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dirty chai pancakes + vanilla cranberry compote


Guys, I’m kind of sniffly and head-full-of-gross-stuff this week, so a posting of my contribution for the Toronto Vegetarian Association October newsletter will have to do. And by “will have to do,” I actually mean “is an unbelievably awesome addition that you’ll love.” Added bonus: I’ve linked to a few of my Thanksgiving-appropriate recipes at the end for all of you Canadians celebrating this weekend. Big hearts to you all.

Have you tried a dirty chai? I’m a recent convert to this indulgent drink. It’s a cinnamon-y and creamy chai latte with a shot of espresso added. This drink has MY JAM written all over it. It’s complex, warming, lightly sweet, still spicy and shot through with caffeine for good measure. This could be easy enough to produce at home with a batch of homemade chai concentrate, some strong coffee and the milk of your choice. Heat it all up together and get cozy.

Once I’m jazzed on something I usually can’t leave it alone, so naturally I had to make a pancake version of this beverage (NATURALLY). Truth: I tried to make waffles first, but it was one of the messiest waffle failures of my life. The batter itself is hearty with spelt flour and strong with coffee, spice and vanilla. Best part: I decided to blanket them in a cranberry compote tweaked with maple syrup. It adds a sweet-tart dimension that fits these little cakes so well. So much fall on one plate. Perhaps a lovely Thanksgiving brunch option for my country peeps? You could swap in some leftover cranberry sauce instead of making up a whole batch of separate compote if you like.

I’ll be sipping some ginger tea over here and snuggling in with this book (finally got around to reading it) while I rest up a bit. Oh and here’s a shorter autumnal reading suggestion from the good people at McSweeney’s (salty language warning). Make some pancakes and have a cozy and warm Thanksgiving friends. I’ll be back with something more ambitious next week :)


dirty chai pancakes with cranberry + vanilla compote
serves: 3-4
notes: I call for coffee extract, but ground coffee is just fine. Grounds give off a more intense flavour for sure, but they definitely get the job done (and leave beautiful little dark brown flecks in the batter). I would adjust the amount if you’re using ground espresso, like down to a teaspoon and half? If anyone tries it, I’d love to know how that goes. Also, if they sell that fancy cultured coconut milk at your local grocery store, you can use 1 1/3 cups of that and skip the whole vinegar-curdling-the-milk step.

compote:
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup (+ extra for serving if you like)
2 tsp vanilla extract

pancakes:
1 1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I use the So Delicious brand Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
¾ cup whole spelt flour
½ cup light spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of fine sea salt
1 tsp coffee extract OR 1 tbsp finely ground coffee
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp melted coconut oil + extra for cooking pancakes
1 tsp vanilla extract

Make the compote: place the cranberries, water and maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Add water as needed to keep the sauce moist. Mash the cranberries up here and there with the back of a wooden spoon to get a saucy consistency. Once you have a slightly wet, jammy texture, add the vanilla extract. Stir up the compote one more time and remove from the heat. Set aside.

Combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Stir lightly and set aside to curdle for at least 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground coffee, cinnamon, ground ginger, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. Stir to combine. Add the curdled non-dairy milk, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Stir gently to combine, taking care not to over mix.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Brush the pan with melted coconut oil. Drop 1/3 cup measures of the pancake batter into the pan. Allow the first side to cook for 1 to 11/2 minutes, or until bubbles pop on the surface and the edges appear dry and lightly browned. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another minute. Remove pancakes and keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve pancakes with cranberry compote spooned over the top and extra maple syrup if you like.

And some Canadian Thanksgiving ideas? Here’s a nifty grid of fall goodness for you to consider:

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Jeanine03/10/2012 - 9:06 am

I hope you feel better!

I really wish I had a plate of these right now… I could use a spicey coffee-ey pick me up this morning for sure!

Stacy03/10/2012 - 10:10 am

SUCH gorgeous photos! These look delicious. I don’t think you can go wrong with chai spices (almost) regardless of what you put them in. Hope you feel better soon and have a festive Thanksgiving celebration!

Kelsey03/10/2012 - 10:12 am

You’re either going to love me or hate me for sending you this link (i.e WILD) http://bit.ly/MMMgmr — This pancakes look amazing! My goodness.

Kristen03/10/2012 - 10:16 am

These are some seriously beautiful pancakes!

Michelle03/10/2012 - 10:30 am

DAMN GIRL. These are blowing my mind. All my favourite flavours together, for real.

Courtney03/10/2012 - 10:33 am

This post has succeeded in doing 2 things: making me drool on my keyboard, and making me really wish I had a dirty chai. These seem like the perfect fall pancakes!

Kasey03/10/2012 - 11:41 am

I’ve never tried a dirty chai latte but wow, it sounds good…as do these pancakes! I hope you get better soon, lady! I’m excited to try this.

Megan Gordon03/10/2012 - 11:55 am

It is breakfast time and I’m sitting here checking emails and drinking coffee … dreaming, now, of these waffles! Happy Thanksgiving!

Jacqui03/10/2012 - 12:22 pm

That book is still on my to-read list too. And these pancakes! I love all things chai, so I’m going to love these!

la domestique03/10/2012 - 12:54 pm

I will always go for pancakes, and those look delicious! I hope you feel better soon. :)

Kathryn03/10/2012 - 3:07 pm

You know how I feel about your food and this is just another example. Dirty chai pancakes is also probably the best name for a recipe ever. And I’m going to whip up a batch of the compote this weekend to have with yogurt. Oh I just love everything about this.

sarah03/10/2012 - 3:36 pm

dirty chai + pancakes = perfect.
{I hope you feel better soon!}
{ps. beautiful photos!}

Erin03/10/2012 - 3:56 pm

I do love a big stack of pancakes and I really love the sound of dirty chai- that’s right up my alley! Feel better soon!

Elenore Bendel Zahn04/10/2012 - 3:12 am

Oh my darling! Are you feeling any better yet? I´m sending you tons of snuggly, healthy, feel-good vibes and hugs <3

The pancakes looks out of this world and the photos are -WOW-

Earthsprouty love to ya!

Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious04/10/2012 - 6:40 pm

Amazing! That compote really sealed the deal for me!

Eileen04/10/2012 - 9:23 pm

I’ve never heard of a dirty chai, but it sounds so good–sign me up! This compote sounds like a perfect match with chai spices too.

Kim04/10/2012 - 9:47 pm

I have to tell you, I think I just fell in love with your recipe as I’m a huge huge fan of pancakes. Definitly gonna try these and Dirty chaï (never heard of it…)

Anna05/10/2012 - 1:37 am

Absolutely delicious! It looks wonderful with the jam.

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar05/10/2012 - 1:43 pm

LOVE this idea!

Dirty Chai « Ellen Cherry07/10/2012 - 9:09 am

[...] looks tasty, but I’m really in love with the name: Dirty Chai pancakes with vanilla cranberry compote.  None of that uptight prude chai.  Nope, this one is a little [...]

Cookie and Kate07/10/2012 - 11:01 pm

It’s 10 pm now but that is not stopping me from fantasizing about a steaming plate of these pancakes magically appearing on my coffee table. I’ve been on a Chai latte kick lately and I’m trying out this dirty chai concept next. No doubt I’m gonna love it.

Vanessa08/10/2012 - 12:50 pm

So lovely!

Tiffany @thetriplecreme09/10/2012 - 4:53 pm

Yum. I often find pancakes too heavy, but these look light and irresistible!

[...] In terms of things that sound delicious and quaintly fall: gluten-free pumpkin spice pancakes, pumpkin cinnamon rolls, peanut butter and chocolate cookie sandwiches, and dirty chai pancakes [...]

Mince&Type10/10/2012 - 11:29 am

I’ve never been much of a pancake person, but I think these would totally change my mind! That compote sounds amazing too. Hope you’re feeling better!

[...] Chai Pancakes with Spiced Caramel Sauce | adapted from The First Mess and Foods of Our Lives | serves 3-4 | Printable [...]

Karmagh09/11/2012 - 2:03 pm

These are AMAZING! Quite possibly the best pancakes ever! I whipped up a half batch for lunch and they’re delish. I swapped out the water in the compote for some chai I already had brewed & used a GF flour blend since I didn’t have any spelt. They turned out great. So glad to have stumbled across your blog. I’ve got a list of your recipes I’ll be trying soon!

[...] Dirty chai pancakes with cranberry and vanilla compote. You had me at dirty. And chai. She uses a homemade chai concentrate, but you could use a liquid concentrate from the store in a pinch. Cook down your cranberry sauce and throw a little maple syrup in there. Then throw ‘em down the hatch. [...]

Valeria09/02/2013 - 5:01 am

I just finished eating these as part of an indulgent Saturday morning breakfast, and oh my, we are just in love with them. I never heard of dirty chai, but just following your instructions I can already tell I love it. I used fresly ground coffee beans (1 tbsp) and 100% whole spelt flour, with on top a blackberry compote (had leftover berries in the freezer from my summer foraging). Perfect, will make them over and over again.

[...] Frühstücks-Experiment gestartet: Pfannkuchen ohne Ei. Hat mit diesem Rezept (und einer himmlischen Mango) wunderbar funktioniert. Wer hätte gedacht, dass Apfelessig und [...]

[...] this recipe for Chai pancakes with cranberry [...]

[...] 3. Usa compota de fruta en vez de mantequilla y jarabe sobre tus hotcakes. [...]

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Inés06/07/2013 - 1:26 pm

Hi Laura,
I just made your pancakes and while eating them I suddenly noticed that there was no egg or egg-replacer in them. Then I checked whether I’d simply forgptten…but, no. This is amazing! Somehow I always thought something, like ground flax or anything else, had to be in pancakes to keep them together. Do you definitely taught me something! :-)
I made your recipe with cashew milk and grain coffee and somehow the pancakes turned out looking like I had put cocoa in them ;-) Well, maybe the coffee powder dissolved … I guess so. I’d been looking forward to the speckles ;-)
Apart from that I had a strawberry sauce with them.
And to the pancakes: I liked them! At the first bite I thought the cardamom was too overwhelming and maybe I’d use less in future, but after a few bites and adding more sauce it blended it quite nicely. It reminded me a bit of what you can buy here in Germany as “Lebkuchengewürz”, which is a spice for gingerbread. It was different as I had expected, as I’d thought it would taste of coffee, but didn’t really. So, thank you! This is a nice flavour variation you created there! :-)

Weekend Warriors! | Sous Style30/08/2013 - 4:21 pm

[…] Chicken Thighs with Nori Seaweed & Sesame Rice Boozy Bacon Jam, Honey Grilled Watermelon, Dirty Chai Pancakes, Baked Cheese with Rosemary Crackers, Chickpea Yoghurt Dip, Spiced Moroccan Wrap, Mint Chocolate […]

Terry24/10/2013 - 4:10 pm

These pancakes are divine and the photos are mouth watering.

Jess24/11/2013 - 6:55 am

These need to be in my life. Stat.

caylee14/12/2013 - 5:16 pm

Hi, I was just wondering…if I used a pre-made vegan soy protein drink as the sub for say other non-dairy milks would that affect this recipe in anyway?

Laura Wright16/12/2013 - 8:42 am

Hi Caylee, I think the recipe would be fine if you subbed the non-dairy milk with the protein drink. Is the protein drink thicker than normal non-dairy milks? You might have to thin it out a bit, but other than that–should be fine.
-L

Dian31/12/2013 - 3:22 pm

Great idea for pancakes! I’m going to try these except with some dairy + eggs.

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