Kums/Kumsi in nothing but simple sponge cake flavoured with cardamoms. Kums/Kumsi is a famous snack/cake in Malabar areas and is served at tea time. It is not iced or frosted, but is eaten by dunking in Milk tea. Traditionally, in the olden times, the batter is churned for a prolonged time with a wooden hand held whisk called ‘manthu’. It is then baked on ancient hob made of stones, arranged in a specific style to hold the dish on top. Dry wood and coconut husk is lit underneath the vessel, between the stones as source of heat. Some husk is also lit on top of the vessel to give brown colour on top of teh cake. Lot of work goes into making sponge cakes in the olden times when electric mixers were not so popular and I guess it tasted better too. That’s the little I know about how we make Kums back home when I was a little kid.
The cake is soft, spongy and light and uses no fat or raising agents. It has subtle cardamom flavour that takes away any odd eggy smell off and makes it different from regular sponge cakes. The volume is obtained by beating the eggs and sugar until it is tripled in volume, on high speed. If you want to make regular sponge, just substitute vanilla essence for cardamoms.
Kums (Cardamom Flavoured Sponge Cake)
Preparation time:15 minutes
Baking time: 30-35 minutes
serves 6-8 people
5 large eggs (335g)
¾ cup caster sugar
7-8 green cardamoms, ground to fine powder
1 cup plain flour
1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celcius. Grease and line 9 inch pan.
2. In a bowl whisk the eggs sugar and on high speed for about 10 minutes until thick and pale and leaves a thick trail when the beaters are lifted.
3. Fold in the flour with a metal spoon, being careful not to knock out much air. Pour into the prepared tin. Bake for about 30 minutes or when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn the cake on the wire rack, peel the parchment paper and leave to cool completely. Serve along with tea or coffee.
N.B: As the cake doesn’t use any fat, it doesn’t keep very well. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you want to make regular sponge cake, you can substitute cardamoms with a teaspoon of vanilla essence, orange rind or lemon rind.