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
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
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.)
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Pour batter into a loaf pan and spread evenly. Top with pistachios and coconut.
7. 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.
8. Let cool before slicing, and enjoy!
Also by Jennifer: Roots and Herbs Spiced Garlic Soup
Related: Raspberry Rhubarb Bread Pudding
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Photos: Jennifer Kurdyla