This Is Duff Goldman's Favorite Fall Baking Ingredient - Exclusive

Some people live for summer cooking. They relish the days of outdoor grilling, hearty seasonal produce, and the light and bright flavors that accompany the long, sunny days. Others are all about fall foods. They get excited when the weather cools down and the harvest rolls in, bringing with it a season of baking, hot drinks, and belly-warming recipes. So perhaps it makes sense that master baker Duff Goldman is a huge fan of all things autumn. "I'm excited for fall in March," he told Tasting Table, adding that "summer baking is great. There's fun stuff you could do, but Christmas, Thanksgiving — this is baking season. This is when you really kick it in high gear. ... I'm always looking forward to fall."

And as someone who knows his way around a kitchen, Goldman isn't just looking to pumpkin spice and apples to create satisfying seasonal recipes. There's a whole world of fall flavors, spices, and ingredients out there, from figs to fresh ginger, pears to persimmons, and so much more. In an exclusive interview, Duff Goldman revealed his go-to fall ingredient for baking both sweet treats and savory creations. And his favorite flavor of the season might just surprise you.

Duff Goldman loves using cardamom in his sweet and savory fall dishes

If every season has a flavor, for Duff Goldman, the flavor of fall is cardamom. "I use cardamom a lot," he told Tasting Table. The spice belongs to the ginger family and is native to India (via MasterClass). It comes in the form of pods that can be used whole or ground before being added to recipes, and it's actually a much more common baking ingredient than you might think. Goldman said he loves making all kinds of delicious fall goodies with it. "I put cardamom in my apple pie; I put it in my spice bread; I put it in my gingerbread," he mentioned, to name just a few possibilities.

Cardamom's flavor can best be described as herbal, earthy, and subtly sweet. Some may even detect the slightest note of citrus. "It's such a wonderful, unique flavor," said Goldman, describing it as "almost eucalyptus-y" and adding that "it goes so well with ginger and cloves and nutmeg and cinnamon and all the usual suspects." 

However, don't let that fool you into thinking cardamom is strictly for sweet treats and desserts. Goldman told us, "It's one of my go-tos for savory" and "Almost everything I make has cardamom in it." We can imagine the woodsy and fresh essence it lends to soups, stews, chili, and spice rubs. Take it from the expert and don't be afraid to add a dash of cardamom to your next fall recipe.

You can learn more about baking like Duff Goldman at his DIY cake decorating studio. Check out Duff's Cakemix before it heads to a location near you, and learn more about franchising opportunities here.