Yes, we’re kind of obsessed with Thai tea (cha yen) desserts. And this one is both easy to make and impressive when served — thanks to its oozy golden core. The hardest thing about baking this cake is the straining of the tea leaves from its batter. Thai tea leaves are so fine, they go right through the average sieve. So we lined ours with a piece of muslin cloth (which you can get from Phoon Huat) to provide an additional barrier. Some of the leaves will still escape, but they’re so powdery they don’t affect the cake’s soft texture. Instead, they add to that lovely spicy cha yen flavour that we adore.
2/3 cup white chocolate chips (buy from Phoon Huat)
85g unsalted butter
½ cup caster sugar
2 tbsp Thai tea leaves (try Number One Brand)
2 large eggs (60g each)
6 tbsp plain flour
icing sugar, for dusting
1. Fill a saucepan with water till about 1 inch high, and place over medium heat on the stove. Put the white chocolate and butter into a heatproof bowl and place it on top of the saucepan. Melt till smooth, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove bowl from the heat and whisk in the sugar and tea leaves.
3. Whisk in the eggs till the batter is smooth.
4. Add the flour and whisk till smooth. Strain batter through a sieve lined with muslin cloth into another bowl. Set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 190°C.
6. Grease the insides of four 4-oz (113g) ramekins with butter. Then lightly dust them with flour. Turn the ramekins upside down and tap against the counter to remove excess flour.
7. Place ramekins on a baking tray and fill each one with batter till almost full.
8. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the sides of each cake are firm but the centres wobbly when gently pressed with your finger.
9. Cover each ramekin with an inverted serving plate. Carefully turn each one over, let stand for 10 seconds and unmould.
10. Dust cake with icing sugar and serve immediately, with vanilla ice cream, if desired.
Make ahead: You can prepare the batter up to 4 hours in advance. Just refrigerate and bring to room temperature before baking.