Updated: Feb 20, 2021
So much more than a sweet and spicy morning sip, our beautifully layered Metolius Chai has taken on a life of its own as an ingredient. Thanks to many intrepid bakers and shakers, we’ve seen our chai transformed into a fluffy buttercream frosting, a spicy rum cocktail, and many more amazing treats. Inspired by photos and recipes from our customers, the Metolius team decided to have a chai potluck and test drive some of its culinary applications. We gathered, planned and divided up savory and sweet dishes and came together for a festive dinner, a proper ode to chai.
The sweetness of our chai concentrate naturally lends itself to baking. Some of the first recipes our wholesale customers shared with us were for dense spicy treacle cakes, cinnamon chai cookies, and apple chai scones. Some standout sweet stars from our potluck were our saleswoman Leanne’s chai pumpkin roll with vegan cream, and a baked apple chai crumble that was just made for cold vanilla ice cream. The Metolius tea crew are committed and enthusiastic potluckers, no bags of tortilla chips in sight. We had a heavily laden table and lots of extra sweets. Luckily, we’re also a family-centered group and there were five kiddos in attendance happy to gobble up extra treats and vote on favorites.
On the savory side, chai is a great spicy kick in any dish with squash or sweet potatoes. Our photographer and head brewer made a simple roasted sweet potato dish with nuts and stuffing, and the chai sang the perfect backup melody with peppery cinnamon notes that are as quintessentially Fall as plaid. One of my favorite ways (and coincidentally one of the easiest ways) to add a little chai zip to a savory dish is to make chai plumped raisins. Never plumped a raisin? Neither had I until last year, here are the simple steps to sweet, tart and spicy chai raisins:
Chai Plumped Raisins
1 cup or more of raisins
At least 3oz Metolius Chai (add more for spicier raisins)
Enough hot water to cover raisins in a saucepan
Cover the raisins with Metolius Chai concentrate and warm water. Heat gently in a saucepan until the raisins begin to absorb the chai flavorful goodness (about 15 minutes). Remove pan from heat and let raisins sit to absorb more chai mixture while you cook up the other elements in your dish. Drain liquid and use raisins to dress up baked brussel sprouts with bacon and walnuts, or make a swanky chicken salad with celery and thyme, or add to banana bread for a sweet tidbit.
Another one of our family favorites is Chai French Toast: you can whip a few tablespoons of Metolius chai concentrate into the egg batter and mix it into the maple syrup drizzle. Or on the simpler side, you can drizzle Metolius Chai over ice cream or add it to your morning oatmeal. You can use it anywhere you would use honey or maple syrup.
Do you bake with chai? Blend chai into a smoothie? Have you made chai ice cream or kombucha? We want to see! Let us know your favorite way to use our chai. We’re always on the hunt for new recipes for our next potluck.
Yours in Tea,