The digital food world and parts of the real food world seem obsessed with matcha at the moment and there are a plethora of green recipes floating around. As a green tea – and now matcha lover, I’m very much up for this. I started playing around with this interesting tea powder that is not an infusion but the actual green tea leaves last year when I bought matcha back from the USA. Mine turned out to be somewhat of a dud purchase and my matcha ice cream while tasting delicious did now deliver the green vibrance and flavour I was looking for. I have since learned a few things about it, which I will get to in a minute. I’ve also recently returned from South East Asia where you see a lot of green cakes in bakeries – some with real matcha, and others, I suspect, with green food colouring. I bought a packet back with me and the first thing I wanted to make was matcha marshmallows.
I adapted my recipe for lime marshmallows, which thus far is my favourite marshmallow recipe and simply added two tablespoons of matcha to the sugar syrup stage. I really wanted these to have a distinct flavour and colour in the final product. I was also concerned that heating the matcha powder to such high temps in the syrup would in some way destroy it, but the outcome was a strong earthy green tea flavour, with bitterness and a lovely green colour. If however, you would prefer a softer flavour I would suggest adding only one tablespoon.
What is matcha?
Matcha is the finely ground-up powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. Unlike green tea, which infuses in water, matcha is eaten whole dissolved in water.
They say that one cup of matcha is equivalent to 10 cups of green tea in antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight ageing and prevent chronic illness; so the more you are having the better.
The green tea for matcha is covered several weeks before harvesting with shade cloth or bamboo mats thus enhancing its chlorophyll levels and giving matcha its distinct green colour
After harvesting the leaves are steamed then air-dried before being sorted by grade. Leaves are then stone-ground to become matcha.
When shopping for Matcha, it must come from Japan, must be premium grade and the brighter the colour the better the quality. You could use lower grade matcha for baking to save costs.
Traditionally matcha is consumed as a tea and simply whisked into water that has been boiled to 175 F / 80 C using a wooden whisk, but these days it’s mixed into lattes, smoothies and baked into confections.
Due to the laborious processes used to make matcha, it is going to be expensive
NB to note. It does contain caffeine and could contain lead, so too much of a good thing isn’t good.
Cooks notes – ensure your mixing bowl is spotlessly clean and dry before making marshmallows like you would with meringue. I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer to do the mixing
Have all your mise en place ready before starting to make these and line the baking tin. I used leaf gelatine that is 6.5cm x 11.5cm, and 6 sheets were adequate to make firm marshmallows. I find that spraying the knife or scissors I use to cut the marshmallows with a non-stick cooking spray really helps to prevent sticking.
- 6 gelatine leaves (approx 10g)
- 200g granulated sugar
- 1 Tbs liquid glucose
- 1 – 2 Tbs matcha – depending on how strong you like it
- 2 egg whites (free-range, large, at room temp)
- 90g caster sugar
- 15g icing sugar
- 15g cornflour
Line an 18cm – 20cm square cake tine with baking paper. Spray lightly with non-stick spray.
Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes.
Heat the 200g sugar in a small pot with the glucose, 60ml of water and the matcha. Bring this to the boil and cook until the mixture reaches 127C on a sugar thermometer (9 – 10 minutes).
Halfway through the sugar cooking time, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks (2 minutes). Gradually add the 90g caster sugar whilst continuously whisking and continue to beat for another 1 – 2 minutes.
When the sugar mixture has reached temperature, squeeze gelatine leaves and add to the syrup and mix until dissolved. Slowly pour this hot liquid in a steady stream into the egg whites while the mixer is running at high. Continue to beat until the marshmallow has tripled in volume and has come to room temperature – approx 5 – 7 minutes.
Tip this into the lined cake tin and spread the mixture evenly with a palette knife. Allow to set at room temperature (+- 5 hours) – or leave overnight.
Mix the icing sugar and cornflour and sift half of this onto a large tray. Tip the marshmallow onto the dusted tray and peel off the baking paper. Dust the top with the remaining icing sugar and cornflour. Cut them into strips
A few of my other favourite sweet recipes:
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