Friday, November 7
Chai Spice Layer Cake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
For the cake
6 chai tea bags
1/2 cup boiling water
4 oz (8 tbsp, 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup canola or grapeseed oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
For the cream cheese filling
1 block cream cheese
1/2 block silken tofu, drained
Sifted confectioner's sugar, to taste
For the frosting
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp confectioner's sugar, sifted
1 tsp cinnamon
To prepare the cake:
-Preheat the oven to 350 F.
-Butter the inside of the cake pan and dust with flour.
-Place the tea bags in a medium bowl. Pour the boiling water over the tea bags and leave to steep for 5 minutes.
-Remove the tea bags and cool the tea in the fridge.
-Cream the butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar. Add the oil and the cooled tea.
-Sift together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.
-Alternately add the dry ingredients with the buttermilk to the butter mixture in 4 stages, starting and ending with dry ingredients.
-Whip the egg whites in a clean, grease-free bowl until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and whip until soft peaks form. Gradually, working on medium-high speed add the rest 1/4 cup sugar, beating well after each addition. Whip until the whites hold glossy and firm, but not stiff, peaks.
-Gently fold the whipped whites into the batter in 3 to 4 stages.
-Transfer the cake batter to the prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula even the top. Bake for 1hr 5 to 1hr 15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Make the filling
Beat the drained tofu with cream cheese until smooth. Begin adding the sifted powdered sugar, tasting as you go until it's as sweet as you want it.
Make the frosting
Combine cream, sifted powdered sugar, and cinnamon in a chilled mixing bowl. Whisk on medium-high speed until it's a good, spreadable consistency.
When the cake has cooled COMPLETELY, cut into two layers with a serrated knife. Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the first layer, and top with the second layer. Frost with the whipped cream.
Note: I added candied pecans to this cake, which are super easy to make:
Combine 1/2 cup of pecans with 1/3 cup of granulated sugar in a pan over medium heat. Stir over the heat until the sugar melts and coat the pecans. Remove from the heat and cool. After they're cool, they will be easy to break apart. (Don't try to do this until they're COMPLETELY cool, or you will burn the living hell out of your fingers.)