Salted Vanilla Caramel Chai Latte
Salted Vanilla Bean Caramel
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream, heated
- 1 teaspoon Heilala vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 cup salted vanilla bean caramel sauce (above)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 black tea bags
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 10 cloves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 5 green cardamom pods
- 1-inch piece of ginger, sliced
- 2 cups hot milk
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Whipped cream or frothed milk
- Extra salted vanilla bean caramel, for drizzling
Salted vanilla bean caramel
Sprinkle the granulated sugar over the bottom of a heavy-duty 3-4 quart saucepan. Turn heat on to medium. The sugar will start to melt. Use a fork or wooden spoon, if needed, to stir the sugar so it melts evenly. When the melted sugar starts to turn golden amber in color, remove from heat and immediately add the butter.
Stir well with a wooden spoon. Use caution as the hot sugar may splatter a bit when the butter is added.
Next stir in the hot cream. The caramel may start to clump after the cream is added. Return the pan to the stove and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and thick. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and salt. Remove from heat and transfer to a jar or heat-safe bowl until ready to use.
Place the tea bags and spices into a saucepan and pour the boiling water over the top. Let steep for 8-10 minutes. Remove tea bags, pressing on them to extract as much liquid as possible. Add the milk to the pan along with the salted caramel sauce. Heat until liquid barely simmers. Remove from heat and let steep for 15-20 minutes.
Remove spices with slotted spoon and heat tea mixture again just until very hot, but not boiling.
Ladle the hot tea into four to six small mugs, leaving room at the top for the whipped cream or frothed milk. Drizzle a little of the salted vanilla bean caramel over the top. Serve immediately or served cold for an iced chai latte.