Thursday, April 29, 2010

Walnut, Chocolate Chip, Spice Blondies and Masala Chai!

Last post of the day! And this one is dedicated to Sabera of One Life to Eat (on my "Sweet Blogs" list) and one of my very best friends, Kendall.

My poor sister is sick: so instead of the traditional soup or tea or whatever, I decided to do for her what I do best: bake! I asked her what she felt like and she picked these blondies! I've never made blondies before, and let me tell ya, I have no idea why. They are from Cakes and Bakes, a very thoughtful Christmas gift from Kendall. This book is awesome. The recipes are quick and easy for the most part and heartwarming, to boot.

I did make a few modifications to the recipe, though. I am not a huge fan of self-rising flour. It's more expensive than regular, all-purpose flour, and it it's not called for in very many of the recipes I use. However, I have noticed that in a lot of the new cookbooks I have gotten as gifts, many of them are calling for it. I tried a conversion where you take regular all-purpose flour and add baking soda and salt. Needless to say, whatever I made with that conversion just wasn't quite right. It always tasted salty and baking soda-ey. So for this recipe, it called for a cup of self-rising flour and I thought, why not try just adding a teaspoon of baking powder to all-purpose flour? Well, it worked! These blondies turned out fantastic! I'm still going to try a few more recipes with my own sneaky little conversion and I will definitely let you know when I'm sure it works! I also added chocolate chips and nutmeg to the blondies (they originally just called for cinnamon) and they were a hit in my house!

I have been on the quest for the perfect cup of masala chai for a few years now. I had some amazing chai in London at my aunt's house but the mix she used was a homemade gift. I tried to emulate those flavours in my own version but somehow, the chai was never perfectly satisfying. Then, Sabera came along with her recipe, which I tried out this morning and it was exactly what I was looking for: super simple, and absolutely soul-satisfying.

Please, please, please try out this masala chai recipe! You won't taste a better cup, unless you go to India to get it! I didn't have the specific tea she mentions so I just used my orange pekoe, and for every one mug of chai, because I didn't have fresh ginger, I added 1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger and a splash of vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, which I rarely have kicking around! If you have all the authentic ingredients, though, use those!...I intend to go out and get them and give it another go!

That's all for now, folks!

Happy eating!


Sabera said...

The blondies look so cute and delicious... And thank you for the sweet comments on my chai recipe! I didn't even know you had linked your post to mine :-)

Mehnaz & I have exchanged tweets over inane things and have ended up agreeing about how much more fun it'd be if we were in person, talking about it, a mug of chain in hand! Inshah allah... that day will come some day :-)

Keep blogging... and keep smiling :)

Zoyah said...

Awww Sabera!
You are so sweet!
Hopefully one day soon, we can meet up (Mehnaz and I wer just talking about that yesterday!)