This week marks the first week of winter and thus the beginning of my hibernation. I suspect the next three months will consist mostly of cuddles under the duvet, roasting veggies, mooching in ugg boots and drinking mulled wine.. not the making of a novel, I know, but we do what we must to survive!
I’ve also discovered my love for big cups of chai tea, I’m not sure why I’ve suddenly become obsessed, but something about the combination of spicy cloves, warm milk and a dash honey just makes me so happy of late.
As such, it’s only natural that I felt overwhelmed with the need to bake something chai-inspired. madeleines are a favourite of mine, I know some people don’t care for them much, but I love how they look and their texture straight out of the oven. they also make such an easy and beautiful gift.
I’m very happy to say I got the desired ‘hump’ in my madeleines, but didn’t quite tap my tin enough to remove all the air bubbles, so unfortunately they ended up a tiny bit pocked. nevertheless, they smelt amazing and tasted beautiful straight out of the oven, you could really taste the warm cardamon and cinnamon flavours.
For those (few) not already eaten, once cooled, I dipped them in melted dark chocolate and rolled them in crushed pistachios.
chocolate + chai + nuts… amazing.
- 5 tbs of butter
- 1 tbs loose ceylon tea leaves or two tea bags
- 2 eggs
- 5 tbs caster sugar
- a squeeze of honey
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- ¾ cup of plain all-purpose white flour
- ½ tsp of baking powder
- 2 tsp of chai spices (pre-mix or see method)
- to make chai spices, grind together: 2 tablespoons of roughly broken up cinnamon bark, 1 “wing” from a star anise, 6 cardamon pods, 4 whole cloves, 4 peppercorns, ¼ of a nutmeg, freshly grated, and 1 teaspoon of ground ginger. (you can keep this mix for future baking use, porridge mixes or hot chocolates)
- pop the butter and 2 teabags or a tablespoon of tea leaves in a small saucepan.
- melt the butter and the pop it off the heat. allow the tea to infuse until the butter cools to room temp.
- in a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, honey and vanilla together until they are fluffy, thick and pale.
- in a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and chai spices.
- strain the cooled butter mixture and discard the leaves.
- with a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture. fold through the infused butter mixture, only mixing until just combined.
- grease the madeleine pan with plenty of butter and dust with sifted flour, be sure to coat every ridge so your madeleines don’t stick. tap excess flour out of the pan. spoon or pipe the mixture into each madeleine mould 3/4 full.
- place the filled pan in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight to allow the batter to rest.
- preheat oven to 200C. bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the madeleines are golden and spring back when you touch the centre.
- enjoy fresh out of the oven or allow to cool and store in an airtight container. makes about 12 large madeleines.