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Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Sandwich Cake: Cardamom Pound Cake with Pistacio Butter Filling and Sour Cherry Jelly

Some of my favorite gifts come from my friend Heather. Whimsical and fun gadgets that I wouldn't purchase for myself but love having. One of these treasures came in the form of a sandwich cake
mold. Fill the mold with cake batter, bake, cut the cake in half and add some filling. It looks like a giant sandwich. 

Peanut butter and jelly seemed to be the obvious choice, but since I tend to follow the least traveled path my flavors skewed toward an Indian edge with cardamom, pistachios and orange. But my homemade orange jam turned bitter on me. So a jar of sour cherry spread filled in and completely hit the mark!

The whole thing becomes an adult play on the PB & J. The cake is dense with a tender crumb while the pistachio filling gives it richness that gets a kick from the sour cherry jam. It's a very different cake; a fantastic break from traditional cake flavors.
You can make this cake even if you don't have a creative friend buying you a giant sandwich cake mold. Just use a regular cake pan and cut it in half to make two layers. Or spread the fillings on top of the cake like you would a frosting. Be creative. That's what Fat and Happy food is all about!

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques: For an easier version of this cake, substitute jarred peanut butter or almond butter for the straight nuts in the homemade pistachio butter filling. The sour cherry spread can be found in most supermarket.

The Sandwich Cake: 
Cardamom Pound Cake with Pistachio Butter Filling and Sour Cherry Jelly 

Cardamom Powder Sugar Pound Cake

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups powder sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp spiced rum or vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp ground cardamom
Pistachio Butter Filling (recipe below)
1/2 cup sour cherry spread*

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt then set aside. Whisk together the buttermilk and eggs.

In a stand mixer, cream together the butter, olive oil and sugars. Add in the rum and ground cardamom. Alternately mix in the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture in two batches (so add in half of the flour mix, then half of the buttermilk, then the remaining flour and then the remaining buttermilk.) 

Pour the mixture into your greased cake pan, bake until the top is golden light brown and a toothpick comes out just clean. It took my cake 60 minutes to bake.

Allow the cake to cool before cutting and filling. Cut the cake in half lengthwise and frost with the pistachio butter filling, top with the sour cherry and then replace the top of the cake. Or simply frost the top of the cake with the nut filling and the jam. Keep the cake well covered so it doesn't dry out.

Pistachio Butter Filling

1 cup pistachios
pinch of salt
3 tbls honey
2-4 tbls olive or pistachio oil
8 ounces cream cheese
2 cups powder sugar

Place the pistachios in a blender with a good pinch of salt and the honey. Begin to pulse, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed.

Leave the blender on high while you drizzle in a little of the oil, don't add it all at once as you might not need all of it. This blending process does take some time so have patience. The nuts will eventually turn to butter. 

If you are using a jarred peanut butter, start the filling process here: Whip the nut butter with the cream cheese and 2 cups of powder sugar in a stand or hand held mixer for the best results. Add in more powder sugar if you feel your filling is too thin. Fill or frost the cake as directed above

*The sour cherry spread can be found at most supermarkets. I found it at Whole Foods in the cheese and deli area. Or substitute your favorite berry jelly.

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