Yerba Mate & Blood Orange Bundt Cake

Recipes

If you’ve read The Great Steak Post (where I don’t only talk about steak), you’ll hear about Yerba Mate — the national drink of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil. It is known to have antioxidant properties, is caffeinated and is consumed 6 to 1 over coffee.

When I was visiting Argentina, I would pass by dozens of passerby drinking yerba mate from the traditional gourd known as guampaporongo or mate in Spanish, through a metal straw called bombilla in Spanish. It is also not uncommon to see the guampa being shared amongst friends, with constant refilling from a thermos. The Yerba Mate ‘kit’ can be found in any traditional store, marketplace or souvenir shops.

I myself am a big fan of tea and for that reason, I love to find ways to use it in baking, marinades, smoothies and cocktails. I was lucky enough to come across Love Tea, a Maltese Tea company that stocks a wonderful variety of quality teas. I was super, SUPER excited to find their product Green Yerba Mate Matcha in powder form because I’ve only ever come across Yerba Mate as tea leaves.

I thought hard what it would pair well with.  Eventually, I settled on the idea that citrus flavours would balance the essence of yerba mate nicely, due to their acidic sweetness. As we can’t get enough of blood oranges at home, I thought that it would be a fine contender for my bundt cake.  And the good news is, I had leftover Green Yerba Mate Matcha for a cuppa or my morning smoothie.

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Serves:  12 large pieces

Time: 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

***I N G R E D I E N T S***

For the Cake Mix

  • 400g flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. yerba mate powder
  • 100g coconut oil, softened
  • 170g butter, softened
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 4 eggs
  • 170g greek yoghurt
  • Juice of one small blood orange
  • a little butter and flour for the pan

For the Icing

  • 1 small blood orange, juiced
  • 200g icing sugar

***M E T H O D***

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease and flour a bundt pan
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl: flour, baking powder, salt and yerba mate.
  3. In another bowl, cream together the softened butter and the coconut oil with a mixer until well combined and then add the sugar and cream together, until the mixture is fluffy.
  4. Add the vanilla, juice of blood orange and eggs and stir to combine until mixture is homogenous.
  5. Alternately add the yoghurt and flour in batches and combine after each addition and mix until the dough is smooth.
  6. Fill the prepared bundt tin and bake for 60 to 90 minutes or until an inserted stick comes out clean.
  7. As the cake is baking, prepare the icing. Add the juice of blood orange to the icing sugar and mix well.
  8. Once the cake is baked, leave to cool for about half an hour before turning the cake out onto a plate and adding the icing.

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It’s Masala Chai Time

Recipes

This is Part Three of the Indian Series.

No true Indian gathering is complete without masala chai. If you’ve read my Dishoom review, you’ve probably guessed that I’m deeply, madly in love with chai.

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I myself am a tea drinker, and by that I mostly mean black tea, although I have grown very fond of green. Masala chai has many elements that makes it my go-to tea – from its mixture of spices, leaving even a slight tingling at the back of the throat, to it’s sweet creaminess, imparted by the milk and sugar.

I personally like to cut back on the dose of sugar and usually replace it with honey, but I don’t cut back nearly enough as I would like to, to avoid the risk of losing the intended flavour of masala.

The beauty of masala chai is that you can make it your own, by emphasising specific spices or blending flavours such as chocolate.

I hope you enjoy my version of the classic chai.

One last word of advice: it’s worth preparing enough of the masala chai spice mixture in advance, so that the next time you’re craving chai, you won’t have to worry about a thing. Happy tea-time and don’t forget some cakes (courtesy of my lovely friends Maria and Luis).

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Serves: 2

Time: 15 minutes

Difficulty: Very Easy

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp Assam loose tea leaves (I swear by Vahdam which I order from Amazon)
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 freshly ground pepper
  • 8 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 tbsp honey

METHOD:

  1. Put the spices in a pan and let dry roast for 2 minutes or until fragrant (not burnt).
  2. Add the water and let the spices simmer for a 5 minutes on medium heat
  3. Add the tea leaves and let simmer for 2 1/2 minutes or per instructions.
  4. Add the milk and honey and let simmer.
  5. Drain through a sieve and serve hot.

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