I am a self-confessed kitchen control freak. Ask anyone who has ever lived with me/ baked with me/ baked near me. I try so so hard not to jump in and take over, but sometimes, I simply can’t help it.
Last weekend, three of my cousins came to visit. We very rarely see each other- two of them are really little and live in France and the other, who’s my age, in Exeter (which is basically as long a journey!) so it is always a treat when we can all get together. The house was absolutely full of girls, even more so than usual, and my dad was pretty overrun. After a long lunch and a catch up, and in between the outbursts of singing, the continuous dancing taking place in the kitchen, the nail painting and sisterly bickering, we decided to bake. It was my aunt’s birthday the next day, so one of my cousins wanted to make a cake for her tea party birthday celebration.
She had decided on a chai tea spiced cake with ginger icing- which, of course I highly recommended as I love it (and have used it numerous times e.g. here and here.) I am also partial to a chai latte in a coffee shop, especially one made with plenty of almond milk, but, I have to admit, I have never bothered to buy a bag and make it at home. I am much more of a green tea person. So, of course, I was interested. I love spices so it sounded right up my street. Sadly, I didn’t get to taste any, so honestly I am not sure how a chai cake tastes, but my cousin tells me that it was really yummy, especially when paired with the ginger icing.
This time, thankfully, I managed to control my controlling tendencies, for the most part anyway! Martha, my cousin, might disagree… We also had to contend with our younger cousin, Carla, attempting to wrestle the spoons from our hands to link at every opportunity, and, of course, there was a fight to lick the bowl at the end!
Despite the sheer chaos that ensues when six cousins come together in a kitchen, the end result was beautiful, and, I’m told by everyone who ate it, delicious too.
Chai Spiced Cake with Ginger Icing
For the cake:
2 chai teabags
15oml boiling water
33og self raising flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Begin by steeping the two teabags in the boiling water, as if you’re making a pot of tea. Put that to one side to cool.
Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Sift together the flour and the spices, then add to the butter mixture. Once the tea is completely cool, add that to batter.
Spoon the batter into a greased and lined cake tin, then bake at 18o degrees for 5o-6o minutes, or until it is starting to go golden brown on the top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
For the icing:
3oog icing sugar
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon of milk, if needed
Beat the butter and sugar together until it is light in colour and fully combined. The best way to do this is in a mixer with a whisk, simply because it makes the lightest icing (and involved the least effort from you!) However, if you don’t have a mixer, a wooden spoon will also do the trick! Once it is completely combined, stir in the ground ginger. Add a splash of milk if you need it to loosen the mixture. You don’t want it runny, but it needs to be spreadable.
When the cake is cool, cut it in half. Spread half your icing over the first layer and sandwich the second on top. Then, spread the rest of the icing over the top, decorate and devour with a big cup of tea (chai tea optional).