Chai Muffins

Taking tea in muffin form seems ideal for breakfast, and the warm spices of chai bring scented richness without heft. I’ve made these dairy-free, but if you want to, you can easily use lowfat milk in place of the almond milk, below. And if you can't get the white spelt flour, which is magnificent in muffins, use 300 grams (10 1/2 ounces) plain flour and 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) plain whole-wheat (not bread) flour instead. I want to make it as easy as possible for you to make these, as this is a particularly splendid specimen of muffin. Talking of which, it makes sense to steep the milk, leave it to cool, and measure out all the ingredients, putting the eggs by the side, the night before, so that you can shimmy into the kitchen in the morning and bake up a batch without adding a furrow to your brow.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 12 muffins
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Ingredients

225 milliliters (1 cup minus 1 tablespoon) unsweetened almond milk

2 chai tea bags

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

400 grams (14 ounces) white spelt flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

150 grams (5 ounces) soft light-brown sugar

75 grams (2 1/2 ounces) natural skin-on almonds, roughly chopped

2 large eggs

150 milliliters (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons) sunflower oil

Directions

Special equipment:
12-cup muffin tin.
  1. Warm the almond milk with the contents of the 2 tea bags (I just rip them open over the pan) and cinnamon--stirring to mix--and leave to cool.
  2. While the milk's cooling, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F)/gas mark 6 and line your muffin tin with paper liners.
  3. In a large bowl, measure out the flour, baking powder, sugar and all but 2 tablespoons of the chopped almonds, and combine well.
  4. When the milk has cooled, add the eggs and oil, then whisk well.
  5. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, using a wooden spoon. Don’t be too efficient about this: a slightly lumpy batter makes for lighter muffins.
  6. Divide the mixture between the muffin cups (it will fill them well), then sprinkle equally with the remaining almonds and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean and the muffins are slightly risen and pleasingly golden on top.
  7. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes before devouring.

Cook’s Note

Best eaten on the day they are made, otherwise store in an airtight container for 1 to 2 days. Reheat in an oven preheated to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F)/gas mark 2 for about 8 minutes. Best served warm. To freeze, stack fully cooled muffins in an airtight container with baking parchment between the layers, or wrap individually in plastic wrap, then put in a resealable bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost on a wire rack for about 1 hour. Reheat as above.

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