Monday, August 30, 2010

Mmm matcha!

This post is dedicated to green tea - one of the many loves of my life. I love to have tea time in the morning, late afternoon and evenings but this time it's in dessert! I have a list of desserts with tea as an ingredient (like chai tea cupcakes) but this isn't about that. It's about matcha green tea mochi baby cakes with red bean paste (say that ten times fast!). I wanted to make something unique/special because it was Daniel's moms birthday and I wanted him to take home a nice little surprise for his family. At first I didn't think it would be possible to make something with matcha because I wasn't sure where I would get the powder. I read on Happy Home Baking (a great blogger who focuses on some Asian dessert specialties) that you can get the powder on Amazon but there wasn't enough time for it be delivered. If you live next to a Mitsuwa or another Japanese market, you can easily find it there in the tea aisle. It's about $7.00 for a small can that is 1.5 ounces. I can't believe it's that pricey for a small ounce of it but it's definitely worth it. It smells so great when you pop open the can - so fresh! Plus you can get quite a few tablespoons out of a can.

Ok so on to the recipe. Since I only bought matcha and red bean paste (also at the Japanese market), I thought I could make matcha pound cake but I didn't actually have a bread pan. I had to think of something else using these two items as the main ingredients and found Kitchen Meditation (ommm) which came to the rescue. At first I was a little hesitant because she mentioned the ingredient Mochiko which I've used to make mochi before. It was a sticky messy situation and I didn't want to touch it ever again but somehow it made its way back into my life. With only two hours before I had to get going, I decided this recipe would do and the final product did look pretty good. I have to say, the taste was also pretty good ;)

Ingredients for 12 mini (cup) cakes:
- 1 2/3 cup Mochiko
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbsp (or more) matcha
- 1/4 cup egg beaters
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup soy milk (she used Almond)
- 1 cup Anko (red bean paste) - I just eyeballed the amount I would put into each cake.

- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
- Melt the butter in the microwave (approximately 30 seconds) then set aside for cooling. I learned that if you don't let the butter cool down and you mix it with the eggs, you create an unsettling scramble affect that is startling. Scary but fixable.
- In one large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, matcha and sugar.
- When the butter has colled down, mix it together with the egg and milk in another bowl.
- Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until it becomes on giant green batch of sticky batter.
- Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and spoon the batter into each cup at about 1/3 full.
- Scoop about 1 to 1/2 tsp of red bean paste into each cup in the middle of the batter.
- Top the remainder of the batter (about half a tablespoon full) on top of each cup. I shook the pan to make sure that the batter covered up the red bean paste and made each cup look smooth on top.
- Bake for about 25 minutes and as Daniel would say, "Ita daki mas!" which means "I'm ready to eat".

How were they?
I don't usually like the texture of mochi but when it's in a cake like form, it's a little more bearable. I like the subtle green tea taste and the sweet little surprise in the middle. This is an entirely new thing I tried and I must say, I enjoyed it. The cakes aren't soft nor crumbly when bitten but it's lightly chewy and softly dense. Weird way to describe it but it's just a weird kind of (cup)cake. I don't really want to call it a cupcake because it really just reminds me of a brownie bite. Small size without any frosting so I don't think it can really be categorized as a cupcake. But it is refreshing and different. Hope you try it sometime!

Thanks to my awesome sous chef Daniel for being the BEST photographer ever :) and my inspiration for writing in my blog.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh.. is that redbean in the middle? I gotta try these!