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In a small saucepan with a lid bring one cup of water to a boil, add the sugar and cinnamon and stir well. Once it comes back to a boil cover the pot with the lid and let the syrup cool overnight to infuse.
The next morning, warm the syrup to make it easy to pour, then strain through a coffee filter and pour into a clean bottle. Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator where it will keep indefinitely. If you'd like to re-use the cinnamon see below for an idea.
Due to the sugar content the syrup may crystallize over time, you can simply heat the bottle in hot water and then shake to redissolve.
• Chai from leftovers! To 8 cups of water add a few slices of fresh ginger, a dozen crushed green cardamom pods, and optionally a big pinch of whole peppercorns. Boil for 5 minutes, then add the leftover cinnamon bark and 3 tablespoons of black tea, stir, and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Strain and add milk or sweetener as you like to this simple chai (it will already be mildly sweet from the residual syrup on the cinnamon).
• The cinnamon content of the syrup lets you use a bit less that you would use of a plain syrup (as cinnamon tastes sweet and will trick your tastebuds), so this is a great idea for pancakes, french toast, oatmeal, and more.
• It's a great way to add spice and sweetness to coffee or tea in the morning.
• I love using it to add a bit of flavor and brightness to savory preparations like tagine, roasted root vegetables, or to marinades for dishes like shawarma.
• And it's a key ingredient in one of my favorite cocktails, the Jet Pilot. Keep an eye out for a spicy recipe in the near future!
Food images and recipe © Christian Leue.
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