Chai , a favourite….
One my favourite Asian flavours is chai. As I cannot drink cow’s milk I am continually finding applications of these flavours…... cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamon in warm comforting drinks, custards, ice cream, cakes….. the applications are endless!
I thought I had overdosed and exhausted all the options last winter, but when I had to create a dessert to take for a winter week-end away my mind went to hearty apples and cinnamon…. And all the flavours that make up chai!
I spiced up my apple honey cake recipe!
Light brown sugar replaces the white sugar. My tip is to zip the sugar in the food processor to convert it to golden castor sugar. (I wish more supermarkets would stock it!). The finer the sugar, the easier it dissolves when creaming, and the lighter the cake.
The addition of spices is easy. I simply added cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cardamom. I was tempted to add black pepper or chilli flakes, but restrained myself!
Orange zest and juice accentuates the warm spice flavour, without overpowering the apple. To get the maximum flavour from the zest I always add it at the creaming stage.
What makes this cake delicious and gives it shelf-life is the drizzle of a honey-butter sauce after baking.
This cake can be served at room temperature, but I prefer it warm, served with a huge dollop of cream, and for extra decadence another drizzle of honey.
Serve it as a dessert, with tea or coffee.
If you want it to last that long, the shelf life is 3-4 days. As a make ahead holiday treat, it freezes very well. Allow it to defrost at room temperature and pop it in a 180°C oven for about 15 minutes. If I have served a meal from the oven, I simply place the cake in the oven and turn it off while we enjoy the main course.
If you want to omit the spices, omit all except the cinnamon. I have also made the honey cake recipe using pears (tinned or stewed) or apricots (omit the cinnamon here!).