Chai is a wonderful treat to enjoy as a hot or cold latte, but it can also be a fun addition to some of your favorite recipes. While you should trust in your creativity and let it steer you, following these guidelines for cooking with chai tea can help eliminate some of the guesswork.
Pair with Complementary Flavors
Chai is full of wonderful fall and winter flavors like cinnamon and clove, which makes it a delicious complement for pumpkin and apple. But if you want to think outside of the fall box, chai is also a great pair for these foods:
- Fruits & Berries: Pear, blueberry, peach, fig
- Root Vegetables: Sweet potato, yam, carrot
- Nuts: Almond, walnut, pecan
- Spices: Ginger (fresh or dried)
- Dairy: Brown butter
Choose the Right Chai Product
When incorporating Oregon Chai® products into existing recipes, choosing the right product will help maintain the correct texture and consistency of the finished recipe. For a recipe with wet ingredients or that creates a batter, incorporate chai with a chai tea latte concentrate. For drier recipes or those that create a dough, use a chai tea latte powdered mix. Powdered mix should also be used when altering dairy-based recipes, like creme brûlée or pastry cream.
Balance Liquid Ingredients
For recipe alterations using chai tea latte concentrate, reduce the other liquid ingredients to ensure proper consistency. If the recipe calls for water or juice, the entire amount can be substituted with chai tea latte concentrate. If the recipe calls for milk, replace half of the milk quantity with chai tea latte concentrate.
Adjust Sugar Content
Whether adding in chai concentrate or dry mix, the overall sugar content of the recipe will need to be reduced. For dry chai mix, reduce the sweetener in the recipe by an equal amount. So if you add in one tablespoon of dry chai mix, reduce the sugar quantity called for in the recipe by one tablespoon. When substituting with chai concentrate, cut down two tablespoons of sugar for each cup of chai concentrate. To control sugar even more, use the reduced sugar Slightly Sweet Concentrate.
As always, the best advice we can give in the kitchen is to have fun! Every failed recipe idea is a learning experience. If you are new to cooking with chai, start by modifying a recipe that’s easy to adjust as you go – like pancake batter! Leave your cooking with chai questions in the comments, or ask us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.