One day a few months ago while grocery shopping and perusing the baking aisle I ran across a chocolate cake mix that had chai tea or chai flavoring in the mix. I got a bit obsessed with the idea of chai and chocolate in a cake. I made this cake combining loose leaf chocolate chai to a good chocolate pound cake recipe I had…all easy and homemade for the Holidays.
I prefer pound cakes that are dense & moist, cut into thick slabs to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee or tea…sometimes toasted. No icing, please.
There are thousands of chocolate pound cake recipes on the internet and in cookbooks, but this one is simple & straightforward. The generous addition of finely ground up “Chocolate Chai Loose Leaf” from Firepot Nomadic Teas makes one fine cake. A combination of organic cardamom, coriander, ginger, black pepper and cloves as well as cacao nibs says it all. I used a mortar and pestle for grinding the chai, but an electric coffee grinder works as well.
I dust my cake pans with cocoa powder when I’m making a chocolate cake of any kind. The more dark chocolate goodness, the better.
Thick slices…toaster ready.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup good quality cocoa powder + extra for dusting loaf pan
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water
- 2 tablespoons loose leaf chocolate chai (use any loose leaf chai you like)
- 2 sticks softened butter + extra for greasing baking pan
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 5 loaf pan generously with butter. Dust generously with cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Whisk flour and salt together in a mixing bowl.
- Put 3/4 cocoa powder in a glass or metal bowl and while whisking, drizzle in the boiling hot water. Whisk until smooth.
- Grind the loose chai using a mortar and pestle or electric grinder until somewhat fine, but not powdery.
- Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment beat the 2 sticks butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of mixer as needed.
- Add in the vanilla extract and cocoa-water mixture and beat until combined on medium speed.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Again scrape down sides of bowl as you need to.
- Turn mixer to low-speed and add flour-salt mixture just until blended. Remove mixer bowl and using a rubber scraper scrape down sides of bowl and blend in any remaining flour.
- Add the ground chocolate chai to the batter and blend well. Scrape batter into the prepared loaf pan, smoothing the top.
- Bake for about 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool baked cake on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes or so. Remove cake from pan and set on wire rack to continue to cool if you can wait long enough! The aroma of the chocolate and chai combination is fantastic.
Teresa Blackburn http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com http://www.foodonfifth.com
It is the end of January 2017. It’s my birthday week. It has been a rocky month politically. Today I had to turn inside myself and away from the never-ending news feeds that seem to break a little piece of my heart every time I listen. I took the afternoon off from being vigilant. I went for a walk in the wintry gloom listening to music to clear my head and heart. I baked an easy chocolate cake to sooth my soul. Baking helps.
This lovely cake is one dense, moist layer glazed with a really great chocolate bar melted on top and sprinkled with dried candied orange peels.
I broke this bar of chocolate into pieces and scattered over the top of the hot cake to melt. Any good bar of chocolate would do.
Ingredients for this cake are all mixed together in a blender. Easy and quick.
Easy Chocolate Espresso Cake with a Chocolate Glaze and Candied Orange Peels
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup dark cocoa
- 1 tablespoon espresso powder
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 4-6 ounce dark chocolate baking bar or flavored candy bar
- 1/2 cup candied orange peels
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees
- Melt butter in a glass deep dish pie or cake pan in the microwave and then pour melted butter into a blender.
- To blender add eggs, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, flour and vanilla extract. Pulse to blend ingredients together well, scraping down blender as needed.
- Scrape cake batter into buttered glass dish and bake for 30-35 minutes or until cake is just done in the middle. Remove dish from oven to cool for a few minutes on a cooking rack. Turn hot cake out onto a plate.
- Break bar of chocolate into small pieces and scatter over top of hot cake. Let melt and then spread over top to glaze.
- Sprinkle candied orange peel over the top. Serve warm or room temperature.
I know, I know…to complain about the heat is the least interesting thing one can do…actually to complain about the weather at all is rather dull. The weather here in Middle Tennessee is “normal” and truthfully, better than normal. But after a few days of temps in the 90’s and 90 percent humidity one just succumbs!
I had this container of Tazo Chai Latte, I was hot and sweaty, I wanted something cold…very cold. Time to experiment. Popping the Chai Latte along with some milk, thick chocolate syrup, a bit of brown sugar, a splash of vanilla extract and a pinch of cayenne into my always ready ice cream maker…20 minutes later along with a dusting of cocoa…with one bite I was cooler! I had, surprisingly, one of the most intriguing frozen ice cream-like desserts I have ever made, “Spicy Chocolate Chai Frozen Latte”.
I always get my ingredients measured out and ready before starting one of my kitchen experiments. The “mise en place”.
The churning begins…..
…halfway through the chocolate syrup is added.
The magic of modern machinery happens right before my eyes!
It’s creamy with no cream, sweet with just a bit of sugar, cold when it’s hot!
Spicy Chocolate Chai Frozen Latte
- 2 cups Tazo Chai Latte (or any other brand), chilled
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup good thick chocolate syrup
- splash of vanilla extract
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- cocoa powder
- In a sauce pan set over medium heat mix together the whole milk and brown sugar. Stirring until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool completely, chill.
- Add the chai latte, chilled milk-sugar mixture, vanilla extract & cayenne pepper to the ice cream freezer. Turn on freezer.
- Halfway through the freezing process, about 12 minutes, add the chocolate syrup. Continue freezing. When mixture is frozen turn off machine. Serve frozen latte scoops with a dusting of cocoa powder. You can also serve later, just cover the ice cream and keep in freezer until ready to enjoy. I prefer eating immediately as it is creamier at this point. When it is frozen it become more icy. Either way it is very good and refreshing and lower fat than traditional recipes.
Teresa Blackburn http://www.teresablackburnfoodstyling.com www.foodonfifth.com