Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chai Latte

The weather has been rainy and chilly the past few days here in Southern California. This weather makes me want to curl up on the couch with a book, a blanket, and a mug filled with a warm drink. But what type of warm drink? Nothing sounded good enough, until I thought about chai. This chai latte recipe, with its smooth almond undertone and spicy and fragrant tea, is the perfect antidote to the cold-weather blues.

1 quart whole milk
1 teaspoon of toasted and ground almonds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/8 teaspoon cardamom, divided
3 cinnamon sticks, divided
1 cup water
8 whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 peppercorns
1/2 of the peel of an orange
1/4 cup sugar
4 teabags

Gently simmer milk, almonds, vanilla extract, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, and a cinnamon stick in a saucepan for an hour. In another saucepan, bring the water, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, peppercorn, orange peel, and teabags to a boil. Let it boil for 5 minutes. Add sugar and the spiced milk and return to a boil. Serve in mugs and garnish with more cinnamon sticks.

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