This post marks the start of my obsession with browned butter. I think it’s actually a pretty appropriate time to become obsessed with such a thing. Its fall which means all things warm, fuzzy, cuddly, and fattening are truly treasured around this time of the year. Things like fuzzy jackets, soft scarves, warm teas, and delicious cakes topped with browned butter frosting are loved endlessly. Browning butter for frosting was just a small thought in the back of my pastry making mind but after scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing photos from other food bloggers that were loving it I knew I had to give it a try.
At first, I began to worry that I had gotten defective butter because for 5 minutes I watched it boil away with no change in color just a lot of foam building up on the top. I was becoming worried and impatient but after a couple more minutes and pumping up the heat to medium high I started to see a slight change in color under all the foam. But the true giveaway was the nutty aroma just taking over my apartment. Once, I thought it was ready I poured the butter into a bowl to cool and all the foam instantly disappeared. What was left now was butter that was a light brown color and milk specs that had browned to an even darker almost black shade. This my friends is what I call the nirvana of butter. Its warm, its intense, and its delicious.
In my mind, the browned butter frosting would match perfectly with a heavily spiced cake. Something with lots of strong flavors to play well with the equally strong frosting. I thought about an earl grey cake, a london fog cake, or even a five spice cake but my mind was set on something that screams FALL and to me that’s a chai spiced cake. Both the frosting and the cake are really good on their own but combined it’s on a whole new level. Eating this cake felt like you were under a warm blanket reading a good book during a snow storm. I don’t really know why but that’s what it felt like and hopefully when you try it you will understand too.
CHAI SPICED CAKE WITH A BROWNED BUTTER FROSTING
serves 8 - 10 people
Chai Spiced Cake
350 ml whole milk
3 chai tea bags
400 grams cake flour
1 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chai spice powder
360 grams granulated sugar
250 grams softened butter
260 grams egg whites
1 tbsp vanilla
Browned Butter Frosting
2 1/2 stick good quality butter
2 cups confection sugar
Chai Spiced Cake
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare 2-7 inch cake pans by spraying them with coconut oil and lining them with parchment paper to prevent any sticking.
In a small saucepan heat together half of the milk and teabags on low for 15 minutes. Take out the teabags and pour back in with the rest of the milk. You may need to remeasure to get 350 ml again.
Meanwhile, in a standing mixer combine the flour, baking soda, salt, chai spice powder, and sugar together.
To the dry ingredient mixture, add in the butter one tablespoon at a time until it's all incorporated.
Next combine the tea milk, egg whites, and vanilla in a bowl and pour half the wet mixture into the dry mixture. Beat until just combined.
Scrape down the bowl making sure to get the sides.
Pour the rest of the wet mixture in and beat on medium high for 3 minutes.
Pour half the batter into each pans and bake for 35 minutes or until they are golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
Once done baking, set aside to cool down.
Browned Butter Frosting
On medium heat, in a small saucepan bring the butter to a boil. Let it continue to boil for about 10 minute. Since it will foam at the top be sure to swirl it around to keep an eye on the color.
Once your butter has browned, pour it into a bowl and place it into the fridge to harden up again. This will take approx. 1 hour.
In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the cooled brown butter and confectioners for 7 minutes or until very white and fluffy.
Once your cake has cooled down, cut both cakes in half with a serrated knife to get 4 - seven inch round cake pieces.
Lay down one cake piece down with the cut side up and spread a thick layer of frosting down.
Repeat step 2 two more times
Place the last cake piece with the cut side down. Press lightly on the final cake layer.
Spread the rest of the unused frosting around the cake.