Something that has been interesting me lately is incorporating tea into more familiar recipes using complementary flavours to enhance the classics. This brownie recipe uses Chai tea mixed into the butter to add a lovely spice flavour which really compliments the chocolate orange flavour.
You will need
120g of chocolate. If you want a classic rich brownie go for all dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage. I went half dark chocolate, half milk chocolate giving it a sweeter taste.
200g caster sugar
½ teaspoon of good quality vanilla extract
150g plain flour
175 chocolate chips. Again your preference depending on richness.
1 or 2 Baby it’s Cold Outside chai teabags, depending on flavour preference.
Zest of one orange.
Pinch of salt
20cm x 30cm tin
Before anything else preheat your oven to 180°C/356ºF/Gas mark 4. Then grease and line your tin.
First of all prepare your bain marie. Or, to use less technical language, place a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Make sure the water isn’t touching the bowl. Break up your chocolate and place this in the bowl.
While you wait for the chocolate to melt, add the butter to a small saucepan on a low heat, just enough to melt it. Grind the contents of the chai tea bag to the butter and allow to infuse a little as the butter melts. There are two options for grinding your tea. If you have a pestle and mortar cut open the tea bag, empty in the contents then grind away. A slightly easier option is to place the teabag on a chopping board, still sealed, and roll over it using a rolling pin. Then snip open the tea bag and empty into the butter.
Once the butter is fully melted (don’t worry if it looks a little unappetizing with the tea leaves floating round) add it to the melted chocolate and stir to combine, removing the bowl from the pan it was resting on (careful for the steam!). Set this aside to cool a tiny bit.
While you wait for the chocolate mixture to cool, prepare your orange zest. Use the fine side of a cheese grater to grate the skin of the orange, trying not to get any pith. If you have a lemon zester feel free to use this instead. Place the zest with the chocolate chips, ready to be mixed in.
In a separate bowl beat together your eggs, caster sugar and vanilla to get a lovely frothy mixture. Once the chocolate mixture is a little cooler (we don’t want to make chocolate scrambled eggs) add this egg and sugar combination and gently stir to combine.
Next sieve the flour into the chocolatey mixture a little at a time, folding until there are no floury streaks. I usually add in a little of the chocolate and zest with each flour addition to help mix up the batter and to avoid unnecessary stirring later on. If you prefer you can just add this once the flour is incorporated.
Finally spoon your brownie mix into your prepared tin, level it with a spatula and place it in the oven for 30 minutes or a little longer if you prefer a more cake like brownie.
Leave it to cool in the tin, before cutting into lovely little slices.