Cream Cheese Frosting and Topping

You can make this the day before and put it in the fridge. Before you want to use it take it out of the fridge for at least 30 mins or until it’s room temp and you are able to get it to a spreading consistency. Chai flavouring can be done three ways. I’ll start with the totally from scratch one: 1) In a small sauce pot add 3/4s of a cup of water, 3 cloves crushed, 4 Cardamom pods crushed, 1 tsp orange zest, 1 cinnamon stick slightly crushed, 3 black pepper corns crushed and 1 tsp brown sugar. You will also need loose, black tea leaves (I used Ceylon) but because the other ingredients have to cook for a bit to release their flavourings, you put the tea in last so your mixture doesn’t become bitter. I let the mixture (without the tea) simmer with a cover on a medium heat for about 20-25 mins. I removed the pot from the stove and then added my tea. Now, the amount of tea you add is completely up to you. I love a reaaaaally strong tea so I put in about 2.5 Tbls - I’m thinking that might be a bit too strong for most people, so just try it till you like it. When the brew tastes how you want it to, strain out the tea leaves and return the liquid to the stove. Boil down the mixture till you get about 2-2.5 Tbsp worth of liquid. Remove heat, set aside and allow to cool. 2) You can also make a concentrate of chai masala with store bought tea bags by brewing 2 tea bags worth of tea in a small sauce pot. I use about 3/4 of a cup of water. Let it steep for up to 6 mins, making sure it’s not becoming bitter. Remove the tea bags (I usually give the bags a squeeze to make sure all the flavour ends up in the brew) and continue boiling the liquid. At this point, it’s up to you if you want to add other flavouring to enhance the Chai taste. For example, you can opt to add extra cinnamon/cardamom(which I did)/cloves/etc. Reduce the liquid as much as possible so you’re left with about 2 Tbsp. of the concentrated liquid. Set aside and allow to cool. 3)Or use 2-4tsp (according to your taste) of instant chai powder - this option wasn’t available to me here in Germany, but I believe you can buy this in the US and Canada. =)