Chocolate Chai Bread
Chocolate Chai Bread combines two of my favorite things - chocolate and chai into a ridiculously good quick bread. Perfect for snacking as well as gifts this Holiday season! Holiday season is upon us which means it's high time we start thinking about gifts (ps. Food and Fitness Guide under $50) and baking (all things chocolate if you ask me). I am not a baker by nature but around this time of the year, I look forward to seasonal baked goods and holiday-inspired cookies. This month Recipe Redux's theme was to show "Creative Quick Breads", so naturally I combined two of my favorite flavors - chocolate and chai together to create a quick break. Also, a certain someone isn't a big fan of banana -based quick bread so I thought I'd be less selfish for once and make bread that we both can enjoy.
Quick breads, unlike yeast breads like this , rise with the help of quick-acting leavening agents (baking powder, baking soda or a combination of both) and are generally baked as soon as the dough has been mixed. It provides instant gratification when you want something quick without having to wait for hours. I adapted this quick basic bread recipe as a guide for ingredient measurements but added my own twist with chai and chocolate swirls. Certain someone thinks I always bake with beans and avocado but I surprised him today with Chocolate Chai Bread, made with all-purpose flour, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and white-sugar. I used to be one of those people who hesitated to bake with all-purpose flour, real sugar, and looked for ways to 'healthify' a recipe. But within the last year or so, I have learned to embrace the concept of wholesomeness and balance, which I am sure varies from one person to another. In the process, I have also learned that not all recipes can be healthified exactly. My idea of wholesomeness and balance involves using less processed food, cooking more at home and eating food that enriches my physical as well as emotional health. But that also means somedays you will find me eating frozen pizza or popcorn for dinner. Life happens and there's always room for kale salad tomorrow. Chai in Hindi and pronounced as 'chiya' in Nepali generally means tea and can have endless variations depending who you ask and where you are from. In the US, chai has received its popularity as 'chai-tea' which is pretty redundant. Chai 'tea' reminds me a lot like 'sweet masala chai' which is made with milk and warming spices like cardamom and cinnamon.[Tweet "My two favorite ingredients - Chocolate & Chai in the form of bread! "]
Chocolate Chai Bread is ridiculously good, moist and has a rich chocolate-chai taste in each bite. Like most quick breads, it is pretty simple and takes about an hour to from start to finish. I used masala chai tea bags for convenience but you can make masala chai from scratch like Nik's Masala Chai. It won't hurt you to double the batch and make two loaves because it will be gone fast. We enjoyed this bread on a lazy Saturday morning with milk (for him) and tea (for me). If you are into edible-gifts, I highly suggest you include this on your list for your chocolate-chai loving friends, families, neighbors, and co-workers!
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- scant 1/2 sugar, divided
- 3-4 masala chai tea bag (or you can make masala chai traditional way)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (i used semi-sweet)
- In a sauce pan, heat milk over medium heat and add about 1/4 cup sugar and tea bags. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Transfer it to another bowl and let it cool in the refrigerator to speed up cooling.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a bread pan with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Remove tea from the refrigerator once cooled and throw tea bags away. In another bowl, pour eggs, milk, remaining sugar and mix it well.
- Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredient bowl until just combined.
- Pour the batter into a bread pan.
- Melt chocolate in a microwave at 15 seconds intervals. Add melted chocolate in the batter and use a fork to gently swirl it so chocolate gets mixed in.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out dry.
- Let it cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing the bread.
What's on your holiday baking list this year? Leave a link for your fav. cookies and bread if you have some.