Nomtastic! Beguiled Cake

Did I mention that I really, really like Haus of Gloi's Beguiled? I did? Well, in case I somehow appeared wishy-washy in regards to my love for this scent, let me share with you just how inspired I was by it: I made a Beguiled cake!

The first time I smelled Beguiled, I was overcome with an overwhelming desire for cake. Overwhelming. Desire.
And not just any cake. The cake suggested in the scent description:

Lemon cake made with the tang of fresh buttermilk, raspberry coulis - an otherwise innocent cake corrupted by cardamom and deceptive pink peppercorns.

I wanted to will this cake into existence. I wanted to merely recite the ingredients like a spell into a replicator a la Star Trek TNG and have it magically appear before me (if only it was that easy!). I wanted my cake lemony, tangy, tart, and just a little dangerous. So, I set out to concoct a cake that would satisfy the sweet tooths of all those who ever wished they could eat a Haus of Gloi fragrance.

Having never used cardamom before, I went to the health food store and purchased some of the seeds. I think the flavor is much more potent if you grind it yourself instead of buying it pre-ground (EDIT 4/7/15: a couple of years later, make it easy on yourself and just use pre-ground!) Ideally you could get the whole pods and crush those as well. They were a little expensive, $5.50 for 1/10 of a pound, the smallest amount I could get. I have a ton leftover I can use for other recipes. I don't even own a real spice grinder (what kind of foodie am I?), but I happened to have one of those spice mixes that come in their own grinders that was pretty much empty, so I cleaned it out and ground the seeds that way. This spice is incredibly fragrant and almost floral-perfumey, quite unique. I can totally understand why this element was included in the Beguiled scent.

Pink peppercorns are actually little dried berries, also with a fruitier spiciness than basic black pepper. On short notice (I wanted my cake pronto) they didn't seem to be readily available on their own, so I purchased a little "peppercorn medley" grinder that contained them, so I figured that would suffice for my purposes. The peppercorn and cardamon are simply accents that provide intriguing little pops of unexpected spiciness, not an overwhelming flavor.

With the specialty ingredients out of the way, it was time to get to some serious

For the actual cake, I adapted this one, from Food Network. I wanted a dense, rich cake that also didn't taste too incredibly heavy, and this one worked wonderfully.

It's a pound cake though, so expect a lot of eggs, and just a touch of butter.

"I see little balls of sunshine in a bag, er, bowl" -ode to Blanche

After the batter was finished I incorporated the ground cardamom and peppercorn...

poured the batter into the prepared Bundt pan, and popped it in the oven.

While it was cooking I made a raspberry coulis using one 12 ounce bag of frozen raspberries, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. I cooked the mixture about fifteen minutes at medium low heat or until super mushy.

My mixture was still a little lumpy after cooking so I ran it through my blender for a moment to smooth it out. Then you strain it, because seeds are an abomination and must be avoided if at all possible.

When the cake is ready, it looks a little something like this:

But what's this? This cake looks wholesome, sweet, precious, darling. Not nearly dangerous or mysterious enough. I decided a Beguiled cake should have another hidden layer to its multi-faceted personality, and that secret, hidden layer should be a
lemon curd whipped cream filling.

Okay, I know. It's a prepared whipped topping. Before you foodies turn up your noses at me and scoff haughtily about how lazy I must be to not whip my own cream, let me tell you: go ahead and do so if spirit or necessity moves you. I used Trader Joe's House Whip, and this stuff is pretty darn passable to fresh. No gross Cool-Whip aftertaste, and no hydrogenated oils.

I simply folded 1 1/2 cups topping with 1/2 cup lemon curd, and there you have a lovely cream filling, ready to be piped Twinkie style into the *cooled* cake. I used a pastry bag and tip but you could use a plastic bag. Just snip off the corner and make small holes in the cake at regular intervals. I piped until I felt the cake rise just slightly from the pressure (no exploding cakes please).

When you flip it over, no one will know the bounty that lies within!

And then when you top that cake with tart, bright red raspberry coulis, you will have something that smells just a little bit like Beguiled and tastes pretty good, too.

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  1. Saw this posted on FB, yay for being famous :)

  2. This is awesome!!!!!!

  3. Thanks everyone, it really is good and not too terribly fussy or difficult.
    @Jess: Famous, lolz. I prefer the rock of relative anonymity I live under!


Please leave me comments if anything strikes your fancy or if you have any helpful suggestions. Remember, I'm no expert and am just sharing my truth. Hopefully you will find something useful to take with you!

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