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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Swedish Cardamom Cake | A Man Called Ove | #FoodnFlix

Swedish Cardamom Cake
You never really know what's going on behind closed doors. Ove is a man who is never satisfied. He's extremely particular and practical, calling anything fancier than meat and potatoes (aka saffron) "putting Christmas into it". He is the type of man who yells at feral cats to get off of his private property, and locks bicycles in garages if they are left about. Basically, he's miserable, surly, and entirely bad-tempered.

Or is he? Okay, yes - he is. Or rather he has become that man. But he wasn't always that way. He was young and hopeful and in love. He was hard-working, devoted, and honest to a fault. Those traits just got magnified and distorted after a series of circumstances.

Soon after we meet him, we see Ove attempting suicide. That's right about the time someone (someones) good come into his world and, slowly but surely, life comes back. Once again, he remembers what it's like to love and be loved.
Swedish Cardamom Cake | A Man Called Ove | #FoodnFlix
There's so much more to it than that, and I recommend not only watching A Man Called Ove, but reading the book that inspired it. Fair warning: they both made me cry in some capacity. This was the perfect Food 'n Flix choice for November, a time when we're reminded to give thanks for all of the blessings we have in our lives (chosen by this month's host, Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm).

There was quite a bit of food to be found throughout the film, mostly just every day stuff...mentions or scenes including meat and potatoes, stuffed cabbage leaves, soup, tuna, pizza, kebab toast, coffee, bread, cheese, orange juice, food while traveling, cake at a birthday. Ove holds his kitchen as sacred, in memory of his wife Sonja, who was a great cook. Although it's set in Sweden, there's also Persian influence courtesy of Ove's new neighbors, Parvaneh being of Iranian descent, like rice with saffron, Persian cookies.

There's a moment about halfway through the film when Ove and Parvaneh go to a cafe that was Sonja's favorite, and they eat Napoleon slices and drink coffee. It's not specifically mentioned in the film, but the Swedish practice a concept called fika. Loosely translated, it means "a coffee and cake break", but apparently , it's more about the act of communing with friends and colleagues...over coffee or tea and cake or other small bites.
Swedish Cardamom Cake (Kardemummakaka)
Apparently, fika is often used as a verb ("Let's fika later!"). I love this concept, and decided to make a common addition to fika - Kardemummakaka, or Swedish Cardamom Cake. While cardamom isn't native to Sweden, it can be found in many of their dishes (like these Swedish Cinnamon Buns)...and as a bonus, it's fairly common in Persian cooking, as well.

Don't go into this effort thinking this cake is going to taste like anything but cardamom. Because it's lush with the heady spice. It's the perfect little bite to eat alongside your coffee or tea, was perfectly suited to Plum Deluxe's Easy to be Green Tea (a green rooibos with blueberries, raspberry leaves, rose hips, hibiscus, cranberries, blue cornflowers, and blueberry essence). One might say that they fika like two peas in a pod.

Food 'n Flix club logo
This month's edition of Food 'n Flix is being hosted by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm with her pick, A Man Called Ove; submissions are due today, Novemer 28, 2018.

Join us next month as we head into the kitchen with our host Debra of Eliot's Eats with her pick, Love Actually.

For inspiration, check out the Food 'n Flix website (click on any of the roundups listed to see what participants have been inspired to make by the movie choice), all of my past Food 'n Flix posts, or my Food 'n Flix Pinterest board!
Swedish Cardamom Cake (Kardemummakaka) inspired by A Man Called Ove

cake, cardamom
Yield: 16 pieces
Swedish Cardamom Cake recipe

Swedish Cardamom Cake (Kardemummakaka)

prep time: 10 minscook time: 45 minstotal time: 55 mins
Kardemummakaka (or Swedish Cardamom Cake) is a lovely, cardamom-forward cake with a crunchy pearl sugar top that is perfect for Fika (coffee/tea and cake break).


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) salted butter, at soft room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 jumbo eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cardmom
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Swedish Pearl Sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease an 8-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang for easy removal; grease parchment, as well.
  2. Cream sugar and butter together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the milk and eggs.
  3. Combine flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. Slowly beat into the wet mixture, again until light and fluffy.
  4. Scrape into prepared pan and smooth down the top. Scatter the pearl sugar evenly over the top.
  5. Slide into preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, the top is golden, and the edges have begun to pull away from the pan.
  6. Using the parchment paper overhand, carefully lift the cake out of the pan and set on a wire rack to cool. Once cool enough to handle, wrap the entire cake in plastic/cling wrap; allow to sit at cool room temperature for at least 12 hours before slicing for best texture.
  7. Cut into 16 small squares and serve with tea or coffee, while taking a much needed break for socializing (aka enjoying Fika).
Created using The Recipes Generator

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