September 05, 2021

This autumnal version of a tea time classic is lightly spiced and a real treat if you like a Victorian sponge but can sometimes find it a bit too sweet! The Masala Chai infused sponge goes well with a vanilla cream and apricot jam (although if you wanted to go even more autumn-themed, plum jam could work- or why not have a go at making your own jam?) Also, don't be fooled by the ingredients list: this is a super easy cake to make. You just need a bit of time and patience.

Ingredients
For the cake:
200g self raising flour
200g unsalted butter, softened
200g caster sugar
4 medium eggs
4 tbsp of strongly brewed Masala Chai tea 
1 tsp baking powder

You'll need two sandwich cake tins, preferably 20cm sized, and greaseproof paper

For the filling:
Half a jar of apricot jam
70ml double cream
1tsp vanilla bean paste or good vanilla extract

For the topping:
1tbsp icing sugar
1tbsp cinnamon

Method
1) Butter and line two 20cm sandwich tins and pre-heat the oven to 190c/170 fan/gas mark 5. Get a cooling rack ready as well.

2) Using the medium setting on whatever mixer you use, cream together the butter, sugar and eggs, adding the tea, flour and baking powder slowly to make a smooth batter. 

3) Divide the mixture fairly equally between the two tins (although it's OK if one is slightly more than the other, as that can be your base cake!) and pop in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cakes have risen and the cakes spring back if lightly pressed. You may also choose to stick a knife or skewer in the middle- if it comes out clean, you've got cake!

4) Allow to cool in the tins until you're able to remove the cakes onto the cooling rack. Remove any greaseproof paper from the base and allow to cool completely.

5) Once the cakes are completely cool, add the cream and vanilla paste/extract together into a bowl and whip until thick (although I use a stand mixer for the cake, a hand mixer is MUCH better for the cream as you need a shallow bowl to really get all of it.) Be patient, this will take a bit of time, but once it starts to change, it does so pretty quickly, so keep an eye on it!

6) Spread the jam so that each half of the 'sandwich' has a generous amount. Spoon the cream onto the bottom layer of the cake and smooth with a spoon. Pop the top half of the cake on and, if you like, neaten up the cream on the outside (or not. Up to you.)

7) Sprinkle the icing sugar and cinnamon on top of the cake. I used a tea strainer like a mini sieve to do this.
Serve with either a mug of chai or a good strong black tea, such as our signature Merchant of Truro. Enjoy!


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