It seems that the entire world has gone mad for matcha, and once again I am late to the culinary bandwagon. Last week I visited the Mind Apples pop-up health farm, then went to the Japan Centre for some of their splendid (and very affordable) sushi and spied lots of matcha. I remembered reading about Matcha Madness Month on Catty’s blog and decided that it was time to get some fuss free matcha madness in my kitchen. Bewildered by the choice of matchas on offer I choose a 10g pouch for £2.
For those not in the know, matcha is finely ground Japanese green tea. It is made from tencha, which is stoneground to a bright green talc like powder. It is fairly labour intensive process, taking up to an hour to grind 30g. The tea bushes are covered for several weeks before harvest; the shade slows down growth, resulting in darker leaves and more amino acids giving a more intense flavour. Matcha is packed full of all sorts of things that are good for you; antioxidants, betacarotene and vitamins A, B & C. And matcha is also delicious, like green tea, but more intense and sweeter in flavour.
When I bake there is a high chance that I will make muffins, and my first foray with matcha is no exception. I used Kara coconut milk which added a hint of coconut flavour, but any milk (dairy or non dairy) would work here. My full muffin method is here, if you eat eggs throw one in with wet ingredients, if not, leave it out. I did not measure the buttercream ingredients – too much buttercream is not a bad thing and is delicious straight from the bowl!
Matcha Muffins (Makes 4)
For the muffins
4.5oz plain flour
1 heaped tsp matcha powder
1tsp baking power
4.5oz Kara coconut milk
1.5oz sunflower oil
Whisk the oil and milk mixture with a fork. Mix the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold together (the batter should be lumpy and mixing should take no more than 15 folds). Bake at GM5/190C/375F in your favourite muffin pan for 20 – 25 mins until risen.
For the buttercream
1 tsp butter or non diary spread
1 tsp milk (I used Kara)
1 tsp matcha powder
About 4 heaped tbs icing sugar
Beat the butter & milk together for a minute with an electric mixer, add the matcha and icing sugar and beat for at least 5 minutes until fluffy. You may need to add more liquid or icing sugar. Too much frosting cannot be a bad thing! Wait until the muffins are cold before frosting them.