I have a secret to share. This recipe requires a 1/4 cup of milk simmered with chai spices – cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and allspice. May I suggest that you make more than the required 1/4 cup and add the extra fragrant liquid to your coffee or tea to enjoy while the brownies bake in the oven.  A cook deserves a special secret reward – like the edges of the brownies or the tops of the cakes that need to be levelled.  Shhh…. let’s keep this between you and me.

chai brownies

Chai Latte Brownies

Milk

In a small sauce pan over med heat, add milk of your choice (I use soy).  Use at least 1/3 of a cup, and I recommend more for you. Add several pieces of the following whole spices: cardamom pods, allspice, cloves and a cinnamon stick or two.  If possible, crush the spices ever so slightly with a mortar and pestle.  You can used ground spices but keep in mind that the liquid is best strained and ground spices will be more difficult to remove. I also find they sometimes become bitter.  If using ground spices, you may need to strain several times and probably through cheesecloth.

Bring the liquid to a boil, remove from heat and let seep about 15 minutes. The milk will be very fragrant at this point.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve, measure out 1/4 cup into a large microwave-safe bowl and set aside.

Remaining ingredients

  • 1/4 of soy milk, as directed above
  • 1/4 bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 x 9 square metal baking pan with parchment or spray with cooking spray.

In a large microwave save bowl, add chocolate chips and butter to the milk and microwave until the chocolate melts.   I use high power and do this in 15 second increments, stirring each time.  This should not take more than 30 seconds total and it is okay if the chips are not completely melted, as long most of the mixture can bet blended with a whisk and is relatively smooth. The remaining chunks of chocolate will either melt or leave small little pockets of chocolate in the finished brownie – and this is all good.

In a smaller bowl combine remaining dry ingredients – flour through salt.  Stir with a whisk, ensuring the brown sugar is not clumpy.

Add eggs to chocolate mixture – you want to the chocolate to cool slightly so the eggs do no scramble when you add them to the hot chocolate. Whisk until smooth and creamy.  Gradually add the flour and sugar mixture to the chocolate and mix until just combined. This is a dense and dry batter.

Push batter into prepared pan. You will need to use your fingers to push it into the corners.  Bake for about 30 minutes.  Do not over bake, the center should be just set. If you use the toothpick test – the tester should come out with a few crumbs attached, but not wet.

Allow to cool on a wire rack.