Extremely flavorful chai syrup made with 7 spices and maple syrup. To me, this is literally fall in a jar! It is the perfect addition to your coffee or latte, your oatmeal, your jams, pies, literally everything.
Zoom on the ingredients
- Cinnamon is used for its warm flavors. This recipe calls for both cinnamon sticks and ground cinnamon for extra flavor.
- Green cardamom pods can't be missing in any chai mix. They have a quite strong and unique taste, that is sweet and spicy at the same time. It is recommended to use cardamom pods as to ground cardamom, as ground seeds quickly use their flavor.
- Ginger: perfect to go from a sweet to a more spicy chai.
- Cloves: often used in soups, marinades and curries, cloves are an essential ingredient in many cultures. Cloves are also used in pumpkin spices or speculoos mixes and are also a must in this chai syrup.
- Ground nutmeg: most often used in savory dishes, the delicate flavor of nutmeg perfectly complements the remaining spices of this syrup.
- Fennel: this anise-flavored spice is known for its digestive properties. Not always used in chai mixes, it adds that extra "something" to the syrup.
- Black pepper: hot, spicy and perfect to round off this entire mix.
The importance of dry-roasting chai spices
Dry-roasting means roasting any ingredient in a heated skillet without added oil. Dry roasting makes a huge difference in flavor. During the heating process, volatile aromatic compounds are released. These can then break down and recombine to form different compounds, which can impact the taste.
- During dry-roasting, tossing and stirring regularly is very important to prevent burning.
- Dry-roasting usually only takes several minutes (5 minutes in this case).
- One should note that spices in powder form are usually not roasted as they are more prone to burning.
After dry-roasting, the spices are set aside to cool down. They are then added to the water-maple syrup mixture and simmer for (at least) 5o minutes.
Mistakes I made and you should avoid!
When testing the recipe a second time (yes I test all my recipes at least three times before sharing them here), I made the mistake to use powdered cinnamon instead of cinnamon sticks. My syrup tasted good, but after several days a slimy residue appeared at the bottom of my jar... Not very appetizing.
I did some research and found out that this is caused by powdered spices. Cinnamon is obtained from the bark of the cinnamon tree and is therefore high in fiber. Fiber can act as a thickener and can give your syrup that slimy consistency. Therefore I highly recommend avoiding ground cinnamon!
This recipe does call for ground ginger and ground nutmeg, but this didn't cause any problem for me.
How to store you chai syrup
After transferring it into a little air-tight bottle or container, you can keep it in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks. But if like me you add it to your daily coffee, it will barely last you that long.
When to use chai syrup
This chai syrup can be used in drinks and baked goods, as well as oatmeals or jams.
- Chai coffee: for a sweeter and more spicy coffee, add 2 teaspoons of chai syrup to your morning or afternoon coffee. Add a splash of plant-based milk if desired.
- Chai latte: infuse a cup of plant-based milk with 1 bag of black tea for 3 to 5 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of chai syrup to get the perfect chai latte. Add a shot of espresso if desired. I recommend avoiding rice milk as it makes the latte a little too sweet.
- Chai oatmeal: add a shot of syrup to your oatmeal for a warm and flavorful breakfast. This is particularly lovely during the fall and winter months.
- Chai plum jam: to make your jam a family favorite, try adding some of this syrup. Everyone will ask for the recipe.
- Chai apple pie: if you want to go from a traditional to an awesome apple pie, mix the apples with some syrup before disposing them on the pie dough.
- Chai cookies: the ultimate Christmas baked good! Whether you add it to your cookie dough or glaze your cookies with chai icing, they will all be gone quickly.
- Chai roasted vegetables: try mixing some chai syrup with olive oil and drizzle it over vegetables before roasting them in the oven. It is particularly delicious on sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and butternut.
- Butternut chai soup: add a little chai syrup and coconut milk to your butternut soup for a warming and comforting soup.
More healthy sweet recipes
- 2-ingredient vegan chocolate mousse here
- Healthy chocolate & peppermint truffles here
- Olive oil chocolate cake here
Chai Syrup Concentrate
- Measuring spoons
- Crush the cardamon pods with the flat side of a knife.
- Dry roast the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, fennel seeds, cloves and pepper for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Bring the water to a boil. Prepare the black tea by infusing two tea bags in hot water for 3 minutes.
- Add the maple syrup, all the spices and the black tea to a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 40 to 50 minutes. Stir occasionally. The syrup should become dark and relatively thick.
- Strain the syrup using a tea strainer to remove the whole spices. You can also use a nut milk bag or a cheese cloth.
- After straining, stir the syrup energetically before transferring to an air-tight container or bottle. Shake before using.
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