MASALA CHAI CAKE
2 chai tea bags
300g unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (440g) caster sugar
2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves GINGER CREAM-CHEESE ICING
250g cream cheese, softened
150g unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup (60g) brown sugar
4 cups (600g) icing sugar, sifted
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve POMEGRANATE SYRUP
1 pomegranate, halved
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Grease and line two 22cm springform cake pans.
Place the tea bags in a jug with 1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water and set aside to cool. Beat the butter and sugar with electric beaters for 5-6 minutes until thick and pale, then add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and spices, and mix well to combine. •
Remove and discard the tea bags and slowly add the cooled tea to the batter, beating constantly. Divide batter evenly between the pans, spreading to even the surface, then bake for 45-50 minutes until golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing, beat the cream cheese, butter, brown sugar and icing sugar using electric beaters for 6-8 minutes until smooth and voluminous. Add ginger and cinnamon, and beat to combine. •
For the pomegranate syrup, place a pomegranate half, skin-side up, in a sieve over a bowl, and use a wooden spoon to bash the skin so the seeds fall into the sieve and the juice into the bowl. Repeat with the remaining pomegranate half. Reserve the seeds and place the juice in a saucepan with the sugar and 1/2 cup (125ml) water, then stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and simmer for 3-4 minutes until reduced by half and a syrupy consistency. Add the reserved seeds to the syrup and set aside to cool.
Place one cake on a serving plate and spread with half the icing. Top with the other cake and spread the remaining icing over the top. Drizzle over syrup and dust with cinnamon just before serving.