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Chai Tea Loaf Cake

November 29, 2012

Before I was an avid coffee drinker I was a chai tea latte kind of girl…

I loved the spicy-sweet blend of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and black pepper mixed with soy milk and served hot or over ice… But somewhere along the way the spiciness and complex flavors of chai tea was too much to handle and my relationship ceased to exist… Until now.

Believe it or not, I sometimes struggle to come up with what to bake over the weekends and after all the baking and cooking that took place over the Thanksgiving holiday I was reaaaally struggling to come up with ideas… Thankfully, my gal pal mentioned the idea of Vanilla Chai Cupcakes and I was sold. The first thing I did was run to Starbucks and order a Dirty Chai (I had to start off slow) and then I headed to the grocery store to pick up some staple ingredients; chai tea, vanilla bean, and buttermilk.

I decided to make a loaf cake because I wanted the recipe to highlight the flavors of chai without any distractions, such as frosting. As soon as the cake was finished baking I poked holes throughout the top of the cake and brushed a chai-infused syrup over the top. Best idea ever. The cake was dense and moist and the flavors were spicy and warm. A great treat to snack on when the temperature starts dropping!

Chai Tea Loaf Cake slightly adapted from Blue Jean Gourmet:

Loaf Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup almond meal

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 ¼ cup buttermilk

4 tablespoons browned butter

1 vanilla bean, split, seeds removed

2 eggs at room temperature

4 tablespoons loose-leaf chai tea

1 teaspoon ginger

1 teaspoon ground cardamom

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Syrup:

⅓ cup water

⅔ cup granulated sugar

1 chai tea bag

Leftover vanilla bean pods (for extra flavor)

  1. Place rack in center of oven, and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and lightly flour loaf pan.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients: flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, soda, & salt. Whisk in the tea and spices.
  3. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and pour in the browned butter, eggs, vanilla bean, and buttermilk.  Stir the mixture until just combined.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake has browned on top and cooked through (test with a toothpick).
  5. While cake is baking, prepare syrup. Combine water, sugar, chai tea bag, and vanilla bean pod in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves and remove from heat.
  6. When cake is still warm, poke holes throughout the cake and use a pastry brush to apply syrup over the surface of cake. Let cake cool completely and serve.
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