Almond Green Tea White Chocolate Bars

Check out this sweet screen shot.  You see that awesome muffin photo?  Yeah, I took that.  And now it’s on a website that doesn’t belong to me.  Living the dream.  (Oh, and thanks KA!)

Yesterday Luke called me from work to tell me his boss had just brought in some parsley for our little Izzy.  Goodness knows that rabbit would eat her weight in parsley everyday if she could.

I told him to keep it in the work fridge then bring it home with him.  Upon his arrival at the apartment, he promptly dropped a supermarket sized paper bag in my lap.  It was half full of parsley.  Packed parsley.  Oh my, the rabbit will feast well.  Even though I had just fed her, we gave her some anyway.  Seeing her chomp on a big sprig of parsley is just about the most adorable thing ever.

Watching me eat these bars, however, is not so adorable.  Like Izzy, I’d very much like to eat my weight in these bars…if I could figure out how many times I’d have to make the recipe to accomplish that.

Or maybe I’ll just make them over and over and over. This is the second time I’ve made them, and I swear they taste better this time around.  Green tea, almonds and white chocolate is one of those interesting, but amazing combos.

The flavors are distinct, yet complimentary, and meld together in your mouth like nothing else.  I’m definitely going to try playing around with these flavors more in the future.

Green Tea Almond White Chocolate Bars

Adapted from Hungry Rabbit 

Makes one 8X8” pan

For the almond batter:
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup almond flour (or finely ground almonds)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

For the green tea batter:
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp matcha (green tea) powder
1 large egg
1/2 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang and grease.

Whisk together flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl, set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and extracts; mix until combined. Add flour mixture, and mix carefully, scraping down sides of bowl, until well combined. Fold in white chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, granulated sugar, butter, flour, green tea powder, egg, and extract until fully incorporated.

Pour half of the almond batter into prepared pan, and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Spoon 3/4 of matcha mixture on top, and spread evenly. Pour remaining batter on top and spread slightly. Top with dollops of remaining matcha batter, about 1 inch apart. Run a knife through layers to create a swirl pattern.

Bake until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into center comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 45-55 minutes. Cool bars in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes, lift bars from pan and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.


Green Tea Swirled Angel Food Cake

So this is my 100th post.  I think that’s something that deserves a little celebration, right?

I knew I wanted to post a cake today, and since this one features my most favorite ingredient, I figured that would be most fitting for the occasion.

I’ve posted an angel food cake recipe before, but as you can see, the addition of the all-wonderful green tea powder takes this cake to a whole new level.  I didn’t want an entire matcha angel food cake, so I decided to throw in a swirl.

It’s so pretty.  I’d just stare at this cake all day if it wasn’t so delicious.  Because of how light angel food cake is, I end up snacking on it, eating it for breakfast…it’s definitely not relegated to the same realm in which decadent desserts dwell.

Thus, it tends to disappear very quickly.  If you don’t have matcha, feel free to sub in cocoa powder for a chocolate swirl.  I just like using matcha whenever and wherever I can.  Here’s to another great 100 posts!

Green Tea Swirled Angel Food Cake

Adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2004

1 cup sifted cake flour

1 ½ cups sugar, divided

12 large egg whites

1 tsp cream of tartar

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp green tea powder (matcha)

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Combine flour and ¾ cup sugar in a medium bowl.  Place the egg whites in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at a high speed until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and salt, and beat until soft peaks form.  Add the other ¾ cup sugar, a little at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.  Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon juice.

Fold in the flour mixture ¼ cup at a time with a spatula.  Gently spoon half the cake batter into a separate bowl.  Sift matcha over half the batter and fold in.

Spoon half of the plain batter into an ungreased 10” tube pan, spreading evenly.  Top with half of the matcha batter, repeat layers and swirl batter together with a knife.  Bake for 50 mins, or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.  Invert pan, and cool completely.  Remove from pan with a small metal/plastic spatula.

Lemon Matcha Pound Cake

So far there has been no sign of mice since initial precautions were taken.   I shall remain vigilant, just in case they find another way in.  Moving on…yesterday, Luke and I went into Boston to watch the Real Madrid vs. Barcelona soccer game at a sports bar with one of Luke’s friends.  We were rooting for Barcelona, and they won!

Don’t let the exclamation point fool you.  It feels right to insert an exclamation point when someone wins.  But I don’t follow soccer.  I understand the skill and stamina involved to play the sport well, but watching a bunch of dudes run up the pitch, and then run back down the pitch, and then up it again…I don’t know.  I don’t want to offend the soccer fans of the world, so I guess it just isn’t for me.  Plus, half the time, the players look like they’re trying to win an Oscar by how extravagantly they fake being injured to draw a yellow card against the other team.  Watch this.  It’s ridiculous, although I admit I have been entertained by how poorly some of the fakes were.

But the real reason I tagged along was to include a visit to my favorite Asian market in Allston.  They have a great food court as well, and I always get bubble tea, even if it is like $4.  I’m addicted to the stuff and can’t help it.  I think I drank it almost every day when I was in Taiwan.  Of course, over there, it costs a little less than a dollar.

Another thing I love about this market is their cheap (monetarily) produce.  I got a pineapple for 0.99.  I got 13 limes for $2.  13!!!!  I zest and juice them, then freeze it so I have citrus all year round.  And then cakes like this are born.

This recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs, Joy The Baker.  When I saw this recipe, I couldn’t wait to try it.  Matcha and lemon are a great combo, who knew?  Matcha is a very fine green tea powder from Japan.  I love baking with it, but Luke isn’t so fond of its flavor, so I don’t use it as often as I’d like.  You can find matcha on the internet, though it can be a little pricey.

I made this for dessert when we went to his boss’s house for dinner.  Sadly, I did not get a shot of the finished product, sorry!  When I make it again, I’ll be sure to add the finished product.  This cake is moist and tender, with a great interplay of flavors from swirling the batters together.  Definitely one of my all-time favorite matcha recipes.


Lemon Matcha Pound Cake

Adapted from Joy The Baker

Makes one loaf pan & about 6 pound cake muffins ( I halved it for a smallish loaf)

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/3 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 eggs

2/3 cup sour cream

zest of one lemon and juice of half a lemon

1 Tablespoon matcha powder

1 stick plus 7 Tablespoons (15 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the loaf pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Also butter  a mini muffin pan or line a regular muffin tin with cupcakes papers for the small amount of excess batter.  Set aside.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Whisk the eggs into the sugar.  You can use a large bowl with a whisk for this.  You don’t really need a big mixer for this recipe.  Beat until the eggs and sugar are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the extract, then whisk in the sour cream. Continuing with the whisk, or switching to a large rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions.

Divide the batter in half (just eyeball it) into two separate bowls.  In one bowl add the zest and lemon juice.  In the other bowl, fold in the matcha tea powder.

Pour some of the lemon batter into the pan.  Top it with a portion of the green tea batter.  Add more lemon and top with more green tea batter.  Fill the loaf pan, leaving at least 1-inch of room at the top of the pan for the cake to rise.  Swirl gently and minimally with a butter knife to get a good swirl effect.  With the remaining batter, make mini muffins or cupcakes.

Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. The mini muffins will take about 15 minutes and regular muffins will take about 18-20 minutes.

Once removed from the oven, allow the loaf to rest in the pan for 20 minutes before running a knife along the edges of the pan and inverting the cake onto a cooling rack.