Two weeks ago, I was invited to Amsterdam for an event on Dirty Chai. Dirty what? Dirty Chai is a mixture of black tea, black coffee and chai herbs, created by Celestial Seasonings. You know me, all over the place when talking about coffee and since Renilde from Mooi Ding introduced me to the wonderful world of Chai, I was dying to learn all about this new tea blend. You can either drink it pure, with hot, boiling water or go all the way and add some frothed almond milk for the perfect Chai Latte.
Independent tea sommelier Mariëlle Erkens learned us all about the history of tea. Did you know that all tea derives from the same plant? And that it's not done to call herbal blends 'tea'? Me neither. A whole new world opened right before my eyes. Mariëlle explained all about brewing techniques, water and boiling temperatures when making that perfect cup of tea. And she also introduced tea as substitute for wine during dinner. Apparently tea has the great property of allowing all flavours of your food to pop out. For example, you can have black tea with a vegetable stew. We tried this with a vegetable curry and indeed, the spices used in the curry did seem to be more present. Definitely worth trying at home.
Another thing definitely worth trying at home, was cooking with this tea blend. I've always wanted to try making tea cupcakes, so this was the perfect opportunity. Because of the spices in this blend, these cupcakes are perfect for those spring days where you still need a little bit of warmth. I do believe that this tea blend would be perfect to add to a carrot cake as well. Therefore, I used a lemon buttercream fas a topping as to create that little bit of sourness in contrast to the spices. Plus, I added a bit of turmeric to give it that yellow, spring colour. Enjoy!
-3 bags of Dirty Chai
-1 1/4 cup all purpose flour (When baking gluten free, replace with gluten free flour and 1 tsp xanthan gum)
-3/4 cup sugar
-1 tsp baking soda
-2/3 cup soy milk (or almond milk)
-1/3 cup canola oil
-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 cup vegan butter (Alpro!)
-1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 tsp turmeric
-Nutmeg to sprinkle
Combine wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and mix until combined. Do not overmix
Preheat oven to 180°.
Line a cupcake pan with 10 cupcake liners. Pour batter into cupcake liners until 2/3 is filled with batter. Bake in a preheated oven for about 25 minutes. Let cool before frosting.
In a mixer, combine all ingredients and mix until your buttercream has reached your desired consistency. If you like it a bit more runny, add more lemon juice. Use a pipping bag to decorate your cupcakes. Sprinkle some nutmeg over your decorated cupcakes for a finishing touch
Have you ever tried cooking with tea? Or drinking tea with your dinner? Let me know in the comments!