"No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize." - Julia Child

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chai spice bread

I love spices of all kinds, so it's no surprise I love chai tea. Lately I've been on a quick bread kick, always keeping a loaf on hand for breakfast or a nice afternoon snack with a cup of tea, so I was delighted when I found the recipe for this chai spice loaf. It combines the best of both worlds: bread that is almost cake, and the warm spice chai tea. It's the perfect treat for fall, when everyone craves dishes full of autumnal spices.

A prevalent spice in chai (and a lot of Indian cooking, which I adore) is cardamom, and this bread tastes strongly of it. It's not terribly sweet, but it's moist and and dense and wonderfully spicy. The recipe linked above recommends making a sweet glaze for it, but I left mine sans glaze and it was still awesome. I found that adding a schmear of pumpkin cream cheese from Trader Joe's was the perfect complement--again, not too sweet, and with its own level of spiciness that worked with the flavor already in the bread. You can use any kind of black tea that you like (I used some decaf chai I had on hand); just brew a cup and then let it cool while you get your ingredients ready.

I shared this with some lady friends in addition to the usual taste-tester of Jeremy and they all agreed it was delicious. Not bad for a first-time effort. (I usually like to taste-test things before sharing them with friends, in case they're dreadful, but this time I got lucky!)

Chai Spice Quick Bread
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup prepared black tea, cooled to room temperature
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Heat oven to 350. Grease just the bottom of a loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.

In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter with the mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, tea, milk, and vanilla at low speed until the ingredients are combined. The mixture will look curdled--that's okay!

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and spices in a separate bowl and whisk to blend well. Using a rubber spatula, stir the dry ingredients into the wet ones until just moistened. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly with spatula.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and cool on the wire rack completely. If you choose to glaze the bread, let it cool just 30 minutes before glazing.

 Artsy shot, by Jeremy, of me making chai bread


Justina said...

Yes yes, it was delicious! I'm happy to be your guinea pig anytime!

Nina Alvarez said...

I heart heart heart you.