Chai spiced cake with lemon grass -ginger tea glaze

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 I love Chai..that actually is an understatement. I can not live without Chai. When I say Chai, I am referring to the typical Indian Chai you get in India, flavored with either cardamon, ginger, lemon grass, sweetened with sugar and of course with milk. So when I had to bring something to work for a Diwali potluck, I thought of sharing my love for Chai with my colleagues.

If you have had a chance to look at my recipes you would notice that I love to combine flavors. I love taking flavors from a cuisine and combining it with a technique that is from a different cuisine. Todays recipe is one such example.

Here I have combined the Chai masala flavors alogn with Lemongrass ginger tea glaze with the classic cake. The cake is similar to a pound cake, but I have added some yogurt to add some tang.

Chai Masala Cake

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Ingredients:

For Filling/Topping:

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1 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 ½ tsp flour
1/3 c chopped walnuts
2 tsp Chai (tea) Masala
I make my own Chai masala with all the spices ( recipe below)

For  the Batter:

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1 ¼ c flour
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp butter, room temperature
½ c sugar
2 large eggs
¾ c thick yogurt
½ tsp vanilla
Method:
Pre-heat oven to 350 °F.
Butter the sides and bottom of a loaf pan and lightly dust with flour and remove excess.
 To make the topping/filling:  place butter, brown sugar, flour, walnuts and Chai Masala in a small bowl. Use a fork to mix till it is crumbly and set aside for later.
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Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt).
Cream the butter and sugar together on low speed with a hand blender.
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Add the yogurt and mix it for 10 seconds. Once creamed, break in the eggs into the batter and incorporate well.  Add in the vanilla and mix.
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Add in the sifted dry ingredients and the yogurt alternately in the batter. Beat till it is all done and incorporated well into a smooth batter.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan; tap to level it.
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Sprinkle filling mixture on the batter.
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finish with the remaining batter (tap again to re-level).
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Bake for 40-45 min at 350 F. Insert a toothpick to make sure it is baked.
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Let cake stand for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan; pour over the glaze.
It is totally optional if you want to make the glaze or not, I like it since it brings in the typical elements of Indian Chai
Glaze:
Ingredients:
2 tsp black tea leaves( you can use tea bags if you prefer)
1/2 cup chopped lemon grass
1/4 inch ginger
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup water
Chop the lemon grass and ginger in fine pieces. Add them to the water and boil on low flame till you are left with 1/2 cup water ( may be a little more).
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Strain & add tea leaves, let it seep till you have a nice tea flavor. It may not look pretty but tastes good.
Strain the mixture and discard the tea leaves. You will have lemon grass and ginger infused tea.Cool the tea.
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Mix the powdered sugar with the water and mix well.
 Serve warm or at room temperature.
Chai Masala:
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp ground cloves
Mix all the ingredients well.
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