Eggless Black Tea and Spices Infused Cake – Chai Cake! – Moist, Quick and Delicious!

I had been toying with this particular thing in my mind for some time. And then came the sudden trip of DH to the west coast. My BIL has a penchant for teas.. Of all kinds. I vividly remember my SIL ( being a non tea drinker) enthusiastically making a cup of strong ginger tea for us, only to discover that it turned out to be the dark chocolate tea kind. Oh well ! Knowing his fondness for these and more so because I was experimenting to get the eggless variety right, and buoyed by the recent success of Thandai Chai Masala Cake, this was born – About 4 hrs before my DH boarded the flight !

Black Tea Spice Cake 

Ingredients

  • Self rising APF : 2 cups
  • Non-Fat Sweetened Condensed Milk : 14 oz can
  • Butter : 1/2 cup  (Melted)
  • Baking Soda : 1/2 tsp
  • Walnuts: 1/2 cup chopped 

For Making the Black Tea Concoction:

  • Water: 1/2 cup
  • Milk 1% or 2% : 1 cup
  • Black Tea : 6-8 tea bags or 3-4 tsp of black tea
  • Fresh Ginger : 2 inches. finely grated
  • Black cloves : 4
  • Green cardamom: 6
  • Black peppercorns : 6 . Crushed finely
  • Fennel seeds: 1 tsp (optional)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Spay oil  and dust flour on the pan of your choice. I used a 9 inch round pan for this.
  • Sift the APF and Baking Soda together and whisk it.

Making the Tea concoction:

  • Boil the water with the ginger, cardamom ,cloves and pepper initially for a few min. The idea being to let the spices steep in.
  • Add in 6-8 tea bags or add 3-4 tsp of black tea and boil for a 2 min or so.
  • Now add in the 1 cup of milk and let it all boil so the flavors are well steeped in.
  • Filter this very thick concoction out and you should have a cup of the final extract in measurement
  • Let this cool down.Should be luke warm in about 10 min or so.

Preparing the batter

  • Melt the 1/2 cup of butter and add it in along with the thick tea concoction and condensed milk to the dry flour mix.
  • Stir it in gently so the flour is completely incorporated.
  • Now add in half the chopped walnuts in this and stir it in.
  • Add in the batter into the pan.
  • Add in the rest of the chopped walnuts – sprinkle on the surface

Baking:

  • Bake it in the oven for 38 min or so at 350 deg F.
  • This will be a very moist , flavor intense , slight dense but very soft cake.

 

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Thandai Chai Masala Eggless Cake – Of Friendship, Gossip and More!

Ever wonder how some people just cross paths for a reason.. Or for no reason! When we first moved to NC, we left behind a horde of family and friends in California. Sunny California and the Bay area was teeming with our friends, family, friends of family and family of our friends.. (You get  the drift)

I thought I loved people ( well most of them anyways πŸ™‚ ) and then I meet DH and his family . They simply dwarfed mine. These guys seriously loved people and people seriously loved them. We just became one big crazy family.. Crazy alright !!

The move therefore while we welcomed it, definitely created a pang in our hearts. So just about 2 months of our moving into this new neighborhood in a new state all the way on the opposite coast, a lady in a min-van filled with chirpy kids stopped my MIL on the street , welcomed her home for chai – a cup of tea and some company. My MIL, though could not take up on it but I happened to meet this lady , our neighbor soon thereafter and so began a wonderful friendship.

 Here’s a toast to one of the finest to have crossed ( and stayed in) my path!

“Dear SP, you are one heck of woman ! I love your chai addiction, your margarita madness and your steadfast company!  Filled with many moments of laughter, lunches, crazy talks and some more crazy moments – or shall I say sparkling moments of insobriety.. Dialing in thin air and holding conversations to yourself, monologues and more… You go girl!

While I did want to bake a chai cake ( I promise, I will do it soon), I experimented this on a lark and got to combine your favorite flavors of chai masala and Thandai ..

Happy Happy Birthday Dear SP and please have your “Queen” moment soon.. For I cannot wait to witness it !”

( This recipe is an amalgamation and innovation of a recipe from ED site  and my eggless recipe cake)

Chai Masala Thandai Spice Cake Ingredients:

  • Self rising APF : 2 cups
  • Non-Fat Sweetened Condensed Milk : 14 oz can
  • Butter : 1/2 cup  (Melted)
  • Baking Soda : 1/2 tsp
  • 1% Milk : 1 cup
  • Thandai masala : 1 tsp
  • Chai Masala : 1 tsp
  • Saffron : crushed, a few strands
  • Walnuts: 1/2 cup chopped 

Method:

  • Preheat the overn to 350 deg F.  Spay oil  and dust flour on the pan of your choice. I used a 9 inch round pan for this.
  • Sift the APF and Baking Soda together
  • Dry whisk it with Thandai Masala, Chai Masala and Saffron  Strands
  • Melt the 1/2 cup of butter and add it in along with the milk and condensed milk.
  • Stir it in gently so the flour is completely incorporated.
  • Now add in half the chopped walnuts in this and stir it in.
  • Add in the batter into the pan.
  • Add in the rest of the chopped walnuts – sprinkle on the surface
  • Bake it in the oven for 35 min or so at 350 deg F.

 Notes:

Please keep an eye on the oven as the quality of the flour and materials used could cause slight variations in the baking time.

Mine took about 38 min to bake. In hindsight, I think I should have reduced the temp from 350 to 325 midway during the baking  process. I have read that this would ensure more even baking .

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Ginger Chai – Warding off the flu blues !

As much as I can curse my genetic make up for the susceptibility to the rhino virus, it is an indisputable fact that when it comes to the flu season, I lose! As gracious as it may sound (harboring suspiciously on borderline sarcasm) I try to beat it with my cure all – Ginger tea!  You really cannot go wrong with this πŸ™‚

You know the thing about colds right?  something about a week with medicine and 7 days without it.. right!..  Treat the symptoms, but suffer through the bout πŸ™

Anyways, day 2 with my tryst with the flu, loaded up with Tylenol cold and flu ( severe!) and sharpening my drowsy, medicine clouded brain on the keyboard, I decide to enthrall my audience ( sic !) …wonder if invalidity has something to do with weird proportionality on creativity .. hmm.

For a fresh cup of my cure all tea  – The magic ingredients are???

  1. Fresh ginger : 1/4 of an inch : grated finely
  2. Few sprigs of tulsi leaves aka holy basil ( Ocimum sanctum)
  3. Black cloves – just 1- break it part of grind it fresh!
  4. Ground fresh cardamom : a pinch
  5. A pinch of fresh ground black pepper ( yes black pepper !)
  6. Black tea leaves – 1 tsp
  7. Water : 1/2 cup
  8. 1% milk : 1/2 cup
  9. Sugar : Optional  ( I use honey )

Boil 1/2 cup of water with ginger and holy basil leaves . This should take you about a couple of minutes.

Note:  you are not reducing the quantity of water, you are just allowing it to steep in the flavors  of ginger and basil.

Add the tea leaves and the rest of the fresh ground spices. About a minute later, add the milk. Sweeten with sugar, brown sugar or honey.

Filter it and enjoy!

Quick Pointers:

  1. Do not have fresh ginger ?- add dried ginger powder πŸ™‚ works like a charm too.
  2. You can always add cinnamon to add the extra touch of flavor
  3. The steps are not daunting- I just like to steep in the flavors of ginger and holy basil.
  4. Fresh Mint leaves  too can be added and gives nice touch.
  5. As a last resort, do not have holy basil , add in the tulsi tea bags. But the other kind of basil – the one we use for italian seasoning will not work πŸ™‚

Signing off!