It’s that time of year again for baking. It’s December and you know what people do in December? They bake! I was talking to my friend Marie who also loves to bring holiday cheer to her neighbors every year by bringing them a plate full of treats. I randomly will bring my neighbors cookies and sweets, but not necessarily at Christmas time because I believe they feel pressure to bring me sweets also. I’m kind of picky and really only eat certain cookies and candies this time of year. So, I hate for anything to go to waste, especially since my husband doesn’t eat too many sweets. This is why I had to make my favorite dessert: An organic Ginger Chai Cake with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with toasted coconut. This recipe will blow you away and you will crave it every year and not just during the holidays.
I had a recipe for ginger cake with a dark stout beer and I couldn’t find it anywhere. I know I had it sitting on the counter last week because I wanted to make it. This is why I like to put my special recipes on my blog because I always know where to find them. If your recipes are anything like mine, you don’t want to take the time to look in every folder, and recipe file to find something. This can take forever! In my case I spent the whole morning looking through all of my recipes from Andronicos Cooking classes, Draeger’s Cooking classes and various clippings that I have saved over the years from all the magazines that I have read.
Instead, I went to the trusty internet and quickly downloaded David Lebovitz’s Ginger cake recipe which he credited Claudia Fleming’s recipe for Stout Gingerbread Cake. I can never follow a recipe exactly. I follow both of them on Instagram and am constantly inspired to bake. I have to be a rule breaker and add or remove ingredients, just because. It’s fun to see how flavors mix and add ingredients that you are fond of. So I omitted the cardamon and added the Chai Tea, Chocolate, Coconut Chocolate Porter Beer, Maldon Salt, Vanilla pod, Cocoa Powder and used a different technique to incorporate the ingredients. I’m boiling the oil, beer, molasses and spices together like my friend’s Gingerbread recipe which I blogged about last year. By boiling the spices with the oil or butter, the flavor is more intense in the recipe.
I’ve recently been inspired by chai flavors. My niece Beverly told me to go to Bouchon Bakery and order their Chai Tea, because she is a HUGE fan. I also love Bouchon Bakery in Yountville and will frequent there if I get the chance. I usually walk out with their Hot Chocolate and a pastry of some sort. So this recipe is inspired by Beverly, Bouchon and the Caldera Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter that I purchased from Whole Foods. The guy restocking the beer fridge talked me into this chocolate beer since he thought it would go perfect in my ginger cake. He was right! It turned out delicious and I’m excited to share the recipe with you so you can also have a ginger chai cake recipe anytime you wish.
But first, a shout out to One House Bakery in Benicia where I get to meet a friend for lunch on Friday. This place is incredible. I was there last week after attending a Tea with my hiking friends. I bought a loaf of their sourdough bread and used it to make a stuffing for a baked turkey. Who doesn’t love stuffing? I cut up the loaf in pieces and dried them before adding chicken stock, sauteed onion, celery and garlic along with a lot of fresh parsley and poultry seasoning. So yummy.
As I promised, here is the recipe for Ginger Chai Cake.
Ginger Chai Cake
Ingredients for Cake:
1 Cup (180ml) Canola Oil (Or Bland tasting oil like Vegetable or Grapeseed)
1 Cup (250ml) Molasses
1 Cup (250ml) Dark Beer (I used Caldera’s Toasted Coconut Chocolate Porter)
½ C (100mg) Granulated Sugar
½ Cup (90g) Brown Sugar
1.5 Tablespoons ground Ginger
1.5 Tablespoons ground Cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground Cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
½ teaspoon Maldon Salt
¼ C chopped Candied Ginger or fresh peeled and grated (i make my own by boiling in equal parts sugar and water until soft) Trader Joe’s carries this ingredient.
½ Tablespoon Baking Soda (Added after mixture has come to a boil)
2 Chai Tea bags (I used Mighty Leaf Organic Coconut Assam)
3 large whole eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla pod, scraped
1 C. Sweetened Coconut. Bake on a sheet pan for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven until brown. (Use to top cupcakes after spreading cream cheese frosting over cooled cupcakes or loaf.)
2 C. (280g) All Purpose Unbleached Flour
1.5 teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ C Dick Taylor’s Bulk Shredded Chocolate (Or your favorite cocoa powder. Chopped Dark chocolate would work as well.)
¼ C additional cocoa powder to coat muffin dish after smothering with butter flavored Crisco or spray with Non Stick Spray
1 T Butter Flavored Crisco to coat muffin pan (or use cupcake liners)
1 recipe Vanilla Pod Cream Cheese Frosting
Instructions for Cake:
- Preheat Oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees C). Use a loaf pan lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non stick spray and another baking pan or cupcake pan with paper baking cups or liners. Makes quite a bit of batter.
- In a medium saucepan, heat beer, oil, molasses, granulated sugar, brown sugar, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground Cloves, ground nutmeg, salt, and chopped candied ginger until boiling. Take off heat and Steep 2 pouches of Mighty Leaf Organic Coconut Assam Chai Tea for 10 minutes. Remove Tea Bags. Add Baking Soda and stir. Mixture will bubble. Set aside and cool.
- Measure and mix Flour and Baking Powder in a separate bowl until combined.
- Crack 3 large eggs into a bowl and add vanilla seeds.
- When molasses mixture is cool, add it to dry flour mixture with eggs and vanilla and stir until combined.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, muffin pan, or cupcake liners filling ¾ full.
- Bake until toothpick comes out clean about 18-22 minutes. Or for 45 min to an hour if using a loaf pan. Cool. Remove from pan and frost with Vanilla Pod Cream Cheese Frosting.
Vanilla Pod Cream Cheese Frosting
1.5 C Cream Cheese softened
½ C. Unsalted Butter softened
2 C. Confectioners Sugar
1 Vanilla pod scraped (Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape out vanilla seeds) Or use 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 T Heavy Cream
½ teaspoon Maldon Salt
Directions for Cream Cheese Frosting:
Place softened cream cheese and butter in stand mixer and blend until combined. While Mixer is off add confectioners sugar a little at a time and mix until blended. (you can sift it first, but I never do). Add vanilla, salt and heavy cream until the frosting is a nice consistency. After cake or cupcakes are cool, put frosting in a decorator bag with a large tip and pipe onto cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut for decoration. Option: chop more candied ginger and decorate top of frosted cake or cupcake.
If you make the Don’t panic, it’s organic #GingerChaiCake, please leave a comment below and let me know how you like them. Share the recipe with your friends and loved ones. They will love you forever.