Next week, we're running a Food story about local cook Dena Strong and some of her recipes for squash.
Dena is a powerhouse of original recipes, and sent me a few others to post on my blog. Below is her write-up of a recipe for green-tea brownies. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.
I like green tea flavor in a lot of Japanese desserts, particularly mochi, ice cream, and kasutera (which is like pound cake, only fluffier). Mochi is particularly versatile; I like to call it "Japanese marshmallows", because it's about the same consistency, gets grilled or melted down, gets flavored, and goes into almost everything. But since we don't have a mochi contest at work, and we did have a brownies contest, I thought I'd see what I could do for coming up with green tea pseudo-brownies.
There's no actual chocolate in almond bark/white chocolate, just the stuff that holds the chocolate together. So these are chocolate-free "brownies." But "greenies"just doesn't sound like anything. So I guess green tea brownies works for a name.
- 1 1/2 to 2 sticks unsalted butter
- 3 to 4 ounces white chocolate or almond bark (white chocolate chips are easy to melt)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon matcha (Japanese tea ceremony-type green tea powder - available from Green Onion or Amko)
- 3 eggs
- 1 6-ounch container plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- White buttercream frosting
- 1 extra teaspoon matcha
Melt the butter and white chips together in a double boiler, then take it off the heat and stir in the sugar and tablespoon of matcha powder.
Once the bowl is reasonably cool (cool enough to leave your hand on), beat in the yogurt, eggs and vanilla. (You don't want the eggs curdling from too high heat.)
Add the flour and salt and mix well, then bake in a parchment-lined 8-inch-by-8-inch pan at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Or if you bake them in a 9-by-13 pan, they'll be thinner and bake faster, probably around 30 minutes instead.)
Once they've come out and cooled off, mix your extra teaspoon of matcha into the white frosting and frost the "brownies" (greenies?) with it.
If you're looking for something to do with the rest of the matcha afterward? Green tea lattes are awesome – 1 teaspoon matcha, a glass of hot or cold milk, simple syrup to taste and a mini whizz-blender to make the top frothy. Much less expensive than going to the coffee shop, too.
Also, simple syrup + matcha makes an awesome topping for either shaved ice (low-cal version) or vanilla ice cream. Shaved ice, green tea powder and a squeeze of sweetened condensed milk is a really popular summer dessert in Japan, and the squeeze containers are much handier than the American-style cans for using just a bit at a time. You can find the squeeze containers at Mexican groceries, at World Harvest, or possibly in the international aisle at Meijer.
Photo of matcha is from this website.