Monday, September 27, 2004


Chai Spiced Mini Bundt Cakes

Chai tea is one of my favorites. I love how sweet and spicy it is. So when I saw this recipe in Gourmet Magazine last month, I really wanted to try it. I made a lot of changes and thought I would post what I did end up with, which was fantastic and got even better the next day. My version of this cake is more like a simple gingerbread than the original. I went with a friend to the Hollywood Bowl last night to see a concert and since they let you bring a picnic we went all out, and had an incredible cheese studded with truffles on sliced bread, watermelon gazpacho with baby shrimp, (perhaps the most delicious soup I have ever made. I was impressed with myself!) chanterelle mushroom and leek whole wheat quiche, mixed field greens with tangerine-savory dressing, cognac braised duck legs, wild rice with cranberries and pecans and this. It was a smash success. You do need a mini-bundt cake pan, which are about $30.00 and can be found at Sur La Table, though large muffin pans might work too. This will do double duty as my post for today, since it is also my fathers 72nd birthday and he has a sweet tooth like nobody else, ever. It's really cute. Happy Birthday to him --- and to you, enjoy!

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon each cinnamon, cardamom and ground ginger
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Five chai teabags steeped in 1 ½ cups hot water
1/4 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

¼ cup honey
¼ cup molasses
¼ cup Crisco

1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour 2 nonstick mini Bundt pans (6 cakes per pan).

Sift flour, spices, sugar, baking soda, and salt into large bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter, honey, molasses, Crisco, buttermilk and the eggs into tea to blend.

Stir chai mixture into flour mixture until just blended. Divide batter among prepared Bundt pans (about 1/2 cup per pan).

Bake cakes until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve warm.

To keep, wrap in plastic and leave at room temperature.

Chai means tea in many languages. The word chai comes from
China, where it is called chà (pronounced as chah).
In India, chai is a spiced tea that is an example of Ayurveda, an ancient
system of holistic healing. Traditional Indian Chai combines black tea
that is boiled in milk and flavored with cinnamon, clove, cardamom,
and occasionally black pepper, ginger and chiles, and sweetened
with sugar. The health benefits in tea include polyphenols that aid
digestion; fluoride, a mineral that preventing tooth decay; and significant
amounts of vitamin C. Evidence also suggests that (green) tea may reduced
risk of some types of cancer. Seems like Ayurvedic healing was on to something!


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