Spicy Chai Apple Cake + Lemon Ginger Frosting

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I love making birthday cakes, especially when they’re for me. So this morning I spent some time making food for the party potluck extravaganza. I started with Tikka Masala, using stew meet from the grass fed cows we raised at our ranch. This all went into a crockpot with lots of extra butternut squash and spices. As that simmered, I made the spicy chai apple cake. It made my house smell like gingery-chai-cake heaven as it baked. The last thing I made was coconut ice cream with candied ginger, fresh ginger and lemon. For the cake I used the recipe on Meats and Sweets, but changed a few of the ingredients as I tend to do. I’ve included my version of the recipe on this post. My birthday was an incredible reminder of how lucky I am to be alive and 25 on the 25th day of April under the light of the full moon surrounded by friends and family and treats.

 Spicy Chai Apple Cake + Lemon Ginger Frosting

1 cup whole milk
2 black chai tea bags
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 stick butter, soft
1 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp ground vanilla
2 apples, diced
1/4 cup candied ginger flakes

Lemon Ginger Frosting
1 stick butter
Grated zest of a lemon
grated fresh ginger, about 3 inches of ginger root
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp lemon juice + milk

Method:

Oven 350*
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Gently heat milk over medium high heat, when warm, add the tea bags and brew a strong chai. Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla powder. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together taking care to not overmix, then add the chai milk, the apples and the candied ginger flakes. Line a cake pan with parchment paper and bake about 35-45 minutes.

Spicy Chai Latte

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Last summer while I was in Colorado I was drinking a chai in a coffee shop with pictures of Edward Abbey on the wall (“I am not an atheist but an earthiest. Be true to the earth”). I picked up Edible Front Range magazine as I was drinking my spicy, complex and rich treat and read an article about the increasing popularity of chai in Colorado. While I was there I tried chai’s from several different café’s, and with the addition of fresh juiced ginger to my drink I was convinced that this new trend was worth taking part in.  I forgot about my summer love of chai until my friend and I stopped by The Hub the other night and I was inspired to create my own this morning for breakfast. I found many different recipe’s online and just incorporated pieces of each. I like my chai spicy so I end up adding extra ginger, if you’re looking for something more mild just adjust the amount. Really, you can and should adjust the amount of just about everything in this recipe in order to find your perfect cup of chai, I like mine less sweet and really aromatic, but there is room for change when you make it at home.

Spicy Chai Latte

1 tpsb Loose leaf black tea, or Darjeeling tea leaves
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 cinnamon sticks broken in pieces
1 tsp whole cardamom seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
4 allspice berries
1 tsp peppercorns
1 ½ tbsp. fresh pressed ginger juice (or use 2 tbsp. fresh grated ginger)
2 tsp coconut palm sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla powder
1 ½ cups boiling water

Method:

In a mortar and pestle, crush the cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, and allspice berries. Combine the milk, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg and spices in a saucepan. If you have fresh pressed ginger juice, wait to add it, if you are using pieces of ginger add it to the spice and milk mix. Bring to a gentle rolling boil and then turn the heat down to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes. With the heat on low, add the coconut palm sugar, vanilla, and fresh ginger juice.

Boil the water and steep the tea in the water for a few minutes, this is a concentrated mix of black tea.

Strain the tea leaves out of the water and add the water to the spicy milk mix. To serve, strain the chai through a tea strainer and sprinkle with cinnamon.