Having made the traditional hot cross buns many times before, I wanted to experiment and try something different this year. Of course, I thought of green tea, one of my favourite flavours. I came across quite a few recipes that paired these green tea hot cross buns with red bean paste or sweetened red beans, but I love the pairing of green tea and white chocolate. The bitterness of the tea flavour works well with the sweetness of the white chocolate and it’s not so far off from making chocolate hot cross buns. I bought some hot cross buns from my local bakery to compare with and these hot cross buns are just as or even more so, fluffy inside. Perfect warm, with a thin smothering of butter or even red bean or black sesame paste if you’re feeling a bit adventurous.
600g Plain Flour, Extra for Dusting
14g Dried Instant Yeast
100g Caster Sugar
25g Matcha Green Tea Powder
1 1/2 tbsp Mixed Spice
1/8 tsp Salt
250g White Chocolate Chips
50g Unsalted Butter
300ml Full Cream Milk, Room Temperature
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
Flour Paste for the Crosses
90g Plain Flour
4-7 tbsp Water
30g Caster Sugar
1. In a large bowl, sift the flour, caster sugar, matcha green tea powder, mixed spice and salt. Then add in the yeast and stir until mixed well.
2. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low-medium heat. Then add in the milk and heat until the mixture is lukewarm.
3. Pour the lukewarm milk and butter mixture into the dry ingredients, along with the beaten eggs and mix slowly until the dough starts to combine then add in the white chocolate chips and mix until the dough forms into a ball.
4. Take the dough out of the bowl and onto a floured surface, and knead the dough for around 10 minutes or until the dough is nice and smooth. Place the dough into a large lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for around 1 to 1.5 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
5. Once the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and knead the dough back to its original size. Split the dough into 12 equal parts (roughly 100g in weight) and roll into a ball. Then place onto a lined baking tray roughly 1 cm apart and allow the dough to rest for another 30 minutes. Once the dough has doubled in size again or near doubled in size, preheat the oven to 170?C.
6. To make the crosses, combine the plain flour and water in a small bowl. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until it’s just runny enough to pipe. Place the paste into a piping bag and pipe onto the buns.
7. Once the dough has doubled in size, place in the oven to bake for around 20 to 25 minutes or until they have browned on the top. Remove from the oven and place the buns onto a cooling rack.
8. To glaze the buns, combine the water and caster sugar into a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Bring to the boil, stirring if necessary so that the sugar dissolves and boil for around 3 to 4 minutes. Brush the glaze onto the warm hot cross buns then serve the buns warm or at room temperature.
I love mixing Western style desserts with Asian flavours and here I found a recipe from Just One Cookbook that combines that creamy and light French Crème Brûlée with Japanese Green Tea flavour for that slightly bitter tea note. Perfect!
Green Tea Crème Brûlée (adapted from Just One Cookbook)
360ml Thickened Cream
360ml Full Cream Milk
1 tbsp Green Tea Powder
5 Large Egg Yolks
100g Caster Sugar, plus 1 tsp for each serving
1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
2. In a medium saucepan, add the thickened cream, full cream milk, and sifted green tea powder and heat over medium heat. Stir the mixture often, until it’s very hot to touch but not boiling. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
3. Start to boil a kettle over the stove.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the caster sugar and egg yolks until the mixture becomes pale in colour.
5. Add the milk mixture a bit at a time to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously so that you avoid cooking the eggs.
6. Once it has all been mixed together, place a sieve or a cheesecloth over a large bowl and strain the mixture.
7. Pour the strained mixture into 6 medium sized ramekins, then place the ramekins into a deep baking tray or pan.
8. Pour the boiling water into the baking tray or pan until the water comes up to halfway on the sides of the ramekins. Place the tray in the oven. Bake the crème brûlée for around 30 to 40 minute or until the crème brûlée is set when shaken but the middle still wobbles. Remove the ramekins from the oven and then allow to cool to room temperature before cling wrapping the ramekins and refrigerating for at least 2 hours (up to 3 days).
9. Take out the ramekins at least 30 minutes before caramelising the sugar on top. Then add one teaspoon of the caster sugar on top and move the ramekin around so that the sugar coats the entire top of the crème brûlée and discard any excess sugar. Using a kitchen blowtorch, melt the sugar until the sugar caramelises and browns. Leave the crème brûlée ramekins for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Getting in on the Soft Serve ice cream popularity is Tsujiri on Swanston Street in the Melbourne CBD. Tsujiri is a tea brand originating from Japan that excels in all things Matcha/Green Tea. With locations in UK, Canada and Asia, it has now opened in Australia. Tsujiri’s menu offers a wide range of Matcha and Houjicha flavoured drinks, as well as snacks such as cream puffs, swiss rolls and glutinous rice balls.
Tsujiri’s signature sundae you can order mixed (Matcha and Vanilla), Matcha or just Vanilla and it comes with the glutinous rice ball and sweet potato ball on top, Sakura flavoured wafer, red beans and roasted rice. Tsujiri certainly doesn’t skimp on the flavour of the green tea as it’s stronger than you would have at Rice Workshop or Nene’s Chicken. I also loved the subtle floral notes of the wafer, and the roasted rice for a lovely crunchy texture. The only thing I didn’t like was the price where it’s leaning towards $10 and especially for the price.
While Tsujiri excels in green tea, its pricing is on the higher end and I question whether it’s worth it even if it’s good.
146 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Shortstop is a popular donuts and coffee spot in the Melbourne CBD. Located on Sutherland Street and walking distance from Melbourne Central Station, the donuts there tend to be sold out before closing time so I’d recommend getting in there early or pre-ordering! At Shortstop, they usually have around 10 different donut flavours to choose from and their flavours do also change from time to time. Whilst the flavours may change, they usually have at least one of each type of donut (Raised, Cruller, Filled and Cake). The first time I visited Shortstop I had to try all the different types. Obviously.
I ordered the Thai Milk Tea (Raised), Maple Walnut & Brown Butter (Raised), Tiramisu (Filled), Cookies & Cream (Filled), Triple Matcha (Cake) and Australian Honey & Sea Salt (Cruller) which sadly, is not pictured above.
The Cake donuts are as you would think by the label given. They are cake shaped donuts. Freshly made, this Triple Matcha Cake donut is fluffy, with a bold matcha flavour to it with just a slight bitterness coming through. The white chocolate and matcha glaze is heavily on the sweet side but that’s par for the course for white chocolate and donuts in general. Love the matcha flavour but not the glaze so much.
Eaten the Shortstop donuts fresh is amazing and I highly recommend you don’t keep the donuts for too long after as the texture, taste does change a bit. The Maple Walnut & Brown Butter Raise donut is incredible. Like the best damn donut I’ve ever tried. Crunchy and toasty maple walnuts with the just sweet enough brown butter glaze on top of this so fluffy raised donut it’s the perfect combination.
The Thai Milk Tea donut is interesting and in a good way. I love fusing Asian flavours with traditionally Western food so this one works for me. The Thai Milk Tea flavour does come through but it’s a bit more subtle than I would have liked but again the donut is top notch. Fluffy and not dry.
The Tiramisu filled donut has a lovely coffee cream filling inside. The coffee flavour is surprisingly intense and might be a bit too strong for my liking with the fluffy donut. However, for those that love their coffee creams strong, this one is for you.
Usually you can’t go wrong with a Cookie & Cream flavour or filling, and this is no different. The Cookies & Cream filling is tasty, the flavour comes through perfectly and the cream is so light and delicious paired with the fluffy donut.
The Cruller’s are interesting. The texture of these donuts is quite airy which is nice, but the honey glaze is incredibly sweet. Too sweet to have the entire donut all to oneself to be honest. The sea salt seasoning does try and put the sweetness back in balance a bit but I wouldn’t order this particular flavour again.
Interesting flavours and more importantly tasty donuts. Donuts done right.
12 Sutherland Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
This is one of my favourite baked cheesecake recipes. It has a crunchy hazelnut base, a layer of black sesame filling, a layer of green tea filling, a green tea powder on top and it doesn’t feel very rich like some cheesecakes are. I’m so glad I found this recipe on Oh Sweet Day, who has some amazing looking recipes that I can’t wait to try too.
Green Tea & Black Sesame Cheesecake (by Oh Sweet Day)
Makes: One 8-inch Cake
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Passive Time: 1 hour plus overnight
Hazelnut Shortbread Crust
150g Hazelnuts, Toasted
85g Unsalted Butter (Cold), Cubed
125g Plain Flour
75g Caster Sugar
3/4 tsp Salt
Green Tea & Black Sesame Cheesecake
450g Cream Cheese, Softened
210ml Sour Cream, Room Temperature
180g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
2 Large Eggs, Room Temperature
4 tbsp Matcha Green Tea Powder (27g)
45g Black Sesame Powder
1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Grease and line an 8-inch spring form pan.
2. Roughly chop the hazelnuts and then add to the food processor.
3. Place the unsalted butter, plain flour, caster sugar and salt into the food processor with the hazelnuts. Blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
4. Place the crust mixture into the lined spring form pan and press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan so it is all combined. Bake the crust for 15 to 18 minutes or until just browned. Set aside to cool. Turn the oven temperature down to 145°C.
5. In a standing mixer, mix the cream cheese, sour cream, caster sugar, vanilla extra until combined.
6. Add in the eggs one at a time. Mixing until just combined before adding the next egg. Blend for another 2 minutes until well combined.
7. Divide the batter into two equal portions. Add two tablespoons of the matcha green tea powder to one and black sesame powder to the other. Mix until well combined.
8. Pour the black sesame batter into the pan. Then pour the green tea batter on top.
9. Position the rack in the centre of the oven and place the cheesecake on it. In a shallow pan, fill it with water and place it on the lower rack in the oven. Bake for an hour, or until the edges of the cheesecake are puffed but the centre is wobbly and wet looking. Turn off the oven with the door slightly ajar and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool completely. This may take at least an hour. Remove from the oven and chill in the fridge overnight.
10. Dust the remaining matcha green tea powder on top of the cheesecake just before serving.
- Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
- Matcha White Chocolate Hot Cross Buns
- Marmalade Custard Cake
- Lychee Chiffon Cake
- Green Tea Crème Brûlée
- Mint Choc Chip Cookies
- Almond Butter Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream
- Lychee & White Chocolate Macarons
- Ginger & Orange Melting Moments
- Black Tea Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream Frosting