Finished with a honey drizzle icing, they really are the perfect afternoon-tea cake… especially when baked in such pretty, high-tea perfect Bundt tins!
These cakes capture the true essence of an aromatic, soul-warming Indian marsala chai (or chai tea).
Marsala chai Bundt cake
- 1 tbsp good-quality black tea
- 125 ml (½ cup) boiling water
- 375 g (2½ cups) plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp freshly finely ground black pepper
- 250 g butter, cubed, at room temperature
- 330 g (1½ cups) caster sugar
- 2 tsp natural vanilla essence or extract
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk
Honey drizzle icing
- 115 g (⅓ cup) honey (see tips)
- 1½ tbsp boiling water (see tips)
- 155 g (1¼ cups) pure icing sugar, sifted
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 45 minutes
Cooling time: 45 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Combine the 30 g melted butter with the 1 tsp plain flour and use a pastry brush to grease four 500 ml (2 cup) Bundt tins (see tips).
2. To make the Marsala chai Bundt cake, combine the tea leaves and boiling water and set aside to steep for 3 minutes. Strain, discard the tea leaves and place the tea in the fridge to cool completely.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and cardamom. Stir in the black pepper.
4. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until very pale and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until well combined. Add half the flour mixture and mix on lowest possible speed until just combined. Add the milk and mix until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until just combined. Add the cooled tea and mix until just combined.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared tins, dividing evenly. Use the back of a teaspoon to spread the batter evenly. Tap the tins firmly on the benchtop 5 times. Use the back of the teaspoon to make an indent in each cake about 1 cm deep in the middle of the cake batter around the centre ring. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into a cake comes out clean. Stand the cakes in the tins for 10 minutes to cool slightly. Turn the cakes onto a wire rack over a tray and set aside to cool (this will take about 45 minutes).
6. To make the honey drizzle icing, combine the honey and boiling water and stir until smooth. Sift the icing sugar into a medium bowl and stir in the honey mixture to form a thick drizzle consistency. Drizzle the icing over the cooled cakes and set aside for 30 minutes or until the icing sets.
• I used the Nordic Ware Quartet pan to bake these cakes.
• A stronger, more intensely flavoured honey works best in this icing.
• You can use a little less or a little more water in your drizzle icing depending on how thick you would like it, but remember, because of the honey in it, it will run down the sides of your cakes easily, so a thicker icing will work best.
• This cake will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Nick Banbury. Creative concept by Belinda So.
This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Bundt cakes column. Read tips on how to bake the perfect Bundt cake in her column.
View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.