18 October 2017Last updated

Food | Recipes

Chai panna cotta, cardamom cream, tea muffins

The spiced milky tea called chai is truly the lifeblood of India

Vineet Bhatia
13 Oct 2017 | 12:00 am
  • Source:Supplied

Serves 8

For the panna cotta

5 teabags (black tea)
2.5cm fresh ginger, crushed
8 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2.5cm cinnamon stick, crushed
2 tsp fennel seeds
150ml water
500ml full-fat milk
150ml double cream
150ml sweetened condensed milk
5 gelatine leaves

For the muffins

150ml milk
3 tbsp Darjeeling or Earl Grey tea leaves
115g butter, at room temperature
200g caster sugar
2 eggs
230g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
Butter, for greasing

For the cardamom cream

150ml double cream
2 tsp icing sugar
Pinch of ground cardamom

Panna cotta

Put the teabags, spices and water in a heavy-based saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the milk and cream and return to the boil. Set aside for a few hours to infuse.

Reheat the tea mixture, this time adding the condensed milk, and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, soften the gelatine in cold water for about 5 minutes.

Squeeze the gelatine dry, then add to the tea mixture stirring until dissolved. Strain into a jug, pour into tea glasses and chill overnight.

Pour the milk into a pan, add 2 tablespoons of the tea leaves and bring to the boil. Set aside to infuse for 30 minutes.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Add the eggs and beat well.

Mix in half the flour, then stir in the infused milk. Add the remaining flour along with the baking powder and salt. Mix well but don’t overbeat.

Lightly crumble the remaining tablespoon of tea leaves between your fingers or using a mortar and pestle. Add them to the batter. Spoon the batter into a 12-hole greased muffin tin. Bake for about 20 minutes in an oven preheated to 180°C, or until a cocktail stick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set aside to cool a little.
Cardamom cream

Put the cream, icing sugar and cardamom into a bowl and whisk together until light and fluffy. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with 0.5cm nozzle.
To serve

Pipe some cardamom cream on top of each glass of panna cotta. Serve with the warm tea muffins on the side.

Vineet Bhatia

Vineet Bhatia