Chai is one of my new favourite things. I think most people of my generation and older are familiar with the term “cup of chai”, referring to a cup of tea but I have only recently discovered the particular blend of chai spices, and more specifically, chai latte. Oh my god, it’s like a warm spiced hug in a mug!
I’m not usually a great fan of milky drinks as I don’t really like milk. I’ll have it in my coffee and tea, and occasionally indulge in a hot chocolate or a milkshake but you’ll never catch me drinking just milk (bleurgh).
Chai is something that has buzzed around in the periphery of my food and drink awareness for a while but I actually tried it when we got a coffee machine subscription and were looking through the options of pods for our next delivery. We got some chai lattes and, I kid you not, they were gone within a week of the delivery arriving. It is one of the most wonderful things I have ever tasted.
Not that I have an obsessive mind, but I spent many many hours after trying chai lattes thinking of ways to incorporate that wonderful, warm spiced flavour into other things. This creative frenzy was further fuelled by the discovery that our supermarket sells pots of chai spice powder – ready mixed no less – and with an encouragement on the tin to “add some to your baking and cooking”!
It seemed a natural evolution to try converting a vanilla panna cotta (one of our very favourite desserts) into a chai latte panna cotta. A panna cotta is one of those desserts that seems like you should have spent hours making it but it is in fact disgustingly easy and quick! And it seemed a further natural evolution to try making into a panna cotta cheesecake style slice.
My first instinct with panna cotta is always to put some berries in it – the silky, creamy smoothness with the freshness, tang and sweetness of berries has never failed me before. Blueberries are a quite gentle yet robust flavour that complements the spices rather than overtaking or being overtaken by them and initially I tried just popping a few in the panna cotta before setting it but the textures weren’t quite right so I decided to try this set topping idea and it works beautifully!
I’m still very much in the process of experimenting with chai spice – how else can I use it? What flavours and ingredients work with it? I promise you now that there will be quite a few recipes appearing with some kind of chai influences!
So let me know what you think of my chai and blueberry panna cotta slice – you can use the comments section or the Contact Me form on the site. I also share all my recipes to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter so there’s definitely a way for you to get in touch – and I love hearing from you! Enjoy DDx.Print