Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm So Excited!

And I just can't hide it! I'm about to lose control and I think I like it!

Wanna know why I'm so excited? Because I just joined The Cake Slice Bakers blogging group and this is my first cake! See, I told you it was exciting :-)

"Our goal is to bake one recipe every month from a single book." The baking book we (that's right, I said "we") are baking from is Sky High: Irresistible Triple Layer Cakes by Alisa Huntsman. I got this book a couple months ago because I kept seeing these luscious looking cakes all over the blogosphere, so hubby got it for me for Valentine's Day. Isn't he sweet? Actually, he was already making a purchase through Amazon, and I just added it to the shopping cart...hee hee. If you'll remember, I made the Vanilla Buttermilk Cake last November. The recipe for that cake is also in this book. It's fabulous and the sheer height of the cakes are drool worthy. Get it if you haven't already.

Back to the cake: Chai Cake with Honey-Ginger Cream. Let me hear you all say mmm! I was so excited about baking my first cake, but then I saw it had tea and ginger. Not on my favorite foods list. But I chugged along, made half the recipe and took it to my Mom's for Easter dinner. It was a hit! My sister who is not a dessert eater ate a huge slice, raved about how good it was, took pictures of it and took the leftover slice home with her.

If you like spice cake, this one is for you. I didn't have cardamon so I subbed it with nutmeg (another non-favorite). I would have like it more if I had just used cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. But the flavor of the chai was really nice and the cream topping (I left out the ginger) was, well...creamy and luscious and SO smooth.

I did have one minor disaster. I baked my cakes in my cereal bowls because they have straight sides. It was a good idea, but I filled the bowls a little too full and they rose up to the very edge and threatened to spill over. They didn't, but they followed the curve of the lip of the bowl and they looked like sombreros so I trimmed off the edges. Because I'm so obsessive I wanted to remake this cake just so my pictures looked nicer, but I am admitting fault and I now know better. It may have affected the looks of the cake but surely not the taste.

Chai Cake with Honey-Ginger Cream from Sky High Cakes

For the printer friendly version, click here.

Chai Cake

  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 6 chai tea bags (without added sweetener, such as Tazo)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour*
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom**
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, room temp

*1 cup of cake flour is equal to 3/4 cup of all purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.

**Cardamom substitute is an equal amount of brown cardamom OR equal parts ground nutmeg and cinnamon OR equal parts ground cloves and cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of the pans and line with parchment paper. Grease the paper as well.

In a small saucepan bring the milk to a simmer over low med-low heat. Add the tea bags, careful not to let the paper tag fall into the milk. Remove from heat and allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the teabags and squeeze out the milk. Let the chai milk cool completely.

In a medium bowl mix the eggs, egg yolks, vanilla, and 1/3 cup of the chai milk. Whisk together. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Beat on low for 30 seconds. Add the butter and the remaining chai milk, on med-low speed. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg mixture in three additions scraping the sides of the bowl between additions. Divide the batter evenly among the pans.

Bake the cakes for 26-28 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and peel off parchment paper. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes an 8-inch 3-layer cake.

NOTE: Don't skip the parchment paper step! Because you have to remove the cakes from the pans while they're still warm you need the parchment paper to help with the release. If you don't use parchment your cakes may break and stick to the pan.

Honey-Ginger Cream

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup honey (any kind as long as liquid)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse to blend together, then scrape the sides of the bowl and pulse until smooth.

To assemble the cake place one layer flat side down a serving plate and top with 2/3 cup of icing. Spread to the edge and repeat with second layer. Place third layer on top and spread the remaining ginger cream on top allowing it to drizzle down the sides of the cake like icicles.

I topped mine with Springtime Almond M&M's.

Check out all the other Cake Slice Bakers !

ETA: I broke down and treated myself to 3 new Wilton 6-inch pans (I got mine from Wal-Mart for less than $5/pan), so I can further avoid any more baking disasters :-) Yay for me!


Selba said...

Yay for you!!! :D
Happy for you....

Looks so good!!!

Coleens Recipes said...

That glaze is award winning, as is your photograph!!

Lissaloo said...

The cake is BEAUTIFUL! & it sounds soooo yummy, I love spices :)

Donna-FFW said...

Monica- Absolutely beautiful cake. It is truly spectacular. I love the flavors and the glaze. And I did say MMMM...

Kristen said...

Absolutely delicious!
I'm a big admirer of your pictures, they are gorgeous.

Wanda..... said...

Your blog has become one of my most favorite sites...Beautiful photos...I think I will love this recipe...Thanks!

Jo said...

Welcome on board to Cake Slice and I must say you did a great job on your 1st challenge. I hope you had a great time baking this cake as I did.

Sara said...

This looks SO good! I love all the flavors in chai, it tastes so warm and spicy. I can see how that would translate well to a cake.

Michel-lee said...

I love chai tea so I've got to try this cake. The icing driping on the cake is magnificent. I want to join "The Cake Slice Bakers" but they aren't accepting new members until August. I guess I'll have to wait till then. Thanks for letting me know about them.

Teanna said...

You baked them in cereal bowls!?! That is AWESOME! The cake looks fantastic, sombrero and all! I love how you decorated it! Perfection!

symphonious sweets said...

Welcome to the group! Your cake looks lovely!

Jeanine - The Baking Beauties said...

That is one FANTASTIC looking cake! Wow!

Hennifer said...

Goodness! That is stunningly beautiful IMHO!

I too would have probably left out the ginger. I'm ok with it in sweets though so maybe not.

I love chai! Hmmm... I'm looking forward to the next already.

vanillasugarblog said...

you go girl! this looks fabulous, what a creation!
I won't join any baking groups till I have move into our new home and we have an oven that is not from 1974, yes I said the right date.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Thanks for the email with the s'mores brownie link. :)

Your cake and photos are terrific!

For the life of me I cannot picture straight sided cereal bowls. We need a photo, okay I want a photo.

Foodiewife said...

:::bowing before the Goddess of Cakes and Foodography::::
I make boring cakes...good tasting, but nothing as pretty as this. I will have to try and do better. As always, your photos are stunning.

I'm tryiing to limit my baking (ha, ha), but this recipe sounds different and exciting. I happen to love nutmeg (only fresh ground) and ginger.


EmmyJMommy said...

A beautiful cake! I love blogging food groups! It gets you so excited about cooking....of course, who needs help being excited about cooking? I need help being excited about cleaning!!!

Lulu the Baker said...

It cracks me up that you baked your cakes in cereal bowls! I was feeling lazy and didn't want to wash my dirty cake pans, so I used those disposable ones with scalloped edges and I think it turned out ugly. Punishment from the cake gods! Yours is beautiful. And you should try the fresh ginger in the frosting sometime. It tasted amazing!

Caroline said...

That icing looked so good drizzling down the sides, yum.

Claudia said...

This is truly mouth-watering and what wonderful spices. I like the idea of a baking group that "meets" once a month instead of weekly. I am going to keep an eye on you ... and your delicious cakes.

unconfidential cook said...

Your cake is gorgeous--you should be excited and proud! Congratulations.

Sophie said...

I will say mmm! because I love spice cake and think yours is very pretty. I love the M&M flower especially :). I AM GOING to try this, I gotta find a way to make it gluten free! The flavors sound so appealing!

Kerstin said...

Gorgeous cake and pictures! I love chai, so I know I would this cake - yum!

Jin Hooi said...

welcome to the group and well done, your cake looks great !!!

The Food Librarian said...

Welcome to the group! You get a A+++++! Wow. This looks delicious!

Lulu the Baker said...

Those ARE pear blossoms! You really know your flowering trees!

The Food Librarian said...

You won! You won one of my giveaways for National Library Week! Please check my blog and congrats! - mary the food librarian

Unknown said...

So glad you are baking with us. :)

Your cake looks perfect. I love the decoration on top.

Elyse said...

I love that you baked these cake layers in cereal bowls. How creative! Your cake looks fabulous. The cake itself and the frosting both sound deliciously spicy. Yum!

Jaime and Jen DISH said...

This looks wonderful!!

Nice to meet you!

Fellow Food Blogger

steph- whisk/spoon said...

welcome to the group! i don't know what you are talking about--that cake is darling! but you will love having 6-inch pans...i get tons of mileage out of mine.

Sihan said...

welcome to the group! and i must say.. i'm loving the flower on top! great job!

Jacque said...

Wow, it looks absolutely perfect! Your decorations are so cute too :)

P.S. Welcome to Cake Slice!

TeaLady said...

Great job on your first Cake Slice bake. It looks so yummy with the frosting sliding down the sides. UUUMMMM!!!!!

Mermaid Sews said...

I just joined too and am super excited as well. Your cake came out soooo beautifully, nicely done. I love the cereal bowl idea, very creative, sorry it didn't work out great. Can't tell though.

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness you are so cute and little in this post! Adorable!

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