Crush lightly together the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pod, allspice and star anise.
Add crushed spices in a small saucepan and add the ginger, black tea leaves, half and half and water.
Bring to a light boil, then lower heat to a simmer and steep for 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how strong you want the chai. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a cup, this should make about 1 cup of chai tea.
For the Ginger Buttercream Frosting:.
Beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy.
Add confectioner’s sugar, milk and ginger. Beat until well combined, and until a spreadable consistency is reached. If frosting is too thin, add 1/2-1 cup confectioner’s sugar and mix until desired consistency is reached. Set aside.
For the Cake:.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2-3 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray, then flour lightly. Mix together chocolate cake mix, eggs, masala chai tea concentrate and oil with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Then beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour equal amounts of batter into each cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto platter or cooling rack and let cool completely. When cake has cooled, spread ginger buttercream frosting between layers and on top of cake. Decorate with chocolate chips or chocolate shavings if you like. Makes 8 servings.