A Blog Series for Serious Sippers!
In this blog series, I will answer the question “what is Matcha green tea?” and help you discover how to find genuine matcha, how best to store it, and the ways to prepare this vivid green health elixir from Japan.
Thanks goes largely to Instagram for making matcha hit the limelight! The vibrant green color brings photographs to life and makes you drool as you scroll one amazing creation after the next.
Truth be told, I really struggled with matcha when we opened our cafe bakery in Japan where I was doing all of the baking. It seemed like I could never get the taste balanced and it was costing a fortune in failed attempts! I’ve learned so much over the years and now I will happily bake, create, and use matcha as an ingredient in my home kitchen.
Matcha is such a versatile superfood that you really don’t realize just how healthy it is as you crunch into cookies, slice into that pie, and build a leaning tower of Pisa parfait!
Yes, certain matcha is sublime for sipping; but buy the culinary grade with an edgier taste profile and chalkier texture for a value-packed way to add copious amounts of this bionic superfood to your daily life.
It’s easy to think of matcha as the Japanese cocoa because you can substitute matcha for cocoa in a lot of recipes with just a few modifications. The powdery consistency is very similar. In fact, my yabunouchi tea ceremony teacher in Nakatsu made me practice whisking with cheap cocoa powder to perfect my whisking skills (but actually to keep me from wasting her ceremonial grade matcha)! Give it a go!
Here are some basic tips that will help you use culinary-grade matcha as an ingredient in your kitchen:
- Sift your matcha to allow it to combine with the other ingredients and prevent it from forming tiny clumps. Definitely do this when drinking ceremonial grade too!
- Treat your matcha as a dry ingredient when you are baking. By sifting it twice with your flour and other dry ingredients, you will achieve a more consistent mixture throughout.
- Matcha is white chocolate’s best friend! This duo is all you need to make some of the loveliest sweet matcha creations you will ever taste. SLOWLY melt a few bars of white chocolate over a simmering double boiler, scoop out a bit from the pot, and stir SIFTED matcha into it to form a paste. Then stir the paste into the rest of the warm liquid chocolate. Let it cool and set in the fridge. Use the very best white chocolate you can find – Lindt is a good one. Do not overheat or over stir as separation could occur. (And REALLY don’t make a whisked matcha shot with water and add to the white chocolate because that truly will make it separate. Been there, done that!)
To be concluded in The Essential Guide to Matcha: Matcha Recipes – Part 2
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