Yan’s Masala Chai Spiced Teacakes


Series 8

Assam tea and warm spices add a unique kick to these teacakes, complemented by glacé stem ginger, dried fruit and peel.

Serves: 12
Difficulty: Easy
Hands-On Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Baking Time: 20 mins
  • Ingredients
  • Method
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Step 1
First, infuse the milk. Place the cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and cinnamon sticks into a small, dry, heavy-based frying pan. Set over a low heat and stir for about 5 minutes, until they start to smell aromatic. Cool for 1 minute, then grind to a fairly fine powder.  

Step 2
Tip the freshly ground spices into a medium pan over a medium heat, then add the milk, ground ginger and tea bags. Bring to the boil, stir well, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags (squeeze them first) and strain the milk twice through a fine sieve. Leave to cool until tepid.

Step 3
Make the dough. Put the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the butter and rub in using the tips of your fingers, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Using your hands, mix in the yeast until thoroughly combined, then work in the sugar, salt, orange zest, ground ginger, mixed spice and ground cinnamon.   

Step 4
Make a well. Pour in the eggs and three quarters of the infused milk. Fit the mixer with the dough hook and gradually work everything together on the slowest speed, adding as much of the infused milk as you need to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. 

Step 5
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead for about 10 minutes, until very pliable, stretchy and slightly firmer. Put the dough into a clean, lightly oiled bowl, then cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm for about 1 hour, until doubled in size. 

Step 6
Punch down the dough, then turn it out onto a lightly floured worktop. Scatter over the sultanas, chopped peel and ginger and knead in for about 5 minutes, until evenly distributed. 

Step 7
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a neat ball, then gently flatten with your fingers to make 12 perfectly round 12cm discs. Space them well apart on the lined baking sheets and cover lightly with oiled cling film. Leave to rise for about 40 minutes, until almost doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6. 

Step 8
Bake the risen teacakes for 17–20 minutes, until golden brown, rotating the baking sheets after the first 12 minutes for an even bake.

Step 9
Remove from the oven and set on a heatproof surface. In a small heatproof bowl mix the honey with the boiling water to make a thin glaze. Lightly brush over the tops of the teacakes, then transfer the teacakes to a wire rack and leave to cool. Serve warm, or split and toasted, with butter and mango preserve.