It’s been a while since I’ve made something with matcha. I bought a little tin of beautiful, high quality green tea during my visit back to Japan a couple of years ago and went to town with it. This modest supply saw me through a year of great recipes along with a number of cups of green tea white hot chocolate and various smoothies. I confess I’ve kept the last teaspoonful in the fridge. It still smells wonderful!
I rarely drink green tea in the traditional way and learnt many years ago to not be too precious about how to use it (much like black truffles!). If I could think of a fun way to add that amazing green tea flavour, I went for it. Over time though, I learnt to use just a hint of green tea rather than force matcha into being the star attraction, as tempting as it may be. It’s such a distinctive taste so it’s nice to just get a hint of it here and there.
Recently I discovered a local supplier of high quality green tea in Perth. The Matcha Tea Co. source their green tea from the very home of matcha, Uji in Kyoto. It was a good discovery as my options for procuring good matcha in Perth were a bit limited. The C-Grade stuff from my local Asian grocer wasn’t horrible but it definitely lacks a depth of flavour.
I was kindly sent some samples of Match Tea Co’s two main types of tea and I certainly wasn’t disappointed upon opening one of the sachets. The matcha was absolutely delightful on the nose and there was a good balance of bitterness and tea flavour when I tasted a little bit of it straight-up. A sign of good quality green tea!
I knew what I wanted to make with my fresh stash of green tea. I threw together some almonds, matcha and brown rice syrup into the Thermomix bowl and blitzed myself a batch of green tea marzipan. The colour was just beautiful! Marzipan is usually made with sugar but the rice malt syrup was a great matcha match. Not being overly sweet, the marzipan had just the right amount of almond flavour to the hit of green tea.
Of course I could have moulded some marzipan animals but I decided to use it as part of a semi-raw cookie. For the chocolate ‘dough’ base, I did my usual go-to blend of rolled oats, cashews, coconut oil, cacao powder and rice malt syrup. Making these cookie was pretty much like making regular cookies (check out these cute Heart Love Cookies which used the same process). I just didn’t need to bake these ones and I don’t feel guilty having seconds!
Chocolate and Matcha Marzipan ‘Cookies’
1-2 tsp green tea powder (matcha)
1-2 tbsp rice malt syrup (or preferred sweetener)
80g rolled oats
60g cashew nuts (or for a completely raw cookie, try 50g of pitted dates and 100g of cashew nuts)
1 tbsp of cacao powder
2 tbsp of rice malt syrup
2 tbsp of coconut oil
To Make: Blitz the almonds in a food processor or Thermomix on Speed 10 for a few seconds until a fine meal is made. Add first teaspoon of matcha powder and first tablespoon of rice malt syrup. Blend on Speed 4 for a few seconds (or medium power of a food processor). If the marzipan has enough green tea flavouring to your liking, is sweet enough, and holds its shape well, then nothing else needs to be added. If you prefer a stronger flavour, add another teaspoon of matcha. If the mixture is dry and not sweet enough, add the other tablespoon of rice malt syrup. If you don’t want it sweeter, use some coconut oil to get the mixture to stick. The almond meal should be easy to mould without much help. Place marzipan on a sheet of plastic wrap and cover it over. Roll out a log of marzipan about 2cm wide. Place in fridge to chill.
For the chocolate ‘dough’, place rolled oats and cashews in the Thermomix bowl or similar food processor and blitz into a rough meal. Add cacao, coconut oil and rice malt syrup to produce a slightly sticky dough (should come together well but not stick to your fingers when handled). Place dough onto some plastic wrap and pat flat into a rectangular shape. Allow to cool in fridge for 10 minutes. Once chilled a little, take out both the dough and marzipan and uncover from plastic wrap. Place marzipan on one end of the dough. Using the plastic wrap underneath the dough, roll the dough over the marzipan and smooth over to make a large log. Roll the log to make a smooth shape before placing in the fridge to cool for at least an hour. Once chilled, slice the log into 1.5cm slices to form ‘cookies’. Store cookies in the fridge.