Can you smell the gingerbread? I can, which makes sense since I’m currently cooking some gingerbread syrup. The aroma of gingerbread spices warms my soul and excites my belly for what I’ll be enjoying this afternoon.
This spiced syrup will be used as the flavouring in my homemade bubble tea. This is a lovely asian-inspired drink that mixes classical holiday spices with my childhood favourite beverage: bubble tea!
So in lieu of a blog today, I hope you don’t mind if I share the recipe for making a homemade gingerbread bubble tea, including the bubbles. Making this drink is a fun way to get your hands into an edible activity, which can be a solo or friends and family activity too.
For this recipe, you’ll need to make three main components:
- Boba, also known as the tapioca pearls or the ‘bubbles’ in ‘bubble’ tea. This part can be a bit tricky, but if you watch our recommended video and follow the recipe from China Sichuan Food, you should be ok.
- Gingerbread syrup
- Steeped Black Tea
For the Boba
We’re not in the business of duplicating efforts where there’s already a good recipe out there, so for this step we recommend that you follow the recipe from China Sichuan Food. Their Youtube video provides step-by-step instructions on how to make the tapioca pearls, including how to create the dough and avoid under- and over-gelatinization of the tapioca starch. The balance of gelatinization is key to achieving the desired texture so please read and follow the instructions carefully.
For the Gingerbread Syrup
The China Sichuan Food recipe calls for a brown sugar syrup to coat the boba once it’s cooked. The same syrup is made for sweetening the beverage at the end. Instead of the brown sugar syrup, we’re going to replace it with a homemade gingerbread syrup. The recipe for the gingerbread syrup is below.
What you’ll need:
- 500g brown sugar
- 225ml of water
- 1/2 cinnamon stick or ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- ½ cup of fresh ginger (cut into small pieces)
- ¼ tsp ground clove
- ¼ tsp ground allspice
- Bring water to a boil in a small sauce pot with a lid
- When water is boiling, lower the heat and add ginger and spices (cinnamon, clove, allspice) and simmer for 5 minutes
- Add sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat when liquid begins to bubble and slightly thicken.
- Strain the syrup while hot and set aside until needed.
For the Steeped Tea
Since we’re using the steeped tea in a bubble tea, we’re going to make this steeped tea extra strong. To do this, use double the amount of black tea leaves than you usually would for the same amount of water. For example, if you typically use one tea bag for 1 cup of water, for strong steeped tea you’d use 2 tea bags for 1 cup of water.
Steep tea for the usual amount of time, and remove tea leaves/tea bag. Cool completely, and set aside for assembly.
Assemble your Gingerbread Bubble Tea
This is the exciting part! We recommend using a tall glass so you can see your beautiful handmade bubbles.
- Add 2 tbsp of your gingerbread syrup to the glass and swirl it around to coat the bottom third of the glass
- Add 2 tbsp of tapioca pearls
- Add 1/2 cup of steeped tea
- Add ½ cup of milk
- Mix, and enjoy!
Note: you can adjust the sweetness by adding or reducing the amount of gingerbread syrup.