Place the spices and tea-leaves or bag in a small round of muslin cloth (or fabric) and tie together with string. Heat the water in a saucepan and add the spice mix. Allow to simmer slowly for 5-10 minutes until the water colours and you can smell the pungent spices. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, honey and milk and allow to cool to a warm temperature.
Sift the flour in a bowl, rub in the butter and stir in the sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Measure out 280ml of the warm Chai tea, then mix in the yeast. (Keep the rest of the tea for the glaze later on). As soon as it starts to foam, add this to the flour with the beaten egg.
Mix together with your hands until it comes together to form dough.
Oil the bowl, then cover with a cloth and leave to stand in a warm place for at least an hour or until doubled in size.
Once doubled, remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 5-10 minutes until soft and springy. Add the raisins and mixed peel and knead well.
Shape the dough into 12 balls, place on a greased tray or two and leave somewhere warm to double in size for 30-45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
Sift remaining flour into a bowl and add the water, mix to a rough paste. Place in a piping bag.
Pipe a cross over each bun then place in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden brown.
Take the left over Chai tea and measure 1 cup. Discard the rest. Heat the tea in a small saucepan with ½ cup of sugar. Boil for a few minutes then turn off the heat.
Remove from the oven, glaze with the Chai tea glaze.
Serve warm with lots of butter.
*Note, if you do not have enough Chai tea for the glaze you can add more water to your spice ‘bag’ and make more by simmering for a few minutes.
Make this mixture ahead of time. Try keep it in the fridge to slow down the yeast growth. Use as and when needed.
Reprinted with permission of Sasko.