Lately I’ve been feeling uneasy and less assured. Like life is hanging in the balance, a constant see-saw of pleasing everyone; am I fun enough, do I work enough, is this too much pasta, do I have enough friends, am I smart enough?
I’m not entirely sure when this began. As a teenager I never felt like this. I had boyfriends that maybe elicited this kind of reaction, but I always had people to fall on. It was always ‘everything is perfect…but X’ now it’s more ‘what the ‘eff is going on?’. When did everything get so complicated?
You have to wonder sometimes if it’s you, or if everyone else is just bonkers. The law of odds will tell you that it’s you. But your head will say everyone else.
I mostly trust my head.
Because you should never doubt yourself, and if TV has taught me anything; it’s that loners aren’t all that bad. So this cake is to the oddballs, the loners and the ones that just don’t fit right.
Also I saw a strawberry chai tea in T2, I thought i’d try the cake out. It was delicious.
Strawberry and Chai Cake
Chai Sponge – adapted from Joy the Baker
3 Chai teabags
1 cup whole milk (plus more; you will need 1 cup of infused milk so account for wastage, steam etc)
225 grams unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
395 grams cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
345 grams cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. In a small saucepan over a low heat add the milk and secure the teabags to infuse. You don’t want to boil the milk, just a low simmer for about 8 minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool, the milk should be a caramel colour. Turn your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and prepare two cake tins ( I use a 6″ cake round and get 4 layers)
2. Cream the butter for about 2 minutes; slowly. Add the sugar and mix at a medium speed until fully combined; if you have a stand mixer this will take 2/3 minutes, the perfect amount of time to measure out the dry ingredients and sift together.
3. Slowly add each egg, fully beating each egg in before adding the next. Add the vanilla extract with the final egg.
4. Starting and ending with the dry ingredients add the flour mixture and milk mixture in alternating turns. I usually do 3 additions of dry and two additions of wet; this minimises flour clouds in my kitchen.
5. Divide into the prepared pans and place in the oven, middle shelf for around 25-35 minutes (dependant on cake pan size, size of layers and your oven, I honestly disregard most timings for cakes and keep an eye on the cake, once you can smell it, it’s ready)
I used Sweetapolita’s Whipped strawberry frosting which you can view here.