How to Bake With Matcha Powder
Tea is a trend that seems to be here to stay. You may already be brewing it to drink hot or iced, but have you tried baking with tea yet? Matcha powder is a delicious way to enjoy green tea, whether you’re making a hot drink or using it as an ingredient in desserts.
Learn more about matcha powder, including what to look for when buying culinary grade matcha. Then check out a few recipes for baking with this trendy ingredient.
What Is Matcha Powder?
Matcha comes from green tea leaves, but it’s different from traditional green tea in a couple major ways. One, the plants are grown in shade for a month before harvest. This boosts chlorophyll levels, which gives matcha its characteristic bright green color. Two, the steamed and dried leaves are ground into a fine powder. Whisk the powder into hot water to make tea, or use the powder in baking.
For more details on the entire process, Japanese tea maker Marukyu-Koyamaen will give you a great appreciation for all the work that goes into matcha.
Buying Matcha Powder
If you intend to drink matcha, you’ll want to buy ceremonial grade matcha powder (along with some key accessories). If you’re going to mix it with other ingredients or bake with it, culinary grade matcha powder will do.
Either way, you should understand what qualities make for good matcha. Aiya America breaks down five key factors to keep in mind: price, color, smell, taste and texture. Look for bright green color, a vegetal scent, and a slightly sweet taste — without any added sugar. The texture should be as fine as baby powder.
Recipes With Matcha Powder
We were impressed by the recipes on the Just One Cookbook blog. Nami is Japanese, and she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She explains the details of matcha growing and processing, and she also gives great advice on buying culinary grade matcha powder.
Many of her recipes tempt us, including the Green Tea Madeleines (use the Nordic Ware Madeleine pan to get that classic cookie shape) and Green Tea Crème Brûlée (above). Matcha has such a delicate flavor — you don’t want to overwhelm it with competition from stronger tastes.
But what really caught our attention was the Matcha Cake With Black Sesame Buttercream Frosting (above), a recipe created by My Name is Yeh. Yeh likens matcha and black sesame to a power couple that might give Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds a run for their money. With wit like that, we bet her cooking is just as good.