One of my daughter’s favourite stories as a small child was called “The Squirrel Nutkin”. Now Nutkin was a young mischievious little guy and a bit of a free-spirit as squirrels go and would spend his days having loads of fun. He would sing, dance, and poke fun at Old Brown, the resident owl on Owl Island, just about escaping from the owl’s wrath without most of his his tail. While the other squirrels were busy collecting acorns and nuts to store for the long winter, Nutkin would enjoy himself and laugh at all the hard workers.
What got me thinking of Nutkin and squirrels in general was how they stash away acorns and nuts for times when food is scarce. Well, I can be a bit of squirrel myself at times. Living where I do, quite a few food items used in baking are not available in my stores. So when family or friends who come down from abroad bring me such stuff, I tend to jealously guard and hoard such stuff in my freezer! Sometimes this gets so bad that you will find me hanging on stuff like dried blueberries, cranberries, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, etc. for months on end because I cannot bring myself to use them up. I tend to get a sense of satisfaction knowing that they’re there should I need them. And who knows when I will get my next supply to stash away?
I’m sure many fellow bakers and bloggers living in India are like me when it comes to hoarding “precious” food stuffs! Luckily for us, many of these things are now becoming available in India. I’m also very lucky to have some very good friends who are always happy to send me “care packages” of these on and off. I have been thinking for a while now, that I should use up my stash before it became totally unusable, and make way for fresher food items to “squirrel” away.
That’s when Madhuli wrote to me saying that she had seen Macadamia nuts at a store near her so we could stop stashing those away. She suggested we take a first step towards diminishing the “stash” by baking something with them. After looking at a few recipes we finally decided to bake this cake that we both liked because it didn’t have buttercream, and also because we both like marmalade.
I had started out thinking I would make it with eggs, but when I finally got down to making the cake, I had run out of them so my version turned out to be eggless! So I adapted the recipe to make adjustments for the lack of eggs. I also felt cardamom would be a great addition to this cake.
The result was a somewhat sticky, crumby and sweet cake that had a sort Middle Eastern flavour. I personally feel this one would taste even better served with ice-cream on the side. I would suggest making this with eggs if you eat them.
Cardamom Flavoured Marmalade Cake With Macadamia Nuts