Cup of Chai?

We started drinking Chai a good year ago now. Not proper Indian Chai but the well known brand, tea bag variety.

Recently however the well known brand that we used decided to re-brand their packaging, putting less tea bags in and charging more. Meaning our bag of Chai cost more than twice as much!

Now we like Chai but paying 25p a bag seemed a bit much! Sod it I thought I’ll make my own!

D’ya know what? It’s dead easy. The only downside is you have to strain the tea before drinking but to be fair thats not that much of a hardship!

chai 3

You can also customise your blend to your own taste.

I roughly ground some cinnamon, star anise, cloves and cardamoms which I then add to some loose black tea in a teapot and let infuse for 5 minutes. That’s it done, all you have to do is strain the Chai as you pour it out and add milk and sugar to taste.

If I had had any to hand I would have added a little dried ginger (not ground though as that would be too powdery).

If you want to give it a go here are the amounts I used;

4 sticks of cinnamon, 6 star anise, 8 cloves and 5 cardamom pods

Pulse the above in a coffee or spice grinder so they are roughly ground, you don’t want a fine powder.

Chai 2

Use roughly 1/4 teaspoon of this mixture with one teaspoon of tea per mug of Chai.

At some point I will have a go at brewing a proper Indian Masala Chai. For this the whole spices are simmered in the water with the tea before milk and probably a little too much sugar is added.

Here is how Rick Stein recommends doing it in his excellent book Rick Stein’s India.

Ingredients;

1 black cardamom pod, bruised with a rolling pin

15 green cardamom pods, bruised with a rolling pin

6 cloves

4 black peppercorns

8cm piece of cinnamon stick, broken in 1/2

500ml water

4 tsp black tea leaves (equivalent to about two bags if using bags)

2tsp sugar, plus extra to taste

200ml milk

Method

Put the spices into a saucepan with the water. Bring back to the boil, add the tea and turn down the heat to low and simmer for 7 minutes. Stir in the sugar and milk, bring back to a simmer for 3 minutes. Strain through a fine strainer and serve, adding more sugar to taste.

You could try making the delicious Indian sweet Jalebi to go with your Chai. Mr Stein has a recipe from the same book the above recipe is from.

Right… think I’ll go and make myself a nice cup of Chai!

Cheers!

Crispy Cornflake Tart… For An Old Fart!

 

Cornflake Tart Blog

Most people I know seem to remember this from their schooldays… I don’t! What a deprived childhood I must have had!

It’s one of Kits favourites. I remember her telling me about it and I was just looking at her with a vacant “what are you on about?” look on my face.

Then Kit turns up with a slice from a little buttie shop up the road “see! Cornflake Tart!”.

OK, I have to admit, looks like I was missing out.

Kits’ workplace has a thing about colleagues bringing something in on their Birthday so when Kits came round I suggested a Cornflake Tart… (Hence the title of the Blog… not that I’m saying Kits old, or a tart… can someone pass me a shovel please!)

 

This really is the easiest thing in the world to make. If you have Kids they’ll love it! However I don’t see why kids should have all the fun! Everybody loves a bit of retro these days, and when it tastes this good!Short Crust Pastry Blog

 

Recipe

 

Shortcrust Pastry

 

225g plain flour

100g cold diced butter

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp icing sugar

 

Mix the dry ingredients and then rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add 2 – 3 tbsp iced cold water to bring the mixture together. Leave to rest in a cool (not a fridge) place for 30 minutes.

Rollin'

Roll the pastry out to about 3mm thickness and use to line a greased flan/quiche tin or shallow baking dish. Prick (snigger!) the base all over with a fork.

Forking Tart Place some baking paper in the tin followed by some tin foil and then fill with some baking beans. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes take out of the oven and remove the baking beans, foil and paper. Put back in the oven for 5 minutes or so until the pastry is cooked and beginning to colour then take out of the oven.

 

Baking Beans

Warm 150g – 200g of jam (Strawberry is traditional but I used raspberry for that nice hint of tartness against the sweetness of the topping) once the jam has loosened up pour into the pastry case and carefully spread out to cover the bottom evenly.

 

Jaminapan Jam Cornflake Tart

 

 

 

 

 

Cornflake Topping

Syrup

120g golden syrup

75g butter

30g caster sugar

120g cornflakes

 

 

Melt the butter, golden syrup and sugar together in a pan. Once melted and bubbling take off the heat and add the cornflakes. Gently but thoroughly mix so all the cornflakes are coated then spoon onto the jam filled tart case. Gently spread the topping out so it is even then pop back into the oven for 5 minutes or so to set and firm up. Remove from the oven.

Cornflake bowl

Crispy Cornflake Bake

 

 

 

 

The tart is best eaten warm with a good dollop of custard but is equally as nice cold on it’s own. Just don’t try and sneak some when nobody’s looking as you may find yourself in detention!