Cardamom Loaf with Chocolate & Raisins
Serves: makes a 1Kg loaf
- seeds from 10 cardamom pods, crushed finely
- (or ½ tsp fresh, ground cardamom or 1 level tsp of mixed spice)
- 250 gms butter
- 250 gms caster sugar (white or golden)
- 4 medium eggs
- 450 gms self-raising flour
- 150 ml full milk
- 125 gms dark chocolate, chopped into raisin-size pieces
- 90 gms raisins - muscatel if possible
Butter a 1 Kg loaf tin and line with greaseproof or baking paper.
Remove seeds from the cardamom pods and grind or crush using a mortar and pestle or the flat end of a rolling pin.
Cream the butter and sugar until really light (preferably in a food processor). Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well between.
Mix the cardamom into the flour, then add the spiced flour and milk alternately to the creamed mixture, mixing well but not beating - if you began with a food processor, put the mixture into a bowl for these last processes. Stir in the chocolate and raisins. The texture should be a stiff dropping consistency.
Spoon rather than pour into the prepared tin, flatten the top with a knife, then bake at 190°C for about an hour. If the top browns too much, cover with greaseproof paper or foil during the last 10 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack.
The loaf improves in flavour for several days and needs no icing. It is particularly good as a dessert served in thin, lightly chilled slices with a fruity or chocolate ice-cream or with raspberry, apricot or plum fruit sauce.