Monday, October 09, 2017

Chai-Spiced Pound Cake

This is straight-up fantastic. This highly spiced cake is like a cross between a pound cake and sponge cake ... so we could just call it a bundt cake and be done with it. That said, the texture is just heavy enough to be substantial and the cake has a lovely, moist texture. I was surprised to find there was a bit of a bite at the end which felt as if I'd eaten fresh ginger. Turns out the spice mixture has black pepper as an ingredient.

I've never liked chai-spiced drinks but then I saw this recipe in the King Arthur Flour catalog which looked so enticing that I bought their chai spice so I could make it. Of course, I don't love to drink chai but I might like to eat it in a dessert. As it turns out, the investment was well worth it.

I saw among the comments at King Arthur that someone topped this with a powdered sugar glaze made with a teaspoon of the chai spice. That sounds like a variation I might try next time. Because I will be making this again ... and again ... and again.

Chai-Spiced Pound Cake

16 tablespoons (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons chai spice or 1 tablespoon cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ginger, 2 teaspoons cardamom, 1-1/2 teaspoons allspice, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 cup sour cream or yogurt, full-fat preferred
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, and honey until smooth and somewhat lightened in color; this will take about 2 minutes at medium speed of an electric hand or stand mixer.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute or two and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl between additions.
  4. Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chai spice blend (or spices).
  5. Measure the flour by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Gently but thoroughly stir half the flour into the butter/egg mixture. Add the sour cream (or yogurt) and vanilla, stirring to combine. Finally, stir in the remaining flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat briefly, to incorporate any sticky residue.
  6. Thoroughly grease a 9- or 10-cup Bundt pan. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 50 to 55 minutes, until a cake tester, bamboo skewer, or long toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cake from the oven, and cool in the pan for 15 minutes before turning it out onto a rack to finish cooling.
  8. Cool completely before slicing. Store any leftovers, tightly wrapped in plastic, at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.