Chocolate Chai is a big food fad right now, and one my husband has jumped all over. I’m not a huge fan of Chai drinks, but I love Chai in baked goods, so I put this yummy recipe together so I can be on trend and quit being jealous of his Chocolate Chai Lattes.
If you’d rather just have chocolate Chai with no (delicious, wonderful) coffee flavor, you can easily substitute strong Chai tea for the coffee in these recipes. The Espresso Ganache is the star of the show, in my opinion, and I use it in all kinds of recipes. As written, the recipe is a little thick, perfect for putting between a cake layers and giving you a nice firm base to frost, or refrigerating and using to make truffles. Since chocolate brands differ, and I’m cheating by using chocolate chips instead of weighing out chopped bar chocolate, there may be some slight variation in how the recipe comes out, and you may need to play with the texture a bit for your particular application. I aim to have to thin it out a bit, rather than thickening it up because it’s much easier to add liquid than it is to melt more chocolate if I’m too far off. There are several components, but they come together quickly and the end result is impressive enough to be worth the effort.
Chai Spice Cupcakes
- 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 C sugar
- 1 t baking soda
- 3/4 T salt
- 3/4 C almond milk
- Contents of 2 chai tea bags (I use Stash Double Spice Chai)
- 1/2 C canola oil
- 2 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 T vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F and line 12 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
Whisk together all dry ingredients in a large bowl until evenly combined. In a separate small bowl, whisk together all the wet ingredients.
Add wet ingredients into dry, and whisk until combined, being careful not to over mix.
Divide batter evenly into 12 muffin cups and bake for 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes and remove from the muffin pan.
While cupcakes are baking, make the remaining components.
- 1 1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 C triple strength coffee or fresh espresso, near boiling
- 1 C powdered sugar
- 1 T Kahlúa (Optional)
- Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1 T vanilla extract
Dump hot coffee into chocolate chips and whisk until chocolate is melted and ingredients are combined.
Add remaining ingredients and whisk thoroughly until powdered sugar is dissolved.
Cool, covered, in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then whisk again and allow to come to room temperature. If ganache is too thick, add remaining coffee glaze 1 teaspoon at a time, until the texture is thick, but glossy and spreadable. If mixture becomes too thin, add additional powdered sugar.
- 1/4 C triple strength coffee
- 3/4 C powdered sugar
Whisk together in a microwave safe bowl, and then microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute, just until it comes to a boil.
Spiced Powdered Sugar
- 1/8 t ground cloves
- 1/8 t ground nutmeg
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1/4 C powdered sugar
Whisk together and put in a spice shaker or sifter.
To assemble cupcakes:
Brush coffee glaze on cupcakes while they’re still warm, and then allow them to cool completely.
After cupcakes are completely cooled, pipe or spread on espresso ganache, reserving about 2-3 tablespoons.
Dust with spiced powdered sugar.
Heat reserved ganache for 5-10 seconds in the microwave until just melted, being careful not to overcook it, and drizzle over completed cupcakes. Chill in the refrigerator, or keep them in a cool place until it’s time to munch.
Garnish with chopped spiced nuts or chocolate-covered espresso beans if you want extra fanciness.