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7 Great Ideas for Baking with Matcha

7 Great Ideas for Baking with Matcha

Matcha’s finely grounded form makes it expedient for mixing with other powdered ingredients for making breads and pastries such as flour, cornmeal, corn starch, baking powder, sugar, and so on. Being rich in chlorophyll, as a result of both its organic composition and the special farming and processing involved in its production, even a tablespoon of matcha will give any batch of baked and steamed goods a charmingly fresh vegetal hue and flavor.

photo source: whiskandknife.wordpress.com

The silky-smooth green tea powder is actually more than just a mere food-coloring or seasoning element. Made entirely from dried and stone-milled buds and young leaves of shade-grown Camellia Sinensis, matcha is brimming with antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and trace minerals that help shield and cleanse our bodies from toxins and free radicals that cause cell degeneration, diseases and infections.

If the sight, taste and aroma of freshly baked breads and pastries can help improve our mood and vigor, the inclusion of matcha in the batter, dough, icings or fillings further intensifies the food's ‘feel-good’ effect. It is because the said bright green powder contains a copious amount of L-theanine that help stimulates the production of dopamine and serotonin in the reward and pleasure center of the brain. It likewise helps in regulating sleep, improving memory and alleviating physical pains and discomforts.

You don’t actually need premium matcha for baking and cooking. You can just settle for Culinary Grade powder for the purpose, which is the least expensive among the three basic classifications of matcha. That factor, along with its adaptability to various flavor profiles, strengthens our reasons for infusing homemade breads, cookies, donuts, cakes and pastries with the highly nutritious green tea powder. 

Here are few ideas and sample recipes devised by talented and passionate professional and home bakers that you could try at home:

 

1. Matcha Cake                                                                             

photo source: kitchentigress.blogspot.sg

Matcha can be introduced in both the cake batter and the frosting mix. Besides giving the cake a vibrant green color, it also works as a substitute for salt to counter-balance the other ingredients’ innate sweetness. Matcha is somehow comparable to raw cocoa powder in terms of usefulness both as a food or drink component, and as a dietary supplement. Both foodstuffs’ bitter notes actually came from their abundant polyphenols, particularly EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) for matcha and EC (epicatechin) for cocoa.

In terms of usage, you generally need lesser amount of matcha for cooking or making drinks than you do with cocoa powder. It is because of its high concentration of organic nutrients that affects the intensity of its natural taste, color and aroma. Some of which, like EGCG for instance, may not be found at all in most fruits and vegetables, or at least, not in the same volume borne by green tea powder.

A baker / blogger from Singapore who goes by the handle Kitchen Tigress or KT has shared with the netizens everywhere a great recipe for a spongy Matcha Cake that you can try at home. She confided in her blog that she went through four tins of matcha powder before she perfected this recipe, a clear display of commitment since the final list of ingredients only calls for 5 grams of the powder or about 1/6 of the content of a regular 30g can.

Click HERE to get the complete recipe.

 

2. Matcha Macarons With Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

photo source: whiskandknife.wordpress.com

Matcha and macarons are two of the trendiest foodstuffs at the start of this millennium. Ironically, both products have been around for quite some time, with matcha being produced in Japan since the 12th century, while macarons can be traced back to Italy and France all the way to the 16th and 17th centuries, respectively. Mixing the two together is practically an East meets West affair, yet very ideal since matcha’s innate flavor works really well with that of grounded almond, the base ingredient for making macarons. 

Auspiciously, matcha likewise functions as a healthier and more organic substitute to artificial food colorings, which are usually used to add vibrancy to macaron shells. It also provides an additional layer of earthy flavor to the predominantly sweet treat, not to mention an ample nutritional boost.

Bloggers and food enthusiasts Sarah and Nigel posted a wonderful recipe for Matcha Macarons filled with Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache in their site Whisk & Knife. Shown above is a mouthwatering photo of the said treat, as originally showcased in their blog.

Click HERE to see complete recipe.

 

3. Matcha White Chocolate Cookies

Photo source: www.bakepedia.com

The highly nourishing silken green tea powder can be added to flour mixtures for making cookies, muffins, shortbreads and other baked treats prior to combining them with the wet ingredients like eggs, milk, etc. You usually just need a few tablespoons of the powder per baking batch to get that luscious green tinge and distinctive green tea flavor on your tasty products. Matcha’s natural umami taste works really well with sweet ingredients commonly added to baked goodies such as raisins, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, etc. 

Lauren Chattman, a prolific food writer, former pastry chef and author of fourteen cookbooks, has shared her recipe for ‘Matcha White Chocolate Cookies’ through the website bakepedia.com, an Internet portal where professional and aspiring bakers can exchange baking recipes and ideas. Lauren even gave her creation a little zing by adding crystallized ginger, and a more earthy twist by incorporating pine nuts in the mix. The photo for her products is shown above as it originally appeared in the said website.

Click HERE to see complete recipe.

 

4. Matcha Croissant

Photo source: etherealeats.com

Who wouldn’t love a warm, flaky and buttery croissant in the morning, or any time of the day for that matter? The said puffy crescent-shaped French pastry has been subjected to various innovations across the globe through the years. You can find them in the most traditional form or stuffed with a variety of sweet or savory fillings in numerous cafes and restaurants around the world. But have you ever had a green hued croissant before that is loaded with healthful green tea catechins?

Making croissant at home for the first time may be tedious as unlike other breads and pastries, it involves a technique called ‘lamination’. It involves encasing butter blocks inside layers of dough by folding and rolling, thus making the pastry layers crispy and flaky yet soft. There is actually no better way to enjoy a croissant than a few minutes after they came out fresh from the oven, so this endeavor is truly worth the labor.

Young blogger Colleen from Vancouver Canada has shared her recipe and experience in making matcha-infused croissants in her site etherealeats.com. Besides filling the croissants with peanut butter and snickers, she also added black sesame seeds, as well as sifted raw matcha powder and confectioner’s sugar on top to make her finished product more scrumptious and phenomenal, as shown in the photo above.

Click HERE to see complete recipe. 

 

5. Baked Matcha Glazed Doughnuts

 

Photo and recipe source: www.cookingatsabrinas.com

Doughnut or donut is probably one of the most popular confectioneries in the world. Proof is that there seems to be a version or versions of the said treat in at least half of the countries across the planet. For instance, in France they have the beignet, in Greece they have the loukoumas, In Russia they have the ponchiki, in China they have the youtiao, in the Philippines they have the shakoy, and the list goes on. It also comes in different shapes, colors, sizes, icings, filling, toppings, etc.

The most common way to cook doughnuts is by deep-frying the formed dough, which may be yeast-based or similar to cake batter in composition. The cooked dough may be glazed, filled with cream or jelly, topped with sprinkles or confectioner’s sugar or treated with other enhancements. Food blogger Sabrina, a former clinical dietitian turned food service manager and caterer, managed to come up with a healthier matcha-infused version of the treat, which she posted in her website Cooking at Sabrina’s.

Her recipe called Baked Matcha Glazed Doughnuts is not only non-deep-fried, it also contains only 4 grams of fat each! Yes, she actually did the math. The best thing of course, is that she incorporated matcha in both the batter mix and the glaze, which gave the doughnuts not only a unique flavor and lovely green color, but also an added nutritive value. Sabrina also did a fantastic job on the food photography as shown above.

Click HERE to see the complete recipe.

 

6. Matcha Madeleine

Photo source: simplybakess.blogspot.com

Madeleine is probably one of the most globally popular French pastries. In fact, this dainty seashell-shaped sweet treat was chosen to represent France in the Café Europe event held in Vienna, Austria in 2006. The said cultural affair featured one famous delicacy from each EU member nation, such as gugelhupf from the host country, waffles from Belgium, scones from Ireland, streuselkuchen from Germany, tiramisu from Italy, apfeltorte from Luxembourg, and so on. 

Infusing the said celebrated pastry with matcha is again a perfect example of East-meets-West thing in food innovation. It is of course, interesting how the malty and vegetal quality of matcha will affect the commonly sweet flavor profile of a traditional madeleine. And apparently, it works really well, as proven by a terrific teenage baker and blogger from Singapore. Her recipe and product shots were posted in her blog named Simply Bakes, which chronicles her personal culinary journey. One photo of her finished product appears above.

Click HERE to see complete recipe.

 

7. Green Tea Pound Cake

Photo source: www.food.com

The typical pound cake is actually composed of 1 pound each of eggs, flour, sugar and butter, from which this treat got its name. It originates in Northern Europe in the 1700’s and spread out in the region with several variations, which includes topping it with nuts or dried fruits. It continues to be popular around the world including the Americas, of which it continues to be an integral part of Southern cuisine in the USA.

A passionate cook from South Dakota, who goes by the handle kittycatmom, gave the traditional pound cake recipe she inherited from her mom an Asian twist by adding matcha powder into the mix. She shared her updated recipe through food.com, a culinary exchange site for professional and home cooks alike. Listed ingredients include 2 eggs, 1-cup flour, 2/3 cups sugar, ½ cup butter, ½ tsp. baking powder and 1 tablespoon matcha. If you don’t have past experience in baking a pound cake, the author gave some easy-to-follow instructions for your benefit. 

Click HERE to see complete recipe.

 

Thanks for reading! I hope you find this piece aptly informative and helpful in your pursuit to make matcha a part of your future baking endeavors.