For fortified love, we must grow together, and to grow, we must share plenty words, steps and morsels. For every morsel shared, the happiness that it results in is unparalleled. Hence, here as often as we can, we gather and share. A few friends, a few dishes, but an abundance of memories. And, yesterday, I shared a first, Masala Chai Cake, which Alhamdulillah, was received very fondly.
It’s become usual now, I persuade the Mister to invite his friends to come round for dinner on Sundays and every week I try to cook different dishes, especially things I’ve never cooked before (I do have backups in case it goes disastrously). But, normally it’s the appetisers and the entrées that vary from week to week and the dessert is most of the time one of regular sponge recipes. However, yesterday, I decided that I wanted to give some more thought to the dessert and even though it’s still a cake, Masala Chai cake sounded exciting.
I’ve only drank Masala chai, a handful of times, but every time I drank it, it always brought me a sense of bliss. With every sip I could taste the delicate whole spices and the warmth they bring, encompasses all my senses. From the first time I tasted Masala chai, I have wondered “how would it taste as a cake?”. So, yesterday I thought why not?
Honestly, I knew I was taking a big chance, as I didn’t have a recipe or know what the texture was suppose be like for a Masala chai cake, worst I didn’t even know how to make Masala chai.
I knew what I wanted the cake to smell like when it was in the oven and to feel like while I ate it and I took it from there. I started off with my usual Vanilla cake recipe and adjusted it to suit the idea in my head. I pictured a slightly denser cake, then the usual light sponge, and I wanted the cake itself to taste like masala chai instead of adding it in the frosting. And, the best way to do that was to incorporate a cup Masala chai into the sponge itself, so I had to make my own Masala chai. This was new to me, like I said I’ve tried it many times, but it was always made for me. So, I started looking up recipes online, and found it all too confusing, as some recipes are strict on what spices can be used, while others were very flexible. So, I used my own imagination again, and let my senses decided on what spices to use in the tea. Hence, my apologies to the Traditionalists for if you find my tea offensive. Now, when I got round to frosting, Dark chocolate ganache just dominated my thoughts. I do not know why, but they, Masala chai cake with dark chocolate ganache, just seemed the perfect match. I used Callebaut, coverture chocolate for my ganache, which has 53.7% minimum Coco solid, but I’m sure any equivalent will work in its instead. All in all, Alhamdulillah, it came out a keeper.
- 200g Plain Flour
- 175g Caster Sugar
- 125g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. Baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. Salt
- 3 Eggs, at room temperature
- 250ml Water
- 50ml Milk
- 1 1/2 tsp. Loose Black tea or the contents of 1 black tea bag
- 6 Green Cardamoms
- 4 Cloves
- 1 Indian Bay leaf
- 5g Cinnamon Stick
- 75g Dark Chocolate, callets or cut in small chocolate chips
- 75ml Double Cream
- A pinch of Sea Salt
- Arrange an oven shelve in the middle of the oven and then, preheat the oven to 180ºc. Also, grease and line a 1lb loaf tin. Then in a bowl, mix and sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and set aside.
- Make your tea, by placing a milk pan or an alternative vessel over low heat and add the whole spices. Dry toast for a minute and then carefully add the water, turn the heat up and bring to the boil. Once, it's come to a boil, add the tea, then, turn the heat to the lowest setting and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the 50ml of Milk, bring to the boil once more and turn the heat off. Then, strain through a fine tea strainer or a sieve covered with a piece of muslin and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, on low to medium speed. Approximately (3-7 minutes)
- Next, on the lowest speed setting, add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Now, add the flour in thirds and the tea in halves, alternately, starting and ending with the flour. After the last addition of the flour, use a spatula to give the batter a few folds to make sure there are no lumps.
- Pour the batter into the prepared tin, place in on the middle shelve of the pre-heated oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Once it’s baked, take out and place the tin on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then turn the cake out onto the rack and cool completely.
- Once the cake is cool, make the ganache, by bringing the cream to a boil and then pouring over the chocolate in a heat resistant bowl. Cover the bowl, gently give it a swirl to ensure all the chocolate is covered, and then let it sit for a minute, covered. Next, using a spoon or spatula, stir the mixture, starting in the middle, then outwards, going in one direction, until it’s fully incorporated. Pour over the cake and let it set for 5 minutes before sprinkling the on the sea salt. Serve with a hot cup of chai.