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Chai granita on poached apples and heavenly mousse

Chai granita on poached apples and heavenly mousse

Disclaimer: In December 2019, I was commissioned to develop a variety of recipes for Dairy Australia. This is one of them, highlighting the use of milk. Styling and photography by me. Both the recipe and the photo is now property of Dairy Australia, however I was given permission to publish them on my website. © Dairy Australia. All rights reserved.

I don’t drink coffee. Can’t stand the flavour. Would love to, honestly, mainly to keep me awake during the day, but no. Not for me.

My alternative? Chai. Well, any tea really that is made from spices, be it blended with black tea or not. So when I was thinking about a recipe I could make with lots of milk, chai tea was one of the first things that came to mind. But a granita? I wasn’t even sure if that was going to work, given that granitas are usually made with fruit (zero fat content). And freezing milk, is that even a thing? I think it affects the texture and flavour when you defrost it again. BUT… a granita is not defrosted, so I thought, let’s see what happens.

And I’m glad I did!

The recipe, and your choice of flavours:

I used skim milk to eliminate the fat content, so that it was closer to the characteristics of a fruit juice. After all, I really wanted it to be a nice and crystallised granita. And it totally worked!

In terms of the chai tea flavour, the recipe below is really just a suggestion. Use a chai tea bag if you don’t have the spices at hand, or create your own unique blend of spices for YOUR chai flavour. The world is your oyster!

A little tip, if you want fine ice crystals, the more often you stir it during the freezing process, the more it will become the consistency of a slushy. Less stirring, bigger crystals. Easy.

I chose to pair my granita with some poached fruit (I used apples, but pear would be nice too, or quince, or maybe plums?). On the bottom of the glass you will find the most heavenly mousse in the world… heavenly, because it’s like eating clouds! Super light and airy. Again, the vanilla flavour is just a suggestion. Any of the spices you have in your chai will be worth trying for the mousse. I’ve tried it with cinnamon, and that’s pretty delicious too!

Bon appetit everyone. Eat it quickly. It’ll melt in no time. Well, at least here in Australia, in summer. 😀

Chai granita on poached apples with heavenly mousse

Traditionally made with water and fruit, this granita pushes the boundaries by using chai flavoured skim milk to achieve the desired light and refreshing ice crystals that melt in the mouth.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Freezing time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 55 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Keyword: apples, chai tea, granita, milk, mousse
Servings: 8 serves

Ingredients

Chai granita

  • 400 ml skim milk
  • 20 g castor sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 allspice berries
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger grated
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons black tea leaves

Poached apples

  • 4 small apples
  • 100 g castor sugar
  • 400 ml water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ vanilla bean

Mousse

  • 1 egg white
  • 40 g castor sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean
  • 90 ml thickened cream
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

Chai granita

  • Heat milk together with sugar and spices in a small saucepan and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  • Take off the heat, stir in black tea leaves and let infuse for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve into a shallow bowl and place the bowl into an ice bath.
  • Once the milk has cooled, move the bowl into the freezer. Remove every 20 minutes and stir to ensure the liquid crystallises evenly. The granita will be fully frozen in approximately 3-4 hours.

Poached apples

  • Peel and finely dice apples.
  • Melt sugar in a saucepan to make a caramel. Brush any sugar off the sides to avoid it from burning. Once dark golden, remove from the heat and slowly stir in water. Once all the sugar lumps have dissolved, add honey, spices and apple pieces, then continue to cook on a low heat until the apples are just tender, but not too soft.
  • Strain through a sieve and refrigerate.

Mousse

  • For the mousse, heat the egg white and sugar over a water bath while continuously whisking.
  • Once 50°C has been reached, remove from the heat and use an electric mixer to beat to a stiff meringue.
  • In a separate bowl, beat cream, scraped vanilla (and if desired cinnamon) to medium peaks, then fold in the meringue until combined.

Assembly

  • To assemble the dessert, pipe mousse into a dessert glass, top with the cooled poached apples and just before serving, finish with a dome of chai granita.
  • Tip: Experiment with your own blend of spices to make a chai tea to your liking. If spices are hard to find, a commercial chai tea steeped in skim milk also does the trick.

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