Desserts/Baking

Chai Mug Cake

This mug cake is like eating chai in a cake form. Each bite is soft and is aromatic with chai spices like green cardamom and cinnamon.It is an eggless cake that comes together with basic pantry ingredients. Mug cakes are hugely popular with my kids and every time I made them, I always wondered how to make them a bit more unique and adult friendly. If you are a fan of milky chai, this cake is for you. The inspiration for this mug cake came from this recipe on Maria’s blog, I used her amazing idea, but developed my own recipe measurements.

This cake is so fluffy and it tastes of chai. It is quick to make and definitely a keeper recipe. I like my chai on the less sweet side so this cake isn’t very sweet.

What are mug cakes? Mug cakes are simple cakes baked in the mug in a microwave. All the ingredients are added to the mug, mixed and cooked in the microwave. They are quick, small portion and satisfy the cake cravings.

What kind of tea to use? I simply use plain orange pekoe tea bags from the indian grocery stores. You can use english black tea bags as well. Just make sure to use the unflavored ones.

Can it be made nut free? Yes. I add fine ground almond meal to this cake for a nutty bite and also because I love almonds, but I have tested the recipe with just flour as well and you can skip the almond and replace with equivalent flour.

What kind of milk? Can I use Mylk? I use regular 2 percent milk here but you can use whole milk as well. Avoid using fat free milk since the fat in the milk does add to taste and moistness of cake. I haven’t tested this recipe with non dairy milk so I cannot say how the taste or texture will be.

Can I use oil in place of ghee? Yes. Absolutely. But ghee does add to the taste and aroma of the cake. You can use unsalted butter or any neutral oil as well.

Can I add ginger since I like adrak chai? I tried adding ground ginger to the recipe and I found it a bit overpowering. You can add a few thin slices of ginger to hot milk while you steep the tea bags and a mild ginger flavor does come through.

How to serve? I simply dust it with powdered sugar but my kids loved it with whipped cream. You can also add a dollop of spiced buttercream as well. You decide 🙂

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Chai Mug Cake

Chai in a cake form. A simple cake made with steeped tea bags and flavored with chai spices.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Servings: 1 mug cake

Equipment

  • 1 mug tall enough to not overflow when cake rises in the microwave.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup boiling hot milk
  • 2 plain black tea bags, I use wagh bakri
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp fine ground almond meal see notes if you want to just use flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee or unslated butter or neutral oil
  • pinch of ground cinnamon & green cardamom

Instructions

  • Add the tea bags to the mug. Pour over boiling hot milk over the tea bags. Alternatively you can first warm up the milk in the mug in the microwave and then add the tea bags to it. Set aside to let the tea bags steep for 8-10 minutes for a strong flavor of tea.
  • Once the tea bags have steeped, squeeze them very well using a spatula or back of spoon to strain all the milk. Discard the tea bags. Do not skip this part else the quantity of milk will be less in the recipe.
  • To the tea flavored milk, add the flour, almond meal, sugar, baking powder, melted ghee and ground spices. Using a spoon mix very well until the batter is not lumpy. After adding all the ingredients, your mug should be half full, this will ensure that the cake will not overflow when it rises in the microwave.
  • Microwave for 1 minute + 25-30 seconds in a full power mode (My microwave is 1000 watts) Every microwave is different, so you might need to tweak the time a bit. Use a long skewer inserted in the center of the cake to check for doneness if you arent sure if the cake is cooked.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy while still warm.

Notes

  1. If you don’t want to use almonds, simply used 1/4 cup of flour.
  2. Measure the ghee when its melted. Use any neutral oil like canola or vegetable if you don’t want to use ghee.
Desserts/Baking

Strawberry-Ricotta Mousse

 

 

What I need:

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped + more for topping
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice [optional if you have tart strawberries]
  • 2-3 leaves fresh mint leaves + more for garnish
  • 3 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp unflavored granulated gelatin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

How I did it:

  • Pulse the chopped strawberries along with lemon and mint leaves in the processor.Transfer to a bowl, tip in the gelatin and whisk well.Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, beat the cream to thick peakes.This is important coz once you add the crushed strawberry mix,the mixture will loosen out a bit.
  • In another large bowl, beat the ricotta cheese and sugar together until smooth.
  • Gently fold in the whipped cream with the ricotta cheese along with crushed strawberry mix.
  • Transfer the mousse to serving bowls and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to set.
  • Before serving top with chopped strawberries and more whipped cream and few mint leaves.Serve cold.

Enjoy!

Sending this to It’s a keeper.

Desserts/Baking

Strawberry-Nutella Thumbprint Cookies

Update 05/31/2011

This recipe was featured on 100 ways to use Strawberries at Endless Simmer.

Update 05/14/2011

Another reader successfully tried this recipe.See here.The blog is in a non-english language so I could not read it but the picture says it all.Thank you LILLA!

Update: 03/05/2011

These cookies were tried by 3 people I know of who came back and told me about their experience.I m linking them here and here. One of the bakers, Mindy commented on the post herself that they turned out good for her. But for Rachelle, it didnt work out fine.I am adding these feedbacks to help those people who want to try out this recipe.Thanks everyone.Your suggestions are always welcome.

 

 

 

What I need: [Makes 22 cookies of the size shown][updated]

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter [softened]
  • 7 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder [use aluminium free]
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp thick crushed fresh strawberry mix [homemade by crushing  strawberries with 1 tsp of milk [if required]+2 drops of red food color] [the quantity of strawberry mix will vary depending upon the consistency,please be judgemental]
  • Nutella [for filling]

How I did it:

  • Sift the flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl.Set aside.
  • In another bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar using a hand-held mixer for about 4 minutes.
  • Add the vanilla extract and crushed strawberry to the bowl and combine well with the butter mixture using a whisk.
  • Fold in the flour mixture with the butter mixture gently to form a dough.The dough will be soft and a little sticky but not loose.Do not over mix. You might need to oil your hands and bring the dough together.
  • Once combined, cover the dough with a plastic cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F/175 C.
  • Line your cookie sheet with a parchment paper.

  • Take out the refrigerated dough,lightly oil your palms and make small balls with it.Put the balls on the cookies sheet and press down slightly to flatten out.

  • With the help of your thumb or back of a tea-spoon make a small hole in the middle of the cookies where u ll fill the nutella after baking.
  • If at this point you feel that the butter in the cookies is melting, refrigerate again for about 15 minutes.

  • Bake the cookies in the oven for about 8-12 minutes or untill the bottom starts turning brown. Mine took 10 minutes exact.Do not bake them beyond 12 mins.These will continue to cook after you take them out of the oven.
  • Take out the cookie sheet from the oven and using the teaspoon again press out the hole in the cookies.You will not be able to do this after the cookies have cooled.
  • Once the cookies have cooled, fill in the nutella in the little holes in the cookies.
  • Serve with cold milk.

I have adjusted these from a basic recipe here .Notes:

  • The consistency of strawberry mix is of real importance.Make a thick, almost paste like mix in your processor/blender.If some bits remain, it does not matter but the mix should not be runny or watery.
  • The color of cookies/dough can differ depending on how red your strawberries are.I chopped off the white portions and used red part only.
  • I made my cookies less sweet because with nutella filling they could be very overwhelming.
  • The dough can be slightly difficult to work with,but refrigerate and it will be manageable.
  • Since every oven is different, the time of baking may vary from appliance to appliance.
  • You can fill in the cookies with any jam or melted chocolate chips too.

Enjoy! Have a nice weekend everyone.

Sending these to Culinary Smackdown Battle-Cookies