Ah, Cardamom. So fragrant that a teaspoon of its seeds in a coffee grinder will fill your entire kitchen with its sweet, pungent aroma. Many of my customers have never heard of it and I tell them, "It's the main ingredient in chai tea." But really, that doesn't do it justice.
Cardamom has a more powerful taste than you'd expect from a little black seed; it's boldly perfumed in the fashion of eucalyptus but with a completely different, mildly sweet, taste. In India it's chewed on as a natural breath freshener and Swedes put it in their cookies. Saveur did a lovely article on cardamom recently.
If you've never tried it you're in for a sensuous discovery. Not surprisingly, it goes great with chocolate.
For the ganache:
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds (not the husk, just the seeds)
4 oz organic heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon organic agave nectar
about 3.5 oz*** medium dark chocolate in small pieces (I use E. Guittard's 61%)
Pulse the cardamom seeds in a coffee grinder a few times to release their aroma. Into a small pot add the seeds, cream and agave nectar and bring to a simmer while stirring.
Turn off the heat and put a lid on the pot. Let steep for 10 minutes.
Bring the concoction back up to simmering and pour it through a fine strainer into a bowl. Discard the soaked cardamom seeds.
***Measure the amount of liquid you're left with and add an equal amount of chocolate. Stir until all the lumps are gone and leave it to cool before piping.