Masala la la la la, la la la la
December is here! Ohio saw some snow these last couple of days, and it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas; eeep! If you haven't guessed already, we love festive cheer. Our roof dressed up in icicle lights; the glittering lit reindeer family assembled for their annual gathering under the large pine on our circular driveway all scream the Ho Ho Holidays are here. Our tree is up in the foyer; the tables adorned with vases of poinsettias; you get it, we love seasonal celebrations and go all out. For me, it's the personal touch every home has that makes it feel cozy. A wicker basket full of pine cones you collected on a hike, cute Christmas pictures drawn by your kids, snowy, wet paw prints on your floor, or in our case, the heavenly aroma of masala chai floating through the kitchen.
Masala Chai is a part of our Christmas traditions for sure. The heat of the spices perfect for a quick warm-up on a chilly winter day.
Traditionally, Masala Chai uses black tea leaves and warm spices like ginger, cinnamon, and pepper. It is brewed in full-fat milk for a creamy cup of Chai.
Our classic masala chai is an aromatic blend of spices and tea leaves hand-picked in Assam - the land of tea gardens. This Chai is inspired by the 'unity in diversity' in India, a blend of several regional cultures and traditions of Bharat (the original name for India).
No matter where you go in India, masala chai tastes about the same. It incorporates spices from different corners of the country, amalgamating into one united Chai you can enjoy year-round.Aroma: Highly aromatic spiced tea with the complex scent of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg.
Taste: Head Notes: Spices;Body Notes: Warm spicy undertones with a malty flavor in a body of fresh black tea;
Tail Notes: Gingery heat with bottom notes of rich and creamy milk.Color: Burnt toffee or Tan.
You're sure to get a taste of warm Indian hospitality with this Chai.
So if you are all set to making masala chai but need some tips on how to brew it, read our post on Ar'tea'san Craft, the Art Of Making Chai.
Once you have made the Chai, you can top it off with delicious masala chai marshmallows (recipe below)
Or a vegan masala coconut whipped cream.
Or you can make a tea'psy mulled cocktail using the very jolly holiday Country Christmas Chai Recipe below.
The recipe for masala chai marshmallows below is a modified version of an original recipe by Bree Hester, a Boston-based blogger and food photographer at Baked Bree.
I have used her recipe almost entirely except adjusting the spices and replacing the tea bags with The Chai Bar Classic Masala Blend.
CHAI LATTE MARSHMALLOWS
Yield: 18 MARSHMALLOWS
Chai Latte Marshmallows - a double layer marshmallow with chai spices and a vanilla latte top.
- 4 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin (Knox)
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3 tbsp Classic Masala Chai
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cardamon pods
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 Star anise berries
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated or ground ginger
- 1 cup boiling water
- 4 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
- You will need 1/2 cup total of the black tea mixture
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup minus 2 Tablespoons
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 vanilla bean, seeded and scraped
- 1/4 cup water
- pinch sea salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- pinch sea salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 cup Classic Coating (1 1/2 cups powdered sugar plus 1 cup cornstarch)
- 1/2 cup Classic Coating
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- I started by making the Chai. It needs some time to steep and cool. Break the cinnamon sticks into a bowl. Crush the cardamom pods and star anise and add to the bowl. Add the cloves and ginger. Bring water to a boil, add the classic masala chai to it, and then toss in the spices. Simmer for 2-3 mins then wait till it cools completely. Strain the tea and spices out. You need 1/2 cup of the tea mixture for the chai layer.
- When the tea has cooled, sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let the gelatin soak for at least 5 minutes.
- Now we need to start the syrup. Stir together the sugar, 1/4 cup corn syrup, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over high heat, boil, stirring occasionally. The syrup needs to reach a temperature of 240 degrees.
- Meanwhile, add the other 1/4 cup corn syrup to the bowl of the mixer with the whisk attachment attached.
- Melt the gelatin over a double boiler (or in the microwave for 30 seconds). Make sure that there are no granules left in the gelatin and that it is completely melted. Pour the gelatin into the bowl of the mixer with the corn syrup. Mix on low and keep it running.
- Slowly pour in the syrup when it has reached 240 degrees. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high and beat for another 5 minutes. Beat on the highest setting for 1 to 2 minutes more.
- The marshmallow will be fluffy and have tripled in volume.
- Pour the marshmallow into a 9×13 pan that has been coated generously with cooking spray. Use a paper towel to wipe out the excess and make sure that it evenly all over the surface of the pan. This really makes a huge difference. Let the pan sit at room temperature while you make the next layer.
- Repeat the exact same steps, but with the ingredients for the other layer. I started with the latter layer and then added the chai layer. It gave my tea plenty of time to steep, develop flavor, and cool. Spread the top layer on. Using an offset spatula coated with cooking spray made it easy to spread. Sift the mallowing over the top. Reserve some of the mallowing for when you cut them. Let them set for 6 hours in a cool, dry place. Overnight is fine.
- Take the marshmallows out of the pan, and cut into whatever shape you like. Dip the sides into the reserved mallowing. I used a large strainer and poured the mallow on top and shook it off into a bowl.
A huge thanks to Bree for this wonderful recipe. You can find her on her blog Baked Bree.
BOOZY BREW - COUNTRY CHRISTMAS CHAI
Next up, we have a boozy brew for you, merrymakers; we got you!
boozy brew https://thechaibar.us/blogs/all-about-chai/boozy-brew?_pos=12&_sid=f45f2e99a&_ss=r
- 1/2 cup Spiced Rum
- 1/2/ cup Vanilla-Vodka
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 6tbsp Classic Masala Chai
- 2cups condensed milk
- Pour 8 cups boiling water into a slow cooker.
- Add 6tbsp chai; secure the lid and steep 6 minutes.
- Strain the tea.
- Stir in 1/2 cup each spiced rum and vanilla-flavored vodka
- Add 2 cinnamon sticks.
- Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.
- Stir in 2 cups sweetened condensed milk;
- Switch to the warm setting until ready to serve.
- Ladle into mugs and garnish with cinnamon sticks.
If you're into a DIY-Chai, you can always purchase Astitva, our original black tea, and Brew Your Own Blend. .The beauty of this Chai is its flexibility. You can adjust any of the spices to your taste and even eliminate one altogether.
We hope this gives a good kick start to Santa Season,
Co-authored by Sargam Merchant and Madura Chaudhari