Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lesson #4: Chocolate Chai Tea Cupcakes

Cupcakes seem to be one of my "go-to" desserts. They take less time to make and I can easily give them away to people (at least compared to a slice of cake). This weekend, I thought I would try a new technique for infusing flavors into my cupcakes. I wanted to create a chai tea cupcake for my friend Jess (who LOVES chai tea!). I was inspired by combining the recipes for a chocolate spice cake with a chai pot de creme (think creme brulee without the sugary crust).

I used two different techniques with resulted in this light and airy, yet delightfully spicy, chocolate cupcake. First, I warmed milk with chai teabags, a stick of cinnamon, and a few cardamon pods and whole cloves and let this steep for about an hour. I then incorporated this milk into the cake batter. Second, after I mixed up the cupcakes, I folded in whipped egg whites right before baking. This makes the texture of the cupcake very light and avoids dense, "muffin-like" cupcakes. As long as I have the time, I use this egg white technique every time I make cakes. Enjoy!

LESSON LEARNED: One way to infuse flavor into a cake is to steep the milk used in the batter.

Recipe for Chocolate Chai Tea Cupcakes

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