Chai Spice Mix is warm and wonderful for the colder months. Add it frostings, lattes, pies, and breads.
Move over pumpkin spice! Make room for my other favorite fall spice blend, chai masala. Well, ok, it’s not really a “fall” flavor since people drink it year round. The list of warming spices just reminds me of fall, and once you start putting the mix into dessert recipes, the dessert definitely screams fall.
You might already know that chai is simply the word for tea. Western retailers that label their product as “chai” actually provide spiced tea or masala chai. It’s the masala that gives the tea its distinctive flavor. There’s no single way to make a good masala mix. Recipes are based on personal preference.
From what I’ve seen and tasted, the spice that is always present is cardamom. It’s one of my favorite spices, so I like to put more of it in my recipe. Ironically I used to loath cardamom growing up. It was ever-present in anything Indian that was sweet. I would pick out every little dark seed or else refuse to eat it!
Cinnamon, ginger, and black peppercorns are also common in chai masala mixes. If you like your tea to have more heat, you can dominate it with black peppercorns and ginger. Fresh ginger steeped in the teapot is always better than ginger powder. However, since I don’t always have fresh, I’ve put in the powder.
Also, I don’t always use my masala mix for tea so it’s easier to have everything ground and ready to go. I like to use it for flavoring cupcakes, cookies, cake or whatever else, like these chai spice donuts. You might even like it in place of pumpkin pie spice in Rachael's old fashioned pumpkin spice doughnuts.
Cloves are also common to chai masala recipes. Personally, I think they overpower the taste, so I use only a few or sometimes skip them completely. Fennel is also used in recipes, but I prefer star anise, which is similar in flavor but sweeter. Finally, my recipe also contains nutmeg and mace. These two spices are similar, but mace is a little sweeter and stronger in flavor. It’s not as common to find whole dried mace, so you can always substitute it for more nutmeg.
I’ve provided my personal blend of spices but feel free to alter it to your taste. This mix is a little sweeter with just a little bit of kick from the peppercorns and ginger. Once you have a batch, you can use it in teas, lattes, frostings or other dessert recipes. Enjoy!
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