Perhaps one of the trickiest flavor profiles to get absolutely accurate is that of the sweet-savory-subtle flavor of ‘chai.’ Originating from India, ‘chai’ or tea, is a part of every individual’s daily intake — whether adult or child. Restaurants in India offer it as the very first item to a customer, and when invited to another’s home for a visit, you can expect to be offered (if not forced) to drink a steaming cup of this beverage. Hell, the scent of ‘chai’ in all of its cardomom-cinnamon-clovey goodness can be detected from miles away, lending your salivary glands to burst forth in production.
‘Chai’ is Hindi for tea — so if you’re saying ‘OMG I LOVE CHAI TEA EEEEK!’ — its redundant. Also, please stop talking like this. For the sake of the sane ones.
I had made these cupcakes a few months ago when I was actually tired — :gasp: — of making chocolate cupcakes. I know, I know, WHO could possibly be tired of chocolate?! Well, I was. So there.
These aren’t the traditional vanilla chai latte cupcakes that you can find elsewhere. These are more akin to the naturally brewed tea by my mother every morning before school, the aroma lifting my raggedy self out of bed and to the kitchen. It’s deeply rust-hued liquid was gently lightened by the splashes of milk to a golden chestnut…. :slobber slobber:
Part 1 — the cake:
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 4 eggs
- 1.5 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1.5 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 cup brewed tea
- 0.25 cup chai spice mix (see below)
For the tea, using 3 packets of Stash or any other brand of chai spiced tea. Read the ingredients to make sure they include black tea + ginger root + cinnamon + nutmeg + cardamom. Brew the tea packets for 10-15 minutes in boiling water, then allow to cool down. Otherwise, when you add them to the batter, the hot water will curdle the eggs.
Part 2 — chai spice mix:
- 1.5 tablespoon ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 0.5 tablespoon ground ginger
- 0.5 tablespoon allspice
- 0.5 tablespoon ground nutmeg
Add in the chai spice to the batter once all of the other ingredients have been combined.
Scoop out batter into cupcake liners and bake for 20 minutes, checking at 2-3 minute intervals after the first 15 minutes have elapsed. Stick a fork in them to make sure they’re done [haha].
Part 3 — frosting:
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 0.25 cup brewed chai/tea
Add together the ingredients for the frosting + mix in the brewed tea. I also added four drops of blue food dye since these cupcake were for an event fundraiser (thus the blue above).
I’m not sure if it’s the fact that they had blue frosting or that I had them displayed as “chai cupcakes” that people were hesitant to try them. You’ll buy a freakin’ iced chai latte from S-bux for $8, but not willing to try something new…