Chai Spice Coffee Cake & Chicken Curry by Mae Chandran
Pictured above Sashee (left) and Mae Chandran (right).
Chai Spice Tea Drop Coffee Cake
(Makes 1 Bundt Pan or Angel Tube Pan - serves minimum of 12)
Cakes and Tea Drops are my favorite things! I thought, why not combine the two?! This was the first of my recipes using Tea Drops way back in 2013 in the early, early days of Tea Drops when I was literally making the tea drops by myself in Sashee’s small kitchen! I took my childhood favorite New England coffee cake* and took it up a notch by adding some chai spice tea drops. The result is amazing and I even think it is better than the original cake! When we took this cake for brunch to one of Sashee’s friends’ home, everyone said it was delicious! I chalked it up to the fact that they all wanted to support Sashee’s Tea Drops endeavor, but when a few friends took 4 - 5 slices, I knew they were telling the truth and the cake was a hit! This recipe which has been etched in my heart and kept a secret all these years, I am finally sharing it with the devout followers of Tea Drops! If you want people to ooh and aah at your next event, make this cake! The recipe might seem a bit complicated in the present days of premixes but trust me, it is well worth the effort!
Coffee cake in New England does not mean the cake is coffee flavored. The term “coffee cake” is used for any cake served with coffee or tea.
Time: about 1 hr. 45 min.(incl. Baking time of 50-60 min.)
3 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter and more for greasing at room temp.
2 ½ cups sugar (divided)
3 large eggs at room temperature, separated- with the egg whites in a separate mixing bowl- make sure there are no traces of egg yolks; otherwise they will not beat up properly
1 cup whole milk
1 Tablespoon cocoa
- Sift together the all purpose flour, baking powder and salt.
- Cream the butter. Add only 2 cups sugar with the remaining ½ cup to be used later. Cream well. Add yolks and cream well.
- Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk in thirds until well blended in the batter.
- Beat the egg whites stiff but not dry - the foam should be able to cling to the beater when lifted.
- Fold the beaten egg whites into the batter until all is incorporated.
- Mix the crushed Chai Spice Tea Drops with the remaining ½ cup sugar, and cocoa.
- In a well-buttered bundt or tube pan, pour ½ of the batter. Sprinkle ½ of the spice mixture. Add the remaining batter and sprinkle the remaining spice mixture. Dot evenly with small pieces of butter.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree F. oven for 50 - 60 min. or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Time: 1 hour (incl. 30 min. marinating)
1 lb. boneless chicken breast or boneless chicken thigh cut into 1” cubes
1 Tablespoon fresh minced ginger
1 ½ Tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder (I use roasted curry powder from Sri Lanka but you can use others)
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 sprig of fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 stick cinnamon (2”)
3 crushed green cardamoms
1 large diced tomato
⅓ cup water
1 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
Additional salt and pepper to taste.
- In a bowl marinate the chicken pieces with the crushed turmeric tea drops, minced ginger, minced garlic, curry powder, and salt for 20 - 30 minutes.
- Heat up a heavy pot and add the vegetable oil. Stir in the chopped onions, the sprig of curry leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, and cardamoms. Saute the mixture under low heat until the onions are translucent - about 5 minutes.
- Add the marinated chicken pieces and brown under medium heat until they have changed color, stirring a few times (4 - 5 minutes). Add tomatoes and mix well. Add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for about 10 - 12 minutes.
- Add garam masala and cilantro. Taste and if needed, add additional salt and some pepper.