An almond cardamom sponge cake is decadent and takes tea time to the next level.
A sponge cake should be light, fluffy, incredibly well flavored, and scrumptious enough that you could eat the whole damn thing in one sitting…and don’t think I haven’t!
Moving to the States was amazing but one thing I always miss about home is the baking. American desserts are traditionally very dense and a sugar overload. They lack the delicacy associated with some of the French techniques that India picked up during occupancy. The best thing about a sponge is just how easy they are to make, if you have the patience. Get two to three under your belt and you’ll be able to make them with your eyes closed. Whenever I’ve had company just show up and I need to make a decent effort of things, I just pop one of these baby’s into the oven and let guests ooo and aaah.
The almond gives the sponge cake a sweet nutty flavor while the cardamom brings an aromatic and heavier note. I also like to use my almond cardamom sponge cake for Victoria sandwiches. It really gives it an unreal flavor, unlike anything you’ll find in a traditional recipe. That said, you could skip the cardamom and almond and just have a nice plain sponge if you’re in the mood for something lighter.
As a side note, be careful when you pick your almond essence. You want something well flavored and not cough syrupy. Also, I always stress this, but grind your own spices. When you grind a spice and leave it in a jar they oxidize quickly, completely altering the flavor of your spice and making it much harsher. Same goes for store bought ground spices. Buy a decent spice grinder or coffee grinder and take the extra couple seconds to do it yourself. Also, it’s important for this recipe to use self-raising flour, not regular or self-rising flour.