Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Matcha Cupcakes

I'm back in beautiful Nashville taking a few days off from the high-stakes game known as Tea-tending. For those of you who may be wondering what such a lovely and gifted individual does for a living, I'm a bartender/sommelier, but for tea. The image above you is a sign I made for a really cool tea commodity known as matcha. Matcha will heretofore be written in green, because the thing you need to know about matcha is that it's a Nickelodeon shade of green.

Matcha is finely powdered Japanese green tea, ideally from a high-quality green like Gyokuro. In the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, it's whisked in a small bowl with 170-180 degree water and unlike "regular" green tea where the tea bag is removed after steeping, the matcha has no filter and is consumed together with the water into which it was blended.

Matcha tastes familiar to many Americans who have enjoyed it in green tea ice cream, and it's pretty incredible blended with powdered sugar and steeped in hot milk as a latte.

We've got an even better way.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Matcha Cupcakes.
BE ADVISED: These are some expensive friggin cupcakes. They are quite costly due to the high quality and cost of matcha powder, as well as their dependence on yuppie groceries like gluten-free flour and almond extract. Are they worth it? Totally. You can reduce your costs considerably by purchasing a bulk green tea and pulverizing it with a seed grinder. I did this when I forgot my matcha powder and needed to make the cupcakes on the fly. It's not quite as good and can be a little... grassy, so be aware.

Source: Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero


1/2 cup soy yogurt

2/3 cup rice milk

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 tsp almond extract

1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour (I recommend making your own almond flour or Arrowhead Mills Baking Mix)

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp. powdered kuzu root, dissolved in a little cool water.

3-4 tsp matcha tea powder

1/4 tsp salt

2/3 cup Agave Nectar. Be SURE to see the liquids step below because stuff needs to get removed before adding the agave!!

Green Tea Glaze (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line cupcake pan with liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, rice milk, vanilla, oil, and almond extract, beating well to blend in yogurt. REMOVE 1/3 CUP OF GENERAL COMBINED LIQUIDS. Then add agave and mix well. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, matcha powder, and salt.

Fill liners two thirds full and baking 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on racks before topping with glaze


If you're using matcha/powdered sugar combo:

1 c. matcha/powdered sugar mix

4 tbsp. earth balance soy margerine

2-4 tbsp. soy milk

pinch salt

dash vanilla extract

If you want this to be sugar free:

3-4 tbsp. matcha powder

1 c. powdered soy milk

4 tsbp. earth balance soy margerine

agave nectar as needed

pinch salt

dash vanilla extract

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