It’s all been a bit quiet on the recipe front this last month. Having no internet at home hasn’t really helped with this. I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and slightly less baking. But I moved back up to Walthamstow this week so I’ve got internet back now. I’m going to try and make up for my lack of food posts with my next Top 3 In London (Pizza this time), and a bunch of spring friendly recipes. I want to “master” bread this year as I never make enough of it. However this month I’ve made a couple of new bits and pieces. Including this Chai Latter Loaf.
After a weekend ambling around East London at the start of January we popped into T2 to peruse some tea. We’d already popped into a few other East London favourites like Mast Brothers and Labour & Wait just browsing and grabbing the odd thing. T2 was similar and after looking through we grabbed some Chocolate Chai loose leaf. Other than the obvious of drinking it, I’d been keen to bake with Chai for a little while. I had a hunt around for a few recipes and there’s actually a bunch I’ll probably be doing over the next few months, but for now I wanted to keep it simple. I found a simple moist milk loaf and added tea. The key here is to soak a good amount of chai tea leaves (if using bags, I’d use 2-3) in the milk (which you’ve warmed) for at least a couple of hours before you use it. This should mean it steeps properly and transfers as much flavour as possible.
When the cake was fresh and warm I tried a little and wasn’t actually all that keen, but once it had cooled properly the sweetness of the sugar had eased off and the chai flavour really came through. The frosting is simple and the dark chocolate decoration helped take an edge off the sweetness.
- **For the cake**
- 175 g unsalted butter, softened
- 175 ml milk
- 2 teabags Chai Tea (or 1.5tbsp loose leaf) for steeping
- 2 teabags Chai Tea, for the cake
- 290 g golden granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ Tsps Vanilla Extract
- 225g Plain flour
- 1 Tsp baking powder
- ½ Tsp salt
- **For the frosting**
- 500g Icing sugar, sieved
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (ideally fresh vanilla)
- ½ tbsp milk
- 20g Dark chocolate, grated (for decoration)
- Start by steeping the chai tea in the milk. Warm the milk gently until it's about 40°C and stir through the chai leaves/tea bags. Leave this to steep for at least 2 hours. Obviously transfer it to the fridge once it's cooled if you're doing it for a long period of time.
- Towards the end of the steeping, start on the cake, Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan assisted) and grease/line a loaf tin.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until it goes pale and creamy. Separately mix the flour with the salt, baking powder and remaining chai leaves.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition. If the mixture starts to curdle add a little flour.
- Add half the milk and the vanilla, mix then half the flour. Repeat this process again until the mixture is combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared tin and place in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for 60-65 minutes until golden brown or until a tooth pick pushed into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Once cooled, prepare the frosting. Beat the butter until soft and sift in the icing sugar gradually, beating between each addition. Once completely incorporated beat in the vanilla and milk.
- Using a palette knife apply to the top of the loaf, grate the chocolate over the top and serve.