This treat is officially called ‘Cardamom Mums’ in Sweden, which translates to ‘Cardamom Yums’; I thought about it for some time and I reckon calling it ‘Swedish Almond & Cardamom Mini Cakes’ makes more sense. At least to non-Swedes – because it explains it more…? (Feel free to let me know what you think! 🙂 )
Cardamom has got to be the most popular taste in Sweden for pastries and sweet breads. I initially thought it was almonds, specifically almond paste (or marzipan), but I realized that even the regular cinnamon buns here (Kanelbullar) have cardamom. To be honest, I do NOT blame them. I am also starting my love affair with cardamom nowadays. ;-).
The cake, per se, is made of almond paste. The cardamom part is the coating that you sprinkle on the cake, once they’re out of the oven. Sugar and cardamom mixed together to coat each piece of cake – YUM! Muffin tins can also be used for baking them. For this recipe, I opted to use those aluminum molds that I also use for panna cotta. I just felt they’re easier to remove from the tin – no biggie (it’s just me being lazy 😉 ).
As for the form of cardamom, I gotta tell you, there is a HUGE difference in the finished product when you use cardamom pods, compared to cardamom powder. I tried making these with cardamom powder and even with adjusting the ratio of powder to sugar, the taste and smell is just way off.
I encourage you to try this with pods at first, instead of powder – you will appreciate it more. We also use tons of cardamom powder in Sweden, but for this specific treat, it’s got to be pods. 🙂
- 200 grams almond meal
- 100 grams sugar
- 50 grams confectioners sugar
- 3 to 5 tsp milk
- 135 grams almond paste
- 42 grams butter, room temperature
- 2 drops bitter almond extract
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp cardamom pods
- 2 tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 180-degrees C (350-degrees F). Prepare the baking (or muffin) tins by greasing or spraying them with butter.
Prepare the almond paste by mixing the almond meal with the regular and icing sugar. Add the milk slowly to get the proper consistency of the paste (i.e. not too wet). This almond paste recipe yields around 200 grams of paste.
Combine the butter, egg and bitter almond extract with the right amount of almond paste and mix well.
Spoon the cake mix into the baking tins. Make sure that you only fill up to a quarter of each tin. This recipe makes 5 medium sized tins. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Grind the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar or a food processor. Mix the freshly-ground cardamom powder with sugar and set aside.
Once mini cakes are ready, take them out of the oven; and out of their tins (as soon as they are cool enough to handle). Roll each piece in sugar and cardamom mixture, making sure each one is properly coated. Serve and enjoy!