VEGAN VANILLA CHAI CAKE
Autumn has descended upon us, and I for one am less than impressed, originally from NZ I find the cooler months here in the U.K, well - cool! A cake like this however, warms the coldest of days and is dead simple. Some, not all vegan cake recipes call for ingredients from little old ladies cauldrons from far ends of the earth, not this one!
440g plain flour
400g caster sugar
2 tsp baking Soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground ginger
1.5Tbsp. whole cardamom
480ml soy milk (almond would work here too)
20ml vanilla extract
160ml veg oil
4 Tbsp. (heaped) vegan butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp.soy milk
350g icing sugar
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
Cardamom pods leftover from above
Heat your oven to 160C (320F) fan oven, or 180C (365F) non-fan
Line three 8 inch sandwich tins with parchment paper (just cut a circle to fill the base only) use vegan butter to get the paper to stick, you want to cover the sides with vegan butter too, but no need for paper on the sides.
Place the soy milk into a medium sized pan and heat on its lowest temperature. Add the ginger, cinnamon and cardamom pods (bash them in a pestle and mortar to break the husks then add it all to the pan). Give it a stir and leave to infuse on a low heat for ten minutes, then turn off and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, sieve all the dry ingredients into a large bowl to prevent nasty lumps; then add all of the wet ingredients, lastly adding the infused soy milk passing through a fine sieve, TIP don’t throw out the cardamom pods and husks yet, you will need these and the pan for the icing. Trust me! Mix with a spatula, or mixer until all ingredients are just combined, don’t over mix. Pour evenly into all three of the sandwich tins. Bake all three tins in the oven for 26 minutes.
Check the sponge is cooked by inserting a knife into the cake, if it comes out clean, they’re done. Leave to cool in the tins for ten minutes then remove and place on a wire rack until completely cool.
To make the buttercream add the icing sugar, vanilla extract, vegan butter to a large mixing bowl. Add the soy milk back into the pan that you heated the cardamom with earlier for the sponge, together with the ginger and cinnamon. No need to heat this, just give it a mix and then sieve back into the buttercream bowl. Whip all the ingredients till combined, adding more butter if it seems too dry, or icing sugar if too wet. I don’t condone violence but make sure to beat the living daylights out of it so it’s lovely and smooth.
When and only when the cakes are completely cool, put the buttercream into a piping bag and ice each of the layers evenly decorating the top how you please.
The cake will keep up to four days, in a sealed container, somewhere cool, NOT IN THE FRIDGE. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.