Every year my husband and I watch Great British Bake Off. It’s fantastic entertainment and a great way to get new recipe ideas. I also watch Masterchef (with the occasional glance towards the US version, even if it is a little too dramatic) for the same reason. Rarely do the contestants make vegan or vegetarian dishes, but at least I can veganise my own.
You find a lot of kitchen trends during these cooking shows. I remember a few years ago it seemed like every Masterchef contestant was making their own version of “posh fish and chips”; every other dish had some sort of “foam” accompaniment, and every dessert was being “deconstructed” for whatever reason. However, one trend really took me by surprise and I was genuinely interested in the taste. That is, baking with tea leaves.
Most of the time when I’ve spotted tea-based dishes it’s usually a type of Earl Grey biscuit, or chamomile cupcakes, but this time I wanted to try a full grown cake with one of my favourite teas: Chai. This chai tea cake has gone down so well with everyone that I’m now making it part of the Cocoa Vegan range, alongside other similar tea-based cakes. So count yourselves very lucky to get this recipe!
If you ever need to know how best to infuse tea into cakes, this blog post by cupcake project really helped me.
Vegan Chai Tea Cake (serves 12)
Total time: 50 mins
300g dairy free sunflower spread, + 50g (I use Vitalite)
8 chai tea bags
400g self-raising flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
75g vegetable oil
225g oat milk (I use Oatly)
- Pre-heat oven 180 degrees
- Melt 300g dairy-free spread on low heat in a small pan, empty the contents of the tea bags into the butter to infuse the tea
- Once melted, strain the butter into a separate bowl, pressing down on the tea leaves to get as much butter as possible, and set aside to cool down. Because so much butter would have been lost during this process, add 50g more cold or chilled butter once the melted batch has cooled down. This will help it to solidify partly.
- Add the sugar to the tea-infused butter. It will smell really nice and aromatic
- Add the vegetable oil and milk to the wet mixture
- In a separate bowl, stir the baking powder in the flour
- Combine the wet mixture to the flour and stir thoroughly, until you have a nice, creamy smooth consistency
- Grease a 9-in cake tin and pour in the mixture
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
- Optional: Once cake has cooled, finish off by dusting with some confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon powder