we love chai and we love loose-leaf tea. however, our favorite chai is only available in a grocery store called Irma, that doesn't exist in this part of denmark - it's apparently a "city" grocery store and we live in the countryside. just this week, i had run out of that precious elixir, but i still had some of this:
it's a pretty good instant chai mix (tho' a bit sweet for my taste as a drink), that you mix with hot water. i thought it would taste delicious as a cake. i started with a martha stewart butter cake as my base - martha knows her cakes and they always have lots of real ingredients - like butter and loads of eggs and they never call for a box cake mix (very surprising how many cake recipes out there do).
chai layer cake
250 grams butter (i always use salted because i think it tastes better, but you can choose) (that's 2 sticks to y'all in the US)
2 C organic sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 and 1/3 C of flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 C instant chai mixture
1 C (250ml) milk
cream the butter in the mixer using the paddle. slowly add the sugar until it's a creamy, light yellow. mix in the four eggs one at a time, mixing well between each egg. meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, chai mixture and salt. add the vanilla to your egg mixture. begin to add flour and milk alternating each until it's all combined in a velvety dough.
butter and flour two round (9"/23cm) cake pans. i lined the very bottom with baking paper for ease of removal (i just trace around it with the pan and cut it out to fit it perfectly). i never used baking paper when i lived in the US, but i have to admit i don't know how i did without it! i really highly recommend it.
bake the two cakes at 180°C/375°F for 30-40 minutes (again, my oven is faster than others, but you know yours best). take them out and leave them to cool.
i would have liked to get creative on the frosting (something maple came to mind), but my family loves a good, classic vanilla buttercream, so i pleased them.
classic buttercream frosting
250 grams butter
500 grams powdered sugar
1 tsp. real vanilla
2 T milk
cream the butter, then slowly add the powdered sugar and vanilla. add only as much milk as you need to make a creamy, spreadable consistency. this can differ based on the weather (i swear). chill for a few minutes (up to 15) in the refrigerator, then spread on the cooled cakes.
we didn't decorate or anything, we just ate thick slices with a steaming mug of tea. it tasted great, but i would say it was just a tad on the dry side, but that was undoubtedly because i baked it a bit too long. better to under bake just a titch than overbake. again, i make the mistakes so you don't have to! enjoy!