A few weeks ago, my friend (and neighbor) came over at my place for an afternoon tea and a catch up session.
The last time we actually had a decent girly talk and a good heartily laugh was before she had her baby! And hey, that was 9 months ago!! Not that we live far from each other, but we seemed to be too busy with our daily life’s that we didn’t realise how time had passed by quickly. Of course, we kept in touch through phoning and texting, but that is not the same as tapping it in the air in person after a good gossip.
Since my morning was busy and I happened not to have much time to do a lot of baking, I decided to go for the Kenyan sponge cake for the occasion. This cake happens to be so simple, easy and quick to prepare that it feels like cheating.
What makes the Kenyan sponge cake special is the use of my little exotic friend named Cardamom. Now, if you have never experienced the real taste of cardamom in food, this is just the right occasion to do so. And I promise, you won’t look at it like you used to before. Cardamom has a very unique taste with an intensely aroma and fragrance and either used in sweet or savory dishes, it captures and delivers the real essence of exotic like no other spice. Though small in size, just a few pods are more than enough to give an ordinary dish that exotic taste.
In the Kenyan cuisine, cardamom is widely used and in some parts like the Kenyan coast and the Island of Lamu, cardamom, the queen of spice, is considered essential to a everyday pot of coffee, Kahawa chungu or tea, and it’s difficult to imagine dishes like biryan, pilau, mahamari and this sponge cake among others, without some cardamom pods nestled among them.
1 cup flour
¾ cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon ground cardamom powder
4 – 6 cardamom pods, opened (only use the seeds)
A pinch of cinnamon powder
Extras; 1 tablespoon flour and butter for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
Add eggs and sugar into a mixing bowl and mix using an electric whisk or a hand mixture until thick and voluminous
In separate bowl, mix the rest of the dry ingredients and sift in gently into the egg and sugar mixture. Use a spatula to fold in the flour until there is no more lumps of the flour
Prepare a baking tin by lightly greasing it with butter and dusting it with flour then pour the cake mixture into it
Place it in the oven and back till golden brown ca. 30-35 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean
Cool completely on a wire rack before serving
BAKE. EAT. REPEAT