1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more hand
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup crème fraîche plus more for serving
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Tea-poached pears

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3" loaf pan, line bottom and long side with a strip of parchment paper, leaving overhang. Butter parchment and dust pan with flour, tapping out any excess.

Whisk baking powder, cardamom, salt, and 2 cups flour in a medium bowl, set aside.

Whisk milk and 1/2 cup crème fraîche in a small bowl, set-aside.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat sugar and 3/4 cup butter in a large bowl until light and fluffy, about four minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula, then add vanilla and almond extract.

Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with crème fraîche mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients, beat just until combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth top, and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake cake, rotating halfway through until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes (tent with foil if browning too quickly).

Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 15 minutes. Using parchment overhang, gently remove cake from pan and transfer to rack, let cool. Slice cake and serve with tea poached pears and crème fraîche.

Do ahead..... Cake can be made two days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

Janice W. Thomas
Savory Spoon Cooking School
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