Vanilla Chai Buttermilk Pancakes

It’s Woolworths time :-) I absolutely adore Woolworths Vanilla Chai tea. I’m not usually a fan of chai teas, chai tea lattes, etc. but this vanilla chai tea is an exception. It smells divine and tastes even better. A friend that introduced me to the baklava cheesecake at Doppio Zero restaurant, introduced me to this vanilla chai tea :-)

A couple of months ago, my family went out for breakfast and unfortunately I was not able to join them. They surprised me with a take away, from the restaurant. I can’t remember the restaurant’s name right now, I will update this post when I do. They bought me some buttermilk vanilla chai pancakes. They were served with spiced whipped cream, and poached pears that were red. The pancakes had a lovely, fragrant, spicy flavour, but were far too sweet.

I really enjoyed their flavour though, and decided to recreate them at home. This is the recipe I used, adapted from these sites: http://greedygourmand.blogspot.com/2009/07/chai-spiced-buttermilk-pancakes.html & http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2009/03/chai-spiced-buttermilk-pancakes/ .

Vanilla Chai Buttermilk Pancakes

2 eggs
2 cups flour (I used 1 C wholewheat flour, 1 C bread flour, and added 1/2 C wheat germ)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp – 3/4 tsp masala tea spice mix
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon crushed black peppercorns (or a dash of freshly ground black pepper)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (or 1.5 tbsp white vinegar and remaining amount milk)
1/2 cup brewed vanilla chai tea
2 Tablespoons milk OR brewed vanilla chai tea
4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled ( I used 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons Canola Oil)
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

*   In a large bowl beat eggs. Add buttermilk, vanilla chai tea, butter and vanilla and mix well. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add extra milk/vanilla chai tea. Mix well until mostly smooth. Let batter set for a few minutes.

*  Heat griddle or pan over medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil to the pan or spray with cooking spray. You can test to see if the pan is hot enough by adding a few drops of water, when the drops start to dance its hot enough.

* Pour 2 Tablespoons of batter onto the griddle. Cook on the first side until bubbles that form start to pop. Flip the pancake over with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is gone.

The spices are just a guideline, if you don’t have mixed spice or masala tea spice mix, use a combination of cardamon and cloves (1/4 teaspoon of each), as the original recipe stated. You may want to add more or less spices, it’s really a matter of personal choice. The first time I made these, I was a bit apprehensive and guarded when adding the spices. Especially the black pepper… I really did not know about that one. Trust me, it’s good :-)  Don’t be afraid of the spices…The second time i was more liberal, and really spiced it up! I just shook those spices freely into the pancake batter.

These pancakes were delicious served with syrup, and poached pears. Yes! I was not playing. I had to have poached pears, lol, I had to recreate what I ate. The pears were poached in vanilla chai tea, marsala wine, lemon zest, vanilla pods, a little sugar, water, and a bit of rum.

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