I’ve blabbed on about matcha this and matcha that in my recent Japan blog posts but how many of you really know what matcha is?
Matcha (抹茶) is basically finely-milled Japanese green tea.
Traditionally used in the Japanese tea ceremony, matcha is a prized tea because of its beautiful smooth and mellow flavours, colour and aroma. It is also expensive (but varies in grade) due to its labour-intensive harvesting and production process.
The finest tea buds are hand picked from shade-grown tea leaves, then dried, de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone ground to the fine, bright green, talc-like powder known as matcha.
According to wiki, it can take up to one hour to grind 30 grams of matcha.
Nowadays, matcha is popular ingredient used to flavour all things sweet and savoury, ranging from salt mixtures for tempura or kushiyaki to cookies, ice creams and chocolate.
Matcha can be found in Japanese grocery stores across Sydney and I’ve even spotted it at IGA in Market City!
It was also on the top of my shopping list when I was in Japan, which is why I decided to bake these muffins for the family. I wanted to bring them a taste of Japan 🙂
I’m not a big fan of light and airy muffins so the density and texture of this pound cake version was perfect for heightening the divine essence of green tea.
Recipe adapted from milk and honey cafe
Makes 6 large muffins
2 cups bleached all-purpose four
2 tbsp Matcha green tea
2 tsp baking powder
220g soft unsalted butter
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
4 large eggs, separated
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 160°C. Butter a large 6 hole muffin tin and line with wax paper or muffin cases.
Combine the flour, green tea and baking powder and stir well to mix.
Cream butter and sugar in bowl of mixer with paddle attachment and beat for about 3 minutes or until light. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping bowl and beater occasionally with a rubber spatula. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the flour mixture by hand, with a rubber spatula.
Pour the egg whites and salt into a clean, dry mixer bowl. Place on mixer with whisk attachment and whip whites on medium speed until white and opaque and just beginning to hold their shape. Increase speed slightly and continue whipping egg whites until they hold a soft peak.
Remove bowl from mixer and quickly scrape whites from bowl onto batter in other bowl. Use a large rubber spatula to fold the egg whites into the batter, folding just until no streaks of white remain.
Scoop the batter into the muffin tin, ensuring you only fill it ¾ full. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes or until it is well risen and a toothpick inserted in the center emerges dry.
Cool the muffins in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then un-mold and cool it completely.