185ml milk

1 vanilla bean cut lengthways

2 tablespoons loose leaf chai tea

80g butter chopped at room temperature

200g (1 cup) castor sugar

1 organic free–range egg

380g (3 cups) plain flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

24 mini paper cupcake cases

Lime Mascarpone Icing

120g mascarpone

250g (8oz/1 cup) icing sugar

zest and juice of 2 limes


Method

Preheat oven to 170C (325F). Line 24-hole muffin tin with paper cupcake cases.

In a small saucepan heat the milk, vanilla bean and chai tea together until the milk just boils. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for

1 hour. Remove the vanilla bean and strain to remove the chai tea.

Scrape the vanilla bean adding the seeds to the strained milk and set aside discarding the remaining vanilla pod.

With an electric beater, cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. In a separate bowl sift the flour and baking powder together then add the salt. Add the flour mixture and milk mixture to the butter mixture a little at a time folding through until well combined.

Divide batter evenly amongst the 24-hole muffin tin. Bake for 12–15 minutes until golden and spring back lightly to the touch. Turn out

onto a wire rack to cool completely.

While cakes are cooling whisk together the ingredients for the icing. Once cakes are completely cooled top with the icing.

Tip We use fresh spices in our chai, however, chai can come in varying forms, such as powder, leaves or syrup. For this recipe we recommend loose leaf chai, available at all major supermarkets.

*Recipe provided by The Victorian Tea Room (thevictoriantearoom.com) who also specialise in Vegetarian and Vegan High Tea.