Vanilla Pudding (One large package of vanilla pudding cooked to directions, OR)
4 1/2 cups Whole Milk
1 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Cornstarch
Pinch of Kosher Salt
5 Large Egg Yolks, beaten
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
Pound Cake (One package of pre-baked frozen pound cake, OR)
3 Sticks Unsalted Butter
3 cups Granulated Sugar
3 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Fine Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 cup Whole Milk
Chai Tea Simple Syrup (To make, use ingredients below)
2 cups Hot Water
2 bags of Black Tea
2 cups Sugar
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
½ tsp Ground Ginger
¼ tsp Ground Cardamom
¼ tsp Ground Nutmeg
¼ tsp Ground Cloves
Heat 4 cups of the milk in a large saucepan over medium heat until steaming.
In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in the egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup milk.
Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture until smooth, then gradually whisk the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan. Add the cinnamon stick and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils. Remove cinnamon stick. Continue to cook mixture until it has thickened to a pudding-like consistency, about 3–4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Cool slightly and continue to stir pudding every few minutes to prevent a skin from forming. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding and refrigerate until completely cooled.
Using a mixer, cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Sift dry ingredients together in a bowl and add to mixer bowl alternately with the milk, starting with the flour and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla. Pour into a greased 13” x 9” pan and bake for 25–30 minutes. Baking time can vary depending on the baking pan's size and thickness. Keep a close eye on the cake as it bakes and remove when done.
Once cake has cooled, cut into 1-inch square shapes and place in the freezer for about two hours until set.
Chai Tea Simple Syrup:
Brew the bags of black tea with the hot water and let steep for 5 minutes.
In a small saucepan, add the rest of the ingredients. Once the tea has finished steeping, add to the sugar/spice mixture and turn the burner on medium. When the mixture has come to a slow boil, set the timer for 15 minutes. Do not stir once the mixture has started its boil.
Layer 1/3 of the pudding, 1/3 of the pound cake, one can of drained dark sweet cherries, and chai tea simple syrup (using up to a third of the simple syrup or less) and repeat until all the ingredients are finished (reserving a few cherries for the top)
Whip the whipped cream until soft peaks form. The last layer will be a thick layer of whipped cream.
Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.