Michelle Darmody: How to use green tea in baking

Green tea leaves are the green tips of the tea plant, picked and dried, but not subjected to the same withering andoxidation as the leaves in black tea.

Michelle Darmody: How to use green tea in baking

Green tea leaves are the green tips of the tea plant, picked and dried, but not subjected to the same withering andoxidation as the leaves in black tea.

Compounds in black tea leaves are formed during fermentation which increases their caffeine content.

As well as having less caffeine than regular tea, green tea is said to be filled with antioxidants and there are also claims that it has nootropic properties to enhance brain function, either way it is a very satisfying drink.

A warm cup of green tea relaxes rather than stimulates and can be enhanced in many ways; a slice of lemon or ginger, a shaved root of turmeric or some fresh mint leaves.

To get the best out of your cup, brew the green tea at a temperature of 85C rather than 100C.

You can achieve this by either letting the kettle to cool for about five minutes after boiling, or by adding a splash of cold water to the cup before you infuse the tea.

Matcha green tea comes in powdered form and is strong tasting and slightly astringent, it is made by grinding young, shade-grown leaves.

Keeping the leaves out of the sun increases the colour, so that when they are ground the resulting powder is a very bright green.

The powder is generally mixed with warm water to make a cloudy drink.

Rather than throwing the tea leaves away, as you do with most teas, with matcha you are ingesting the leaves in powdered form.

Adding matcha powder to baking gives the resulting bake a green hue and a distinctive taste.

Madeleines are traditionally from northeastern France. They are small, airy, sponge cakes with a shell-like shape.

They are traditionally flavoured with vanilla, or sometimes lemon zest, but here the flavour added is the matcha.

Madeleines are always best eaten when they are warm and fresh.

Green tea buns soft buttercream

  • 160ml milk
  • 220g of soft butter
  • 1 tbsp of green tea leaves
  • 155g of golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 210g of self raising flour
  • 130g of icing sugar

Put the milk, butter and green tea leaves in a heavy- based saucepan.

Place over a medium heat and gently bring to a simmering boil. Allow to simmer for five minutes then set aside for 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 180C and line a 12-hole bun tin with bun cases.

Strain the butter and milk pressing the tea leaves down to extract all of the liquid.

Beat 160g of the butter and milk with the caster sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla and then slowly add the eggs. If the mixture begins to curdle add a spoon of the flour.

Add the flour until it is completely combined but do not over mix.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 20 minutes until baked through.

Allow to cool completely.

To make the icing, beat the remaining butter and milk mixture with the icing sugar until smooth and light.

Spread this onto the cooled buns.

Green tea butter biscuits

  • 220g of soft butter
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 320g of plain flour
  • Half tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of bread soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbs of culinary matcha powder

Heat the oven to 190C and line two large flat baking trays with parchment.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the egg.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and bread soda and combine completely.

Stir in the matcha powder and add this to the butter mixture.

Divide the dough into 20 pieces and roll each piece between your palms.

Place the balls onto the prepared tray. Press gently down with a fork.

Bake for about 10 minutes until they are beginning to turn golden.

Place onto a wire rack to cool completely once cool enough to handle.

Matcha madeleines

  • 110g of soft butter and a little extra melted to brush your tin
  • 2 tsp of honey
  • 2 eggs and 1 extra egg yolk
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 2 tsp of culinary matcha powder
  • 125g of self-raising flour, a little extra for dusting

Place the butter and honey in a heavy- based saucepan and gently warm the mixture over a low heat.

Once the butter and honey are melted together set aside.

Whisk the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and matcha powder it begins to lighten in colour.

Sieve in the flour and gently combine. Add in the butter mixture and stir until completely combined.

Set the resulting batter aside in the fridge for at least an hour.

Heat the oven to 200C and brush the madeleine tin with melted butter, then give it a light dusting of flour, shaking off any excess.

The easiest way to fill the madeleine tin evenly is to scoop the mixture into a piping bag and pipe it into the prepared tin.

Bake for about eight minutes until the madeleines are turning golden and they have puffed up.

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