Baking with Matcha 101 - making Green Monster Muffins
- Holly Helt
Over the weekend I held a Matcha Masterclass for baking with matcha. It was a mother-daughter class inspired by the many mothers here in Kobe, Japan, who kept asking me how to boost their children’s health with matcha when they hated the taste. Over the next few blogs, I’m going to share the most popular recipes and since Halloween is a HUGE deal in Japan (who knew?!), we are going to start with Green Monster Muffins!
But first, let me explain a couple points about culinary matcha. As with all matcha grades (premium, ceremonial, culinary, etc), there are various price points within the grade. Generally speaking, the higher the price point, the finer the matcha which leads to a difference in taste.
This culinary-grade or “category” of matcha I’m talking about has the strongest taste of all the grades of matcha because it needs to be bold enough to rise above the other ingredients in the recipe, especially when it is baked or cooked. And within the culinary grade, there are various tastes. When adding matcha to smoothies and recipes where heat is not used, increase the culinary-grade of your matcha which is best done by the price point unless you know matcha intimately!
For this recipe, I suggest using quite an affordable culinary grade, without going bottom of the barrel, because you will be using quite a lot of it. In fact, you might feel like calling me to double check the amount, especially with the recipe below!
Culinary matcha, in particular, needs to be balanced by sweetness. Don’t hold back! If you are a sugar no-no person, try using powdered stevia as an alternative. I have not substituted agave syrup in this recipe so I can’t guarantee it will work out. The white chocolate is also a must. All of these ingredients work together to create a delicious, super moist, sweet muffin you can’t put down.
Green Monster Muffins
Oven Temperature: 350°F/180°C
Bake time: 22-26 minutes (standard size), 30-35 minutes (jumbo muffins)
Yield: 12 standard muffins or 6 jumbo muffins
Whisk wet ingredients in a large bowl.
Stir in zucchini with a spoon followed by white chocolate chips.
Mix dry ingredients in another large bowl, sifting everything together TWICE.
Put all of the sifted dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and then slowly and gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet using a rubber scraper. You want to mix as little as possible to prevent tough muffins.
To fill the muffin cups, measure out 130g muffin mix and place in lined muffin tin…or eyeball it!
Whisk together first:
6 tbsp (85g) melted butter, cooled
Add in the following:
1/3 cup (80 ml) whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp balsamic vinegar (apple cider/white wine vinegar OK. Activates baking soda: don’t omit!)
3/4 cup (150g) firmly packed brown sugar
Mix well and then stir in:
2 cups (230g) shredded zucchini (adds the moisture to the muffins)
1 cup (180g) approximately white chocolate chips or cut bar
Measure and add all to large bowl:
1 3/4 cups (245g) all-purpose flour
35 – 40g culinary grade matcha
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
Optional streusel topping for the real sweet tooth!
1/3 c (45g) all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cold butter, cubed
In a food processor or bowl, pulse/mix the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter until it starts to clump with the other ingredients. It’s done when butter is not any larger than pea size. Top muffin before baking.
Bake 22 – 26 minutes for standard muffins and 30 – 35 minutes for jumbo muffins. Done when toothpick comes out fairly clean. Serve with coconut butter for a real scream!
About Holly Helt
Holly is American and grew up in Japan drinking Japanese tea from age-three. She has studied two methods of tea ceremony, Urasenke and the lesser-known Yabunouchi, which has a direct lineage to Sen-no Rikyu (known as the father of the tea ceremony) ; it's also the school of practice for samurai. In 2012 she founded Chiki Tea - an online retailer of Japanese green teas, all sourced directly from small farms in Japan. Splitting her time between Japan and her home in Texas, Holly strives to bring the best teas from Japan to as many people as she can find to share in her life's passion.