Strikingly dark and delicious, this sweet and spicy First Prize pie uses the complex flavors of chai tea to flavor an otherwise simple chess pie. A plain crust serves to highlight the filling, and big fat dollops of fresh whipped cream are encouraged.
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You can find close-to-authentic chai in New York City if you know where to go. Here's our guide to the best options in Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.
From Cheeky Kitchen
It is high time a pie exists that does justice to the subtle nuances of chai flavor. Enter: the black bottom chai cream pie.
A creamy chai-flavored custard set in a chocolate crust.
This ice cream is an attempt to recreate the Chai flavor profile in a new form, and if you're a fan of boldly flavored Indian chai, it will do you right. Black pepper, star anise, and ginger come through most of all, bolstered by a backbone of strong black tea.
Masala chai in ice cream form, with strong notes of black pepper, ginger, and star anise.
My favorite chai is steeped loose, with whole spices, but at my desk in the morning, I often reach for the easy way out. This blend from Choice Organic teas smells so amazing that I don't feel bad at all: sweet ginger, cinnamon, and clove waft up like freshly baked gingerbread.
If you're a green tea lover with visions of sugarplums dancing in your head, you'll enjoy this seasonal offering from Republic of Tea. This subtly spiced tea makes for a nice change from standard chai—the smooth green tea is just delicately laced with cinnamon and plum. (The flavoring, they promise, is 'all natural.')
The spices that make up traditional masala chai usually include some combination of five basic spices: cardamom, ginger, clove, black pepper, and cinnamon. Other spices and flavorings may include anise, fennel, nutmeg, vanilla, coriander, allspice, bay leaves—you get the idea. Some people really empty out the whole spice rack here.
You can adjust this chai recipe to your own personal taste and preference. The ratio of milk to water (or indeed, choice to use cow's milk at all) is perhaps the biggest variable, followed by choice and amount of sweetener. Start with an easy recipe like this, and then adjust to emphasize the qualities you like best in your masala chai.
I'm not in favor of holiday creep, but this spiced-up Assam tea has such a delicious winter-appropriate aroma that I'm almost feeling ready to deck the halls. Cinnamon, ginger, anise, and cardamom come together with brisk, malty tea flavors for a spicy, eye-opening cup.
In this autumnal cocktail from Brian Block of Aldea in NYC, calvados pairs wonderfully with chai-infused sweet vermouth and apple cider foam.
The Chocolate Chai is offered hot, iced, or latte-style—I prefer the latter especially when the weather calls for thunderstorms. Chocolate shards and black tea are mixed with a spice blend rich in cardamom, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
At Teaism in DC, the Chai Shake is light on both the wallet and stomach. A scoop of cinnamon gelato from the beloved local shop Dolcezza is blended with ice and Teaism's freshly brewed chai.
Good Earth Vanilla Chai is incredibly aromatic, immediately releasing a blend of creamy vanilla and peppery spices (listed as chicory root, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, black pepper, cloves, and star anise). The flavor of the brewed cup is remarkably balanced.
There's your everyday chai, and then there's Podunk's Cardamom And Black Pepper Chai. It's chai intensified.
[Photo: Kathy Chan] The teas brewed to order at Amanazi Tea in Tribeca might be great, but please do not go for the boba drinks. The advertisements and windows displays might lead you believe one thing, but your taste...
In the space formerly occupied by not-so-great Thai restaurant Spice has opened Recess. The cafe offers abundant seating, glass windows facing out onto University Place, air conditioning on full blast during these hot weeks, and fro-yo on the menu....
When the weather gets this hot, the sort of sweets I crave come in liquid form. (Or at least meltable-to-liquid form). Shaved ice, milkshakes, lemonade, iced coffee—and, another one to add to this list, cups of chai from Lassi...