Desserts go Desi

Lonely Planet Magazine India|June 2020

Desserts go Desi
Escape to happier times on a sweet note, with international desserts given an Indian tweak — and, as a bonus, an Indian fave given a Gallic twist


Rachel is the CEO and founder of The Chocolate Spoon Company

@rachelgoenka | @RachelGoenka

“Tea cakes are extremely popular all around the world. England is famous for its Victoria sponge and Battenberg tea cakes, Australia for lamingtons, Scotland for its Dundee cake, and India for its mawa cake. This particular recipe marries the familiarity of a traditional tea cake with the flavours of India. The brown butter adds a rather nutty flavour profile, while the rose gives this cake its floral notes. Chai is synonymous with India and, in some regions, tea is flavoured with nuts and roses, particularly the colder regions of India. This cake is one of those delicate tea-time accompaniments that is light to eat yet bursting with flavour!”

Brown Butter, Rose & Chai Cake

This cake looks stunning garnished with dried rosebuds or even sugared flowers.


Ingredients For the cake:

2½ tbsp black tea leaves

165ml milk

228g flour

¼ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

½ tsp cardamom powder

160g yoghurt

200g castor sugar

130ml oil

1 tsp rose water

For the glaze:

180g icing sugar

½ tsp cardamom powder

60g unsalted butter

2ml rose essence

2 tbsp milk


1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line and grease an 8.5x4.5 loaf pan.

2. Brew the tea with 165ml milk first. Bring it to a boil, remove from the heat, and keep it covered for three to four minutes to allow the tea to steep. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and bring the milk tea to room temperature before using. You need two-third cup of tea.

3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cardamom powder together and set aside.

4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the yoghurt and sugar for a few minutes. Add the oil and rose water and whisk for another few minutes until the mixture is creamy.

5. Add the sifted dry ingredients and the milk tea to the batter. Gently fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula. Pour into the greased loaf tin and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

6. While the cake bakes, make the glaze: sift the icing sugar and cardamom powder together and set aside.

7. Cook the butter in a saucepan over a low flame for five to eight minutes until it browns. Be careful not to burn it. Strain the browned butter to remove any impurities.

8. Add the icing sugar, a little at a time, and whisk to combine. Add a few teaspoons of milk and rose essence to thin the glaze, so it’s a pourable consistency.

9. Remove the tea cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen before unmoulding.

10. Once the cake is completely cooled, drizzle the glaze on top.


Shivesh is a food blogger, author and food stylist, who, eight years ago, took the world of desserts by storm at 16

@shivesh17 | @bakewithshivesh


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June 2020