Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chai Latte Brownies

My good friend Jennifer and I had babies 6 weeks apart and were on maternity leave together. We'd meet up pretty much weekly to walk our darlings around the mall, grab lunch, or just take a load off in each other's living rooms.

One of our favorite places is a little coffee shop near her house where the iced chai's are to DIE for (Starbucks is a fabulous second best). Ultimately, no get-together was complete without some sort of chai.

So you can imagine my sheer glee when I found this recipe for Chai Latte Brownies over at Jen and her gorgeous daughter Stella were coming over for a little playdate today, so I whipped these up as a little tasty surprise.

I must confess, however, that I was very disappointed. Don't get me wrong; these were good. Fudgey, a little cake-like, and gooey. But they were severely lacking in the "chai" department.

When I first read the reviews of this dessert, I was adequately forewarned that they would end up dry, considering that there is an unbalanced liquid-to-dry ratio. Several of the reviewers offered solutions, including upping the amount of milk and decreasing the amount of flour.

I was then hit with a moment of culinary brilliance, and since those are rare, I knew I needed to act. I already knew I needed more than the 1/4 cup of milk; I also knew that I needed to buy most of the spices. What if I added some concentrated Tazo Chai with the milk?

Of course, buying the box was easier said than done, and I ended up with a box of teabags instead. I heated up some milk (about a cup) and steeped 3 teabags in there for about 15 minutes.

I don't know if I needed more tea... or maybe I should have used water... but I was a bit let down by this. I don't think I'll make these again- at least, not without trying another improvisation.

  • 1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk (I used about a cup of skim.)
  • 3 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3 whole allspice, crushed
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 (1-inch) cinnamon stick (I swapped out the above 4 ingredients in favor of 3 Tazo Chai teabags steeped in the milk.)
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes. Strain milk mixture through a fine sieve into a large microwave-safe bowl; discard solids. Add chocolate chips and butter to milk mixture; microwave at HIGH 20 seconds or until chips and butter melt, stirring until smooth. Cool slightly; add eggs, stirring with a whisk.
Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and the next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring just until combined. Spread evenly into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 20 pieces.

Yield: 20 servings (serving size: 1 brownie)
CALORIES 130 (26% from fat); FAT 3.8g (sat 1.9g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.2g); IRON 1mg; CHOLESTEROL 27mg; CALCIUM 29mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23.5g; SODIUM 110mg; PROTEIN 2.2g; FIBER 1.1g

Cooking Light, MARCH 2007

1 comment:

  1. I've had these before one of my good friends made a batch and brought them when she stayed over for a weekend. They're far more "chai" like if you use the dried spices. The ones I had weren't dry at all.


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