For our sixth anniversary, in keeping with the gift theme of "iron", my husband, very thoughtfully got me a cast iron aebleskiver pan. These little pancakes soon became a huge hit with us, almost a staple for Sunday mornings, and we have had so much fun experimenting with different fillings.
For this recipe, I had wanted to transform a breakfast dish where the tea flavor would come through strongly, almost mimicking the flavor of a steaming hot chai! Since we make these pancakes so often, I naturally thought of them - and once I had settled on "tea-bleskivers" (isn't it cute?!), there was no going back! I found this recipe on http://www.seriouseats... to be an excellent starting point and then modified it to suit my flavors.
For the filling, I again wanted the tea flavor to shine through and so came up with the idea of a tea caramel, instead of using a regular jam. It was a nice combination to bite into these fluffy little treats and have the rich caramel inside. Hope you enjoy it too! —Madhuja
For the tea-bleskivers
black tea bags (I used Chai Spice)
slightly crushed green cardamoms
inch piece of cinnamon
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
room temperature butter, for brushing the aebleskiver pan
First of all, let's make the tea flavored "buttermilk"! In a big coffee mug or a large measuring cup, add the whole milk, 2 tea bags, green cardamoms and the piece of cinnamon. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Let the tea bags and spices soak for 10 minutes, then fish them out, making sure to gently press the tea bags with the back of a spoon to get every drop of the tea flavor in the milk. Refrigerate until the milk is completely cold. Once it is completely cold, add the zest and juice of the lemon, stir and set aside for about 10 minutes.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, whisk the two egg whites until it forms stiff peaks. Set aside.
Add two egg yolks to the "buttermilk", whisk them in, and add it to the flour mixture. Mix everything in gently. Add the whisked egg whites and gently fold the mixture in. Don't overwork it!
On medium heat, using a pastry brush, generously coat the cups of the aebleskiver pan with butter. Make sure the butter sizzles and forms little pools at the bottom of the cups.
Lower the heat to a medium-low. Add half a tablespoon of the flour mixture to each of the cups. Working quickly, add about 1/2 teaspoon of the tea caramel filling to each of the cups. Don't add too much, as the caramel will just overflow and make a mess! Quickly top each of the cups with another 1/2 tablespoon of the flour mixture. I know this part can be a bit hectic, but you'll do just fine!
After about 3-5 minutes, check to make sure that the bottom of the tea-bleskivers look golden brown. Next, gently slide a bamboo skewer or a spoon underneath the tea-bleskivers and flip them. I usually find it easier to flip them if I use two skewers or two spoons, but use whatever seems easiest for you! If some of the caramel oozes out, don't worry, it is going to taste delicious, anyway! Once flipped, cook the other side for another couple of minutes until it is golden brown in color. Set aside to cool just a little bit (remember it has a hot caramel filling inside). Dust with powdered sugar, if you want. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. If you really want it over the top, drizzle the pile of tea-bleskivers with some of the remaining caramel sauce! Enjoy!
For the tea caramel filling
Let's flavor the heavy cream first! In a large coffee mug add the heavy cream, tea bags, cardamoms, cinnamon and salt. Microwave for 1 minute and then set it aside while you start making the caramel.
In a heavy bottomed, deep saucepan, add the sugar, splash of water and corn syrup on medium heat. Stir gently. Once the mixture starts to boil, swirl the pan occasionally, but do not stir anymore. Once the syrup gets a golden amber color ( in about 8 minutes or so), take it off the heat and strain the heavy cream into it, gently pressing the tea bags with the back of a spoon to get every last bit of flavor in. Add the butter. Be careful, the caramel will bubble up violently! Put it back on the heat and stir until the caramel becomes smooth and thick and has that perfect, pale brown color of a caramel candy - about 3-4 minutes. Pour the mixture into a small glass bowl and let it cool completely before using it as the filling. If you decide to make the caramel way beforehand and store it in the fridge, you may have to warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave, before you use it as a filling.