lemon and cardamom cake + "50/50"

Lemon and cardamom cake / Bolo de limão siciliano com cardamomo

I am always interested in great performances, especially when they’re delivered by actors and actresses I adore; that is the reason why I wanted to watch "50/50": Joseph Gordon-Levitt is absolutely amazing in this movie and Seth Rogen surprised the hell out of me too, I have to admit it.


Cancer is not a subject I deal very well with and even though the movie made me cry in several moments it didn’t feel heavy, much to the contrary: it has a very optimistic feel. Several scenes made me think of my mom, especially the one when Levitt’s character finds out he has cancer: I can’t imagine what she must have felt hearing the news, being 28 and having two kids at home (my brother was 1 and I was 3). I felt so much sorrow deep inside my heart and thought of stopping watching the movie right then and there, but I’m glad I did not: knowing that on a daily basis people survive this awful disease brings me a sense of joy and hope.

Besides Levitt and Rogen, I loved, loved, loved Anjelica Houston as the mother: she’s not on screen much, but when she is... There is a ton of love and worry and pain coming from her character, which to me is really hard to pull off without going sappy and yet she does it so brilliantly, the way that only amazing actresses can (the green tea scene made me cry like a baby).

I’d never thought a movie about cancer would have such positive effect on me.

* end of spoilers*

I thought that a movie with that kind of connection with things I’ve been through should be paired with my favorite kind of cake: lemon. I had no idea cardamom worked so well with lemon as it does with orange.

Lemon and cardamom cake
slightly adapted from the absolutely wonderful Good Things to Eat (mine was bought here)

1 ¼ cups (175g) all purpose flour
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
175g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (175g) demerara sugar
finely grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons
1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 21x10cm (8¼x4in) loaf pan, line it with baking paper and butter the paper as well.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter, demerara sugar, zest and cardamom until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in the eggs, one at a time – mixture may curdle, do not worry. Beat in the vanilla.
Fold in the sifted ingredients, mixing just until absorbed, then quickly beat in half the lemon juice. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top and bake for about 40 minutes or until risen, golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
While the cake is still hot (still inside the pan, over a wire rack), pierce it all over with a toothpick. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining lemon juice with the granulated sugar, without letting it dissolve too much, and spoon over the cake. Cool completely in the pan.

Serves 6-8


Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

I love spooning lemon syrup over a cake! Simply scrumptious.

Unknown said...

The cake looks delicious, and about cancer nowadays medicine is so advanced that it's amazing what it can do

Priya Suresh said...

Super spongy cake.

Sarah said...

Yummy. Since lemons differ in size and juiciness, how much lemon juice by volume would 2 lemons give? Thanks for response.

Melissa@Julias Bookbag said...

Your mama found this out when she was 28?? Heartbreaking Patricia, I am so sorry.

I would very much like to see the movie at some point, Joseph G-L is a huge favorite of mine.

This cake looks so lovely. I will make it and think good thoughts about you and your mother. XOXO

Anonymous said...

vanilla isn't listed with the ingredients, but is supposed to be beaten in after the much vanilla????

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hey, Melissa, yes, and she died at the age of 32. :(
Thank you for your warmth, darling, it means a lot to me!

Anonymous, it's fixed now, tks for letting me know.

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