I was never really a coffee person, always a tea person. Don’t get me wrong, I do drink coffee, but I could probably count the amount of coffees per year I drink on both my hands. When chai hit the trend in Melbourne, I had no idea what I had been missing out on all these years. Now after years of drinking it, I’ve become a bit of a chai snob. Just like coffee snobs, I’ve have my favourite blends, don’t like the instant stuff and don’t go putting too much water or burning my milk!
My all time favourite chai blend is by the guys at Prana Chai. It’s a wet chai mix, with the right amount of every spice for my palette.
Luckily they have been successful and I can get it at a lot of places now, including country towns.
I decided to have a chai-inspired breakfast one morning. Admittedly, it took longer to prepare than most breakfasts, but sometimes you just gotta ‘treat yoself’! After poaching the pears, you are left with this liquid gold chai syrup that you can pour over your pancakes, and keep for any future pancakes or french toast breakfasts. The pancakes are super fluffy, and with the chai infusion, for me it was the stuff of dreams!
INGREDIENTS CHAI PANCAKES
1 1/2 cups chai infused milk
2 cups self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/3 cup caster sugar
25g butter, melted CHAI POACHED PEARS
1 litre water
1½ cups (330g) caster (superfine) sugar 2 chai tea bags
1 cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods, crushed
4 x medium pears, peeled
METHOD POACH THE PEARS: Place the water, sugar, tea bags, cinnamon and cardamom in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Remove the tea bags and add the pears.
Cover with a piece of non-stick baking paper and top with a small plate or lid to weigh down the pears.
Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 35–40 minutes or until the pears are soft.
Carefully remove the pears from the syrup, increase the heat to high and cook for 20–25 minutes, or until thickened slightly.
TO MAKE THE PANCAKES; Whisk milk, and egg together in a jug. Sift flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Stir in sugar.
Make a well in centre. Add milk mixture. Whisk until just combined.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
Brush pan with butter.
Using 1/4 cup mixture per pancake, cook two pancakes for three to four minutes or until bubbles appear on surface. Turn and cook for three minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm.
Repeat with remaining mixture, brushing pan with butter between batches.
Divide pancakes evenly on four plates, top with a pear and spoon the syrup over the pears to serve.