My body flew up into a sitting position, scrambling to hit off the booming alarm. Through the darkness my phone read 4am. I slowly slid out of bed and started to get dressed. I made my way to the kitchen, boiled some water for tea, put my hair up, and swooped up the rest of my belongings and was out the door in no time. The fog laid thick on the street, the only light was from the moon and glistening stars. I jumped into my car, immediately turning it on to get the heater going, and docked my phone to get some music playing. Once the car was warm and toasty, I put my car into drive, and started singing to the music. I drove to the outskirts of town, and then I was free; driving out on the fogging country roads.
I just got a new job, a dream job for me. I work at a small bakery, in a very small town, where we make everything from scratch, and everything is local. I’m the morning baker for week days, and I love it. All our baking is done right out where the customers can see us; so there’s a lot of interaction. We have the locals that come hang out, tons of road bikers, and tons of tourists on the way to the beaches. Getting up early in the morning isn’t bad at all, I really enjoy it actually. It’s peaceful because no one is out, and I get to go bake. I have been working hard at staying patient for a bakery job to come along, these last few months have been hard; waiting. Finally the perfect job has come along, and I still have to remind myself to be patient, when it comes to learning everything. Patience is a virtue.
Chai Cake with Honey-Ginger Cream adapted from Whisk KidChai Cake
My mom made this cake for my twentieth birthday. I chai is one of my favorite flavors, so I knew I would love this. The cream cheese frosting was a great combination with the cake. It defiantly a good idea to finish this cake off within the first few days, because it tends to get crusty after few days, which is the only down fall.
1 1/3 c (315 ml) milk
6 Tbsp loose black tea
15 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp fennel
1/2″ of ginger, peeled and grated
2 egg yolks
2 tsp vanilla
2 3/4 c (390 g) flour
2 c (398 g) sugar
2 3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 c (237 g) butter, room temp
Place the milk, tea, cardamom, fennel and ginger in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and let bubble for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let steep 5 minutes. Strain the flavored milk into a bowl pressing the grounds with a rubber spatula to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids and set milk aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 350F. Oil and line three 8″ cake pans and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, egg yolks and 1/3 cup of the chai milk. Set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Beat on low to combine, then add the butter and remaining chai milk. Beat on low speed to blend, then raise speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg mixture in three additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl often and mixing just to incorporate.
Divide the batter evenly among the three pans and bake 26-28 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed in the center. Cool cakes in pans on a rack for ten minutes, then remove the cakes from the pans and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to chill.
Honey Ginger Cream
6 oz (170 g) cream cheese, room temp
6 tbsp (85 g) butter, room temp
1/2 c (118 ml) honey
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
3 1/2 c (547 g) confectioners’ sugar
Place all of the ingredients but the confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl and beat until combined and lightened. Add half of the sugar and whip to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining sugar, and beat until fully incorporated.
Level the cooled cakes with a long serrated knife. Fill and frost with the Honey-Ginger Cream.