Hello girls! So nice of you to drop by. Quickly come on in out of the cold. I've made steaming cups of chai. Let's get comfy on the sofa - I have some hot news to share.
Guess with whom I spent my evening on Thursday night? Yes - him again. I can't help it he makes me weak! An evening with him and it's just so full of action. From Italy to London to Austria all in one evening!
When he looks down at me with those piercing steel blue eyes I get goose bumps all over, when he talks in that refined accent my knees begin to wobble. Did you know he works for the British government? Of course! He even has a fancy employee ID number - 007. But I prefer James - James Bond. :-)
Do you want more chai? Talking about chai - did you know that chai has a fascinating legend?
One of the legends of chai takes us to China more than 5000 years ago. It was said that the ruler Shen Nung was a sharp and sophisticated regent, an adept scientist and a skilled artist. Furthermore, he was provident and he placed high values that the water was boiled prior to consumption for sanitary reasons.
One day as Shen Nung and his royal court were traveling to a distant province they made a halt under some bushes and trees. As Nung's cook boiled water, a few dry leaves fell into the water and colored the water a deep rust color. Shen Nung however insisted on drinking the water. He found that it was not only refreshing but also invigorating and so, legend has it, the first tea was born.
This wonderful drink became very popular very quickly and many people appreciated the wonderful flavors and aromas. The tea leaves were given as gifts to dignified guests from all over the world. These guests brought the tea leaves back home so that their kings, monarchs and rulers too could experience the refreshing drink.
At the time in India the maharajas' preferred drink was a delicate mixture made out of warm milk, sugar, ginger, cardamom and other spices. One clever cook decided to surprise his maharaja with a special drink. He added a few of the tea leaves into the boiling milk and spice mixture creating an exquisite harmonic composition. The tea leaves had a cooling effect balancing the warming character the spices presented.
Today we enjoy this combination of a handful of black or green tea leaves with a touch of Indian spices as Chai.
Two different pronunciations have made their way into several other languages today. While the old Chinese character for tea was 茶, it was pronounced differently in various Chinese dialects.The word chai is derived from the the Mandarin spoken word chá (tscha). During the Zhou-Dynasty around 700 B.C the pronunciation for tea came from the old Chinese character 荼 tú (te), which became the derivative of our English word tea.
Tea (English), Tee (German), thé (French), teh (Indonesian) are all used in our modern day languages and mainly describes the drink using tea leaves and water as created by Nung's cook in our story. On the other hand the words chai (Hindi), Chya (Nepalese), cha (Japanese) and tschai (Russian) are still used to describe the spiced milk and tea mixture created by the Indian maharajas.
Fascinating isn't it? Oh I am sorry girls - you are all out of chai. Well I have a little surprise for you. All that story telling has got me craving for something sweet and spicy. So, how about a velvety chai latte cream? You'll need a spoon for the thick, rich and luscious chai latte cream, flavored with cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, ginger and black tea leaves. The chai latte cream is spicy yet soothing and an invigorating dessert after a heavy dinner.
Oh look the boys are here. Good thing I have enough chai latte cream for everyone!
Recipe: Spiced Chai Latte Cream
Printable version of recipe here.
1/2l + 1/8l whole milk
30g corn starch
100g heavy cream
5-7 tablespoons good quality black tea leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
4 cardamom pods, slightly crushed
10 black peppercorns, slightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Electric milk whisk
In a saucepan bring the 1/2l milk to a boil, then reduce heat and add the tea leaves, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns, cloves and fennel seeds. Simmer for approx. 1 minute.
Allow to steep for 30 minutes, then strain the milk discarding the tea leaves and spices. Pour the spiced chai milk back into the sauce pan and bring back to a gentle boil.
Meanwhile, mix about 3-4 tablespoons water with the corn starch in a cup and whisk to a thick, smooth mixture. Pour the corn starch mixture into the chai mixture and whisk until it thickens. Keep whisking for approx. 1-2 minutes until you get a pudding like consistency, smooth and creamy free from lumps.
Remove from heat and allow to cool, stirring occasionally.
Beat the cream until stiff, then gently fold into the spiced chai mixture. Divide into four tall glasses and place in the refrigerator to cool for 1-2 hours.
Before serving heat the 1/8l milk and with an electric milk whisk beat the milk until nice and frothy. Spoon the milk froth over the chai cream and sprinkle with some cocoa powder.
Serve the chai latte cream with almond cookies for a perfect dessert.
What would you like first? The verdict for the chai latte cream or for the evening with Bond!
Well I'll start with the chai latte cream - it's spicy and it's so different to any other pudding, cream, mousse type of dessert. The fact that there are only 2 tablespoons of sugar makes the chai latte cream not the typical sweet dessert but one that is filled with the spicy aromas of cinnamon, cardamom and co. Yes it's different - but it's bold, full bodied and simply delectable.
As for Quantum of Solace - while Daniel Craig was hotter, tougher and sexier the film lacked a strong story. In the end my heart belongs to someone else. I am not a sexy Bond girl but a spicy Wolff girl. Even though an evening with Bond is like a roller-coaster ride, I prefer getting comfy on the sofa with my Wolff and his pristine blue-green eyes, sending flutters up my spine and wrapped up in this safe strong arms, spooning spicy chai latte cream and talking into the wee hours of the morning.
This is my entry to the current session of the Monthly Mingle where the theme is Coffee and Tea. If you all would like to join in you still have till Monday, November 10 to send your submissions by then. There have been several great looking creations and this is going to be an exciting roundup!
You might like these creamy desserts from WFLH:
|Chocolate Chile Pots De Crème||Persimmon Honey Nut Yogurt Verrines||Sweet Potato Flan|
From around the blogs:
Daily Tiffin Reading Tip:
All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First