Green tea is a very popular flavor amongst Asian desserts. If you walk into an Asian bakery, green tea cake rolls or some type of green tea dessert can always be found. Not only is it very popular in dessert making, but it is also very popular in Asian households. Often times in the Japanese culture, green tea is prepared and served on a daily basis. Steeping the tea leaves makes a very mild tasting cup of tea instead of other teas that can be very bitter, which makes it easy to go down. While drinking tea is made from tea leaves, there’s also matcha powder. Matcha is a high quality green tea that’s grounded into powder and is often used to make desserts. Green tea flavored desserts use matcha because it has a much more intense flavor and produces a deeper colored product. Matcha powder/green tea powder is also used to make green tea lattes and is accompanied with sugar because matcha is very bitter on its own.
In stores, you can find green tea powder and matcha powder. There are instant green tea drinks in powdered form, which have sugar added to them and are not made with real matcha powder. Matcha powder is quite expensive and is sold by ounces. I bought a 2 ounce (2 tablespoons) container for almost $10. There were other jars that were more expensive, but I chose the culinary version.
The first green tea flavored food I ate was the green tea mousse pocky. Pocky is a cookie biscuit in the form of a stick and is dipped into various chocolates, such as dark chocolate with almonds, strawberry flavored white chocolate, and milk chocolate. The green tea pocky is a cookie dipped in white chocolate with matcha in it. It has a full flavored green tea taste, slightly bitter, but has a touch of sweetness from the white chocolate. It is soooo gooood. I could eat them every day, but they are SO hard to find! They may be discontinued, but the strawberry and regular chocolate ones can always be found in Asian supermarkets and are just as good!
With that being said, my Auntie Elsie had bought me a jar of matcha (thanks Aunt E!). I was kind of craving those Pocky sticks, but knew I wouldn’t be able to find them anywhere. Instead, I ended up making some crème brulees. Crème brulee is one of my favorite desserts. It’s so creamy and so fun to eat. The initial stabbing of my spoon into the crystallized sugar on top makes me a little giddy inside. Teeheeheeheee!!
I was quite impressed with these since I haven’t made creme brulee many times. I found some frozen strawberries in the freezer and decided to slice them on top of the custard. The sweetness from the white chocolate and tartness of the strawberries complimented each other very well and you can taste a hint of green tea. It was also verrrrry smooth and creamy.
Make these! Crème brulee is extremely easy to make.
White chocolate Matcha Creme Brulee
2 C. heavy cream
1/2 C. milk
1 1/4 C. white chocolate chips
4 egg yolks
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. matcha powder
Extra sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 325 F.
In a small saucepan, heat cream and milk. Right before the milk starts to boil, turn off the heat and throw in the chocolate chips. With a whisk, stir the cream mixture until smooth. Pour the cream and white chocolate through a mesh strainer to make sure there aren’t any clumps.
Start boiling some water.
Combine egg yolks, salt, sugar, vanilla extract, and matcha and whisk until the yolks turn into a light color of yellow. Once you are done with that, pour about half a cup of the cream and chocolate mixture into the egg mixture while whisking. This will keep the eggs from cooking. Slowly add more of the cream mixture until half is mixed with the eggs, then combine all the rest of the cream with the eggs. Put through the strainer again.
Line a 9″x13″ metal pan with a kitchen towel and place 8-4oz. ramekins into the pan. Evenly distribute the custard then carefully pour the boiling water into the bottom of the pan until the water level is halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the entire pan with foil and bake for about 40 minutes.
Bake the custards until they are still quite jiggle, but not liquidy (think of Homer Simpson’s stomach hahaha). Place them in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, until the custard has set. Put about 2 teaspoons of sugar on each, and torch the sugar until they start to turn brown.