One of my favourite cupcakes is the Red Velvet Cupcakes with Mascarpone frosting. What I love about the cake is how moist it is because of the lack of butter which is replaced by vegetable oil, yoghurt and vinegar. Being a fan of all things green tea, I thought about using that recipe here and it came out really well might I add! The Red Bean Buttercream Frosting was adapted from Cupcake Project and I do recommend try making your own Red Bean paste unless you can find a really authentic red bean paste. The ones I could find in Melbourne, all had loads of sugar and other ingredients instead of red beans and the frosting won’t be as flavoursome.
Serves: 24 Cupcakes
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes
180g caster sugar
375ml vegetable oil
250ml plain yoghurt
1 tsp vinegar (5 ml)
315g plain flour
15g green tea powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Red Bean Buttercream Frosting
115g unsalted butter, room temperature
240g red bean paste, smooth
1/4 tsp salt
75g icing sugar
Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. In a food processor, mix the eggs with the caster sugar, vegetable oil, plain yoghurt, and vinegar.
3. Sift plain flour, green tea powder, baking soda and salt in a separate bowl.
4. Add in sifted ingredients to the food processor and blend until just incorporated.
5. Place cupcake papers into a muffin pan, divide the batter in the cupcake papers, pour only halfway so batter doesn’t overflow, and bake, rotating half way through, for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and let cool.
Red Bean Buttercream Frosting
1. Mix the butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add in the red bean paste and beat until smooth.
3. Mix in salt and sifted icing sugar until combined.
4. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
Since holidaying in Japan, I had this urge to consume anything green tea or think about what foods I can add green tea to. I found this amazingly looking recipe by Namiko Chen from Just One Cookbook that I just had to try. I made a few tweaks and it came out quite nicely if I do say so myself. Not too buttery, and a lovely green tea aroma to it.
Makes: 36 cookies (60 small cookies)
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
240g plain flour
20g green tea powder
150g unsalted butter, softened
120g icing sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks
60g chopped macadamias (or 60g white chocolate chips if prefer something sweeter)
1. Sift the plain flour and green tea powder in a medium sized bowl.
2. Beat the butter, icing sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
3. Add the two egg yolks and beat until combined.
4. In small batches, add the flour and green tea powder into the wet mixture until combined.
5. Evenly fold in the chopped macadamia nuts (or white chocolate chips).
6. Split the dough into two even sized portions and shape into cylinders.
7. Lay out cling wrap, about the size of chopping board, and place the dough on top.
8. Wrap the dough tightly, and if need be, wrap it in more cling wrap to give it a firm shape.
9. Place in the refrigerator for a two to three hours (or overnight). However, if pressed for time, you can pop it in the freezer for around 30 minutes until it has hardened but still able to cut.
10. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Take out the dough from the fridge (or freezer) and remove the cling wrap. Slice the cookies to around 7mm thick or as preferred and place onto a baking tray, 3-4 cm apart.
11. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookie is slightly browned.
Le Petit Gateau is still my go to dessert place. Sadly, now that I’m working, it’s challenging to make a trip down there since they close at 5pm on weekdays, and unfortunately don’t open on weekends.
However, it’s most definitely worth the time and effort to make your way here. My first encounter with Le Petit Gateau’s cakes was when my sister bought one to celebrate my mother’s birthday. She has this undying love for the combination of nuts and chocolate. Just like me!
I was so amazed that there was even a cake that had the flavour of Hazelnuts. This Hazelnut Praline Mud Cake was made for us choc+nut lovers.
The mud cake has that nice dense texture, with I believe a sprinkling of thinly chopped nuts through the cake. Although it may be rich, it is certainly delectable.
What makes this cake so beautiful is that silky smooth chocolate icing layer around the cake. Glossy, and it just melts in your mouth. It has such a pleasant hazelnut flavour, that it’s like you’re eating the filling of a Ferrero Rocher again and again, but only better. Absolutely delicious.
The chocolate strip on top is tempered to perfection, with that nice snap when you break it. Those candied almonds and chocolate bits just are the icing on the iced chocolate mud cake.
It even tasted better when I was greeted with the cake on my own birthday months ago! Happy Birthday to me!
Everyone must at least make a trip to Le Petit Gateau at least once. Their selection of petit (Hehe) cakes will make you salivate. If cakes aren’t your thing, but macarons are? This is the place to visit. I’m not certain if I have mentioned this but their macarons are amazing. One of the best macarons I’ve ever come across in Victoria. Their macaron flavours constantly change, but for those that like a bit of Green Tea, their Green Tea flavoured macarons are delicious. Crisp outer layer, not too airy, and just the right amount of chewiness.
Even just thinking about it, makes me want to go before work (when the shop opens at 7:30am) or taking up my whole lunch hour just to get there and back! To be honest, it would be well worth it.
458 Little Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Monday to Friday, 7:30am-5pm
Tel: 03 9944 8893
fax: 03 9944 8895
Mochi is a Japanese treat that is made from glutinous rice flour and is usually slightly chewy and soft with an assortment of fillings inside. In most offerings, red bean paste is used. Although more commonly known as a Japanese food, it is known to be popular in other Asian countries with their own twists or variances.
What goes best with red bean? Grean Tea.
I’ve adapted this recipe from Belachan2 and have made my usual changes to the recipe to suit my own tastes.
Green Tea Mochi with Red Bean Filling
1 cup glutinous rice flour
1/2 tsp. green tea powder (for baking)
1 tbs sugar
Red bean paste for filling (Recipe below)
Black sesame paste for filling (Recipe below)
Cornstarch for dusting (microwave cornstarch for 2 mins, let it cool completely before using) – Or you can light heat up the glutinous rice flour in a pan for a couple of minutes (don’t burn) and let it cool to room temperature.
1. In a glass bowl, combine flour, green tea powder and water. Stir to mix well. Then add in the sugar, stir til sugar dissolved.
2. Cover with a plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes. Remove and stir well. Return to microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir-well and check for doneness. If not, put it back for another 30 seconds, be careful not to burn it.
3. Flour the working surface with cornstarch and use a spoon to drop a ball of mochi on top and quickly cover it with starch. Divide into 8 or 10 pieces. Wrap the filling inside and cover with more cornstarch. Shape into balls and ready to serve.
Red Bean Paste (From JustHungry)
2 cups washed azuki beans
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1. Soak the beans in cold water to cover for 24 hours.
2. Drain the beans and put them in a pot with water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, boil for a minute then drain the beans. Rinse the beans briefly under cold running water and drain again. Put the beans back in the pot with fresh cold water, bring to a boil, then drain and rinse again. This twice-boiling gets rid of much of the surface impurities and makes the an taste cleaner.
3. Put the beans back in the rinsed pot, and add enough water so that it comes up to about 2cm/1 inch above the beans. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a low simmer. Add water if it boils away. Skim off any scum on the surface. Cook until the beans are completely cooked and falling apart. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.
4. Put the pot of beans back on medium-low heat. Add the sugar and salt in 3-4 batches, while stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula to distribute the sugar and salt evenly. When the sugar melts, it will exude moisture, but if it seems a bit too dry or sticking to the pot, add a little of the reserved cooking liquid back in. Continue cooking while stirring occasiontaly, until the sugar is completely melted and absorbed into the beans. This step takes 10-15 minutes.
5. At this point the beans should be soft enough to mash easily with the side of your spatula. You can also use a potato mssher. Turn out onto a plate to let cool.
Rice Cooker Method (not exact)
1. Add around 250g washed azuki beans into a rice cooker
2. Fill the bowl with water until it covers all the beans
3. Let it cook in there for a couple of hours or until the beans start to soften
4. In the middle of cooking in the rice cooker, add sugar (up to you) and add a a couple of pandan leaves for flavour.
5. Once the beans are soft, you can either mash them together with a cooking utensil until smooth. If you want a really fine paste, you’ll probably need to put it through a sieve a couple of items or try a food processor.
Black Sesame Paste (Not exact)
100 g Black Sesame Powder
2 tbs Icing Sugar
1 tbs Butter/Margarine (Soft)
1. Add all the ingredients together, you can use a whisk or a fork to mix until it forms a paste.
2. If it doesn’t mix properly, add slightly more margarine/butter and mix. Similarly, if it isn’t sweet enough for your liking, add more until it suits you.
This recipe is fantastic if you like soft and slightly chewy Mochi but my first warning is if you cannot eat them all in the day (how can you not?) then it usually hardens overnight. There are a few recipes that won’t do this but I find them to be more dense and tougher to eat.
My second warning is that, the rice ball after heated up is extremely sticky. So add the flour to your hands, and on the plate/table. You’ll get the hang of it after a couple of tries but flour up each time as otherwise it can be a total disaster when you try putting in the filling. You can always eat the disasters so that’s a plus anyway. This is always my go to recipe and although I said it was tricky, it is a very simple process.
Mochi’s are like the Macarons of the East. The filling and the rice ball is all up to you! Enjoy!