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Chocolate chai sandwich cake
dessert recipes | serves 12
This chocolate cake raises the bar with chai-infused buttercream.
1. First make a chai syrup. Crack 4 of the cardamom pods and pop them in a pan with the chai tea bags and cracked black pepper. Add water to cover, bring to the boil, simmer for 4 minutes, then strain, discarding the tea and spices.
2. Pour the liquid back into the pan with the light brown sugar. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, or until you have a thick syrup. Take it off the hob and cool.
3. Grease and line the base of two 20cm cake tins and set aside. Preheat your oven to 180C/gas 4.
4. Crack the remaining cardamom pods, and put the seeds in a pestle and mortar (discard the shells). Grind them into a fine powder and set aside.
5. Melt half the chocolate in the microwave for a few seconds and leave to one side.
6. Cream 275g of the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stir in the almonds, then fold through the flour, cocoa, baking powder and crushed cardamom seeds, along with ½ teaspoon of fine salt. Finally, stir in the milk and melted chocolate until combined.
7. Divide the mix between the tins and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, until firm and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave in the tins for 5 minutes, before taking them out to cool on a wire rack.
8. Meanwhile, finish the filling. Place the butter in a bowl and beat in the icing sugar and 2 tablespoons of the chai syrup (or enough to give it a lovely flavour) until smooth. Stir in the cream cheese to make a smooth buttercream.
9. For the topping, melt the remaining chocolate plus a knob of butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, until silky.
10. To assemble the sandwich, place one of the cakes on a plate and spread it with the chai buttercream. Top with the second cake and finish by drizzling over the dark chocolate glaze and sprinkling on white chocolate shavings.
Per serving 675 cals, 42.6g fat (23.6g saturated), 8.1g protein, 64g carbs, 52.7g sugars
Recipe Georgie Socratous
Photo Martin Poole
from Issue 37
ingredients• 200g dark 70%-cocoa chocolate, broken into pieces
• 275g butter, at room temperature, plus 1 knob and extra for greasing
• 275g light brown sugar
• 3 eggs
• 100g ground almonds
• 175g self-raising flour
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 150ml milk
• White chocolate, to serve
Chai buttercream filling
• 1 tbsp cardamom pods
• 5 chai tea bags
• A pinch of cracked black pepper
• 100g light brown sugar
• 100g butter, at room temperature
• 200g icing sugar
• 100g cream cheese