It’s been a couple of years since I made a post about edible gifts, so I thought it was about time! Thses posts are actually some of my favorite things to create and this recipe is just SO good. I already made three huge batches (I didn’t give any of it away though, hehee), some of which is waiting for me in the freezer. I’m pretty sure I will make a couple more batches before Christmas, some to keep and some to give away.
What’s also great about this recipe is that it’s so forgiving, and you can tweak it to your own liking. I for example, love my chai lattes to be quite sweet, but if you’re giving it to someone who isn’t keen on sweet things, you can make it with less sweetener.
It also feels more sustainable to not buy so much new stuff, I simply used bottles and jars that I already had at home! I bought a couple from a flea market too, I just cleaned them with a bottle brush and sterilized them in the oven. A lot of people don’t want more things to clutter their homes and minds, so edible gifts are just perfect. And if you have the patience, making some gingerbread house toppers to go with the gift, I’m sure that would be appreciated too! I didn’t use a template for them, I just cut out the pieces with a knife. I did cheat and used store bought dough though..
Here are some more edible gift ideas – flavored sugar from a couple of years ago, and muffin mix, herb salt, cookie mix, another chai latte mix, nutella and granola.
Homemade Chai Concentrate
Makes 6 cups / 1 1/2 litre
This recipe is very forgiving so you can tweak it to your own liking. I’ve tried it with both granulated sugar and a mix of honey and maple syrup and both are delicious! You can’t really taste any difference. I like my chai latte really sweet so I used 200 ml of honey in the recipe, but you can make it without any sweetener too! Don’t worry if the mixture is cloudy, I had that happen when I used honey and loose tea. Any leftover chai concentrate can be frozen in freezer proof containers. And don’t forget to write a little note with instructions to the lucky person who receives the gift!
- 6 cups (1500 ml) water
- 100-200 ml (approx. 1/3 cup – 3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) honey or maple syrup OR 90-180 g granulated sugar
- 25 g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 25 whole cloves (about 1/2 tbsp)
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole star anise
- 15 cardamom pods (about 1/2 tbsp), lightly crushed
- 10 black peppercorns
- a few pieces of fresh orange peel
- 5 bags of black tea or 3 tbsp (10 g) loose black tea
- Combine water and honey/sugar in a large saucepan. Let the mixture come to a boil and stir until honey/sugar is dissolved, then add all ingredients except for the tea. Place a lid on the saucepan and let the mixture simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the tea. Let steep for 10 minutes.
- Discard the tea bags and let the mixture cool.
- Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, then pour into clean and dry airtight jars or bottles. Store in the fridge for up to one week.
Depending on how sweet you made your chai concentrate and how strong you like your latte, I’d say you’ll want at least 1/3 part chai concentrate to 2/3 parts milk. For more flavour, use equal parts. You can leave out the whipped cream and use a milk frother for the milk. As for the tiny gingerbread houses, I made them using storebought dough, and I basically just cut out pieces with a knife and then ‘glued’ them together with icing!
- 200 ml (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp.) chai concentrate
- 300 ml (1 1/4 cup) milk of your choice
- whipped cream for topping
- cinnamon, for dusting
- Heat the chai concentrate and milk in a saucepan. Pour into cups and top with whipped cream, cinnamon and a tiny gingerbread house/cookie if you want!