Derived from the Chinese chá, “chai” means tea in much of the world, including Asia, Eastern Europe, parts of Africa and Brazil. Masala chai is an aromatic blend of black or green tea with warming spices. Sugar and milk often are included, as well.You can find hundreds of chai recipes associated with different locales, restaurants and even families. Travel to India, Nepal and Tibet, where masala chai originated, and you’ll likely see vendors peddling the tasty brew on street corners or at train stations. According to Ayurvedic tradition, masala chai boosts the immune system, enhances metabolism, relieves stress, aids digestion, provides antioxidants, and sharpens the mind.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare)
1 tablespoon grated orange peel from an organic orange
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or maple extract
- For the scones, line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, seeds (optional), zest, , cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, and sugars in a medium bowl. Combine vanilla extract with 1 1/3 cups heavy cream; drizzle cream over flour mixture and fold in just until flour is incorporated and a shaggy dough forms – if needed, add 2 more tablespoons cream.
- Divide dough in half and turn out on a lightly floured board. Use lightly floured hands to pat each half into a 6-inch circle. Place the two circles of dough on prepared baking sheets and cut each circle into 7 wedges. Chill baking sheets in the freezer for 20 minutes while preheating oven to 425°F.
- Pull the wedges slightly apart, leaving an inch between them. Bake for 16 to 17 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until tops are set, edges are beginning to turn golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool scones for 5 minutes on baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool.
- For the glaze, whisk together melted butter, powdered sugar, salt, cinnamon, milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over scones and let set before serving.Yield: 14 scones
Make ahead: Cut each circle of dough into wedges on baking sheet; cover and freeze overnight. Brush with cream and bake directly from the freezer, adding 1-2 minutes to baking time. For longer storage, transfer frozen scones to a freezer bag until ready to use.