Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Going green: a simple matcha loaf

The bright green Japanese matcha tea powder has been intriguing me for a while now. The slightly bitter taste had been haunting me since eating the Mont Fuji cake at Mariage Frères last May. The vivid green colour had captivated my visual tastebuds even earlier, when browsing Bea's and Keiko's blogs. I've now bookmarked numerous recipes using matcha. Last November I made dark chocolate & matcha truffles, but I've decided that more - many more - dishes incorporating matcha should be making an appearance in my kitchen. I'm thinking of making matcha panna cotta soon, as well as matcha ice cream. But to start things off, I made a simple green loaf during the weekend.

My green matcha loaf
(Rohelise tee keeks)
Serves 8

4 medium eggs
150 ml sugar
200 ml plain flour
1 Tbsp matcha tea powder*
a pinch of salt
150 g butter, melted and cooled

Whisk the eggs and sugar until you've got a thick, fluffy and light mixture.
Mix the flour with the matcha powder and a pinch of salt, sift into the egg mixture and fold gently until combined.
Finally fold in the cooled melted butter.
Pour into a greased 2-litre loaf tine.
Bake at 180 C for 30 minutes.
Cool and slice.

Lovely with a cup of afternoon tea.

* Note to myself: I think I'll increase 1.5-fold, maybe even double, the amount of matcha next time. The taste of matcha was really subtle this time, and I would like an even brighter colour. Also, I think adding cocoa nibs or shelled chopped pistachios would be a good idea. Raspberries for garnish possibly?

UPDATE 9.2.2007 - I made it again last night, adding about half a cup of finely chopped pistachio nuts. It tasted lovely, nuts adding a nice crumbly texture. To my great surprise, even a three-year old girl ate a whole slice, not minding the subtle bitterness of matcha at all.

UPDATE 12.2.2007 - K. made it last night, adding about half a cup of finely chopped almond slices. Again, it tasted wonderful, especially when cut in thick slices and served with home-made candied kumquats and some whipped cream.


Anonymous said...

Looks very tasty! I might even add a spoonful of kamajahu if I made this. But is matcha available here in Tartu?

Anne said...

Looks great! I think pistachios and cocoa nibs would be great add-ons. Beware of the matcha pannacotta. :) I tried it - and well, it might have been that I was just not that into matcha. Good thing I served it with lots of chocolate sauce :)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I've been intrigued with matcha also, and I've been collecting recipes. I'll add this one to my list, probably starting with a small amount of matcha to build up my taste for it. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

That is a lovely first try Pille! Yum!

Anonymous said...

I've been curious as to the taste of matcha to sweets too. I really should get on the wagon with this. Maybe matcha cupcakes. Your loaf looks and sounds awesome , I'm with you about the cocoanibs and pistachio , that would be a killer!

Anonymous said...

Lovely looking loaf Pille! I am so curious about matcha...I have no idea where to find it here but I am starting the hunt, because all these recipes just look and sound so good! :)

K and S said...

very nice loaf! can't wait to see what other matcha creations you'll come up with.

Anonymous said...

Pille, I love quick breads and I love green tea. This loaf looks delicious. Your result isn't too surprising, I guess, given just how subtle the taste of green tea is. I think you should definitely try it with some pistachios -- I think they will add both taste and a great crunchy texture.

Anonymous said...

Hi Pille,
A subtle matcha flavor is exactly what I'm looking for ;) I'm curious about the preshaped (parchment) paper you used for the cake - looks very practical! Never seen anything like it here in Germany.

Pille said...

Pene - I've got no idea if you can find matcha in Tartu (or in Tallinn for that matter). I got mine from a Japanese friend, and in Edinburgh it was available at Harvey Nichols, for instance..

Anne - I remember you didn't like matcha panna cotta:) But then Keiko's version sounds so delicious, that I'll probably give it a try anyway!

Lydia - keen to hear what you'll be making!!

Bea - thanks! It means a lot coming from you.

Veron - yes, matcha cupcakes/muffins would be cool! I need to find some cocoa nibs though!

Joey - hope you'll find some matcha!

K&S - I had some lovely matcha ice cream at a small Japanese restaurant just before leaving Edinburgh, so maybe that?

Rob - I didn't want to add too much matcha first time, as it can be a bit bitter. I'll try a bit more this time:)

Nicky - I bought those from Lakeland Limited in the UK - they also come in round shapes, perfect for springforms:) They are truly handy indeed, though not essential..

Anonymous said...

If you do happen to find a source in Tallinn, please let me know.

Pille said...

Pene - I will, even if I doubt they sell it anywhere in Tallinn. I asked for matcha tea at House (a rather good Japanese restaurant on Rataskaevu Street), and they gave me a rather weird look..

Dr.Gray said...

I think something like this - baking matcha, would work out better for this recipe. Better color and probably flavor.

Anonymous said...

You can purchase a great selection of teas and coffees, probably matcha green tea too, in Tallinn from the Tea & Coffe Centre at the Viru Keskus (to find the store, see the map at www.virukeskus.com).