This mastic cake was an experiment and if you love trying different ingredients and unusual flavours then do check it out. Along with ground almonds and cardamom, the mastic adds and interesting flavour.
She's finally arrived - Little Miss Spice was born on 22 April, weighing 7lbs 4 (3.3kg). We're now back at home and trying to get used to our new life. Not surprisingly it seems to be full of an endless cycle of washing, changing nappies, crying, feeding, sleeping and starting all over again. So, I'm not sure how much blogging is going to get done over the next few weeks. I have been writing this post for almost a week! But, she's worth it, and absolutely gorgeous.
What is Mastic?
It's hard to remember life before she arrived but a few years ago. Sorry, weeks ago I was reading a post on Culinary Flavours, about a Greek mastic flavoured pastry. I'd never heard of mastic and so was delighted when Katrina very kindly offered to send me some. It is a resin from the mastic tree and has an unusual pine/cedar type flavour. Have a look at Katrina's blog for more information about it.
Well, when I received the mastic I was in a cake baking mood and so I decided to make a mastic scented cake. I researched flavours that go with mastic and came up with cardamom.
So, I decided to make a mastic and cardamom cake. Mastic is a very strong flavour and can be an acquired taste so I followed advice to use very little to begin with. I found a basic recipe and halved all the quantities to make a smaller cake and used less than the recommended amount of mastic too.
I hoped the cardamom would balance out the mastic and go well with the ground almond. But, in the end I couldn't taste the cardamom as the mastic overpowered it!
What was my verdict on this Mastic and cardamom cake?
Overall, it was a lovely soft almondy cake but I couldn't decide whether I liked the mastic or not. It was different and interesting but I couldn't help thinking I would rather just eat almond and cardamom cake as the mastic left a slight aftertaste. Maybe I overdid it a little. Next time I will add just a pinch of ground mastic and will up the cardamom.
Nevertheless, even though this was not a complete success, I'm pleased to have tried something new and especially grateful to Katrina for sending the mastic.
Mastic Cake Recipe
- 125 g ground almonds
- 125 g icing sugar
- 110 g butter
- 2 eggs
- 75 g self raising flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 g mastic I used 2g previously but have reduced it since.
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 2 cardamom pods
- Put the mastic, caster sugar and the seeds from 2 cardamom pods in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar. Grind to a powder.
- Put this powder in a large mixing bowl with the ground almonds, icing sugar and butter. Cream together.
- Add the egg and beat with a whisk. Then add the self-raising flour and baking powder and whisk until everything is combined.
- Put the mixture in a greased 15cm cake tin and bake in the oven at about 170°C for 45 minutes.
More Spiced Cake Recipes
I love using spices in cakes. If you do then why not check out one of these recipes:
Keep in Touch
Do let me know if you make this mastic cake or any of my other recipes. I love to get feedback from readers.
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