Tag Archives: 抹茶

Taro & Macha Steamed Pound Cake

Still in my Taro/Sato Imo mood, aren’t I?
Today I would like to introduce a really simple pound cake recipe which includes taro and macha tea powder!

Taro & Macha Steamed Pound Cake!


-Taro/Sato imo: 200 g (peeled)
-Egg white: 1
-Sugar: 60 g
-Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
-Egg yolk: 1
-Flour: 2 teaspoons
-Water (as much as needed)
-Macha tea powder: 1/2 teaspoon
-Lime peel/zest: half a lime (finely chopped)


1-Cut the taro into practical-sized pieces and boil.
Drain them thoroughly and mash into a smooth paste.

2-Beat into solid meringue the egg white, 2/3 of the sugar and the salt.

3-Add the rest (1/3) of the sugar to the mashed taro/sato imo, egg yolk and flour. Mix well. If the mixture proves a bit hard to mix, add water little by little until staifaction.

4-Add the meringue to the taro/satoimo and mix well.

5-Add the finely chopped lime zest and mix.
Pour one half into a pound cake mold lined with kitchen paper.
Add macha tea powder to the rest, mix and pour on top of the bottom layer.

6-Steam over a strong fire for 25 minutes.
Check if cooked properly by stabbing the cake with a thin wooden skewer. It should come out clean. Switch off fire and let cool down completely

Makes for a very light and healthy dessert!

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Organic Delights in Kamakura

Kamakura beach and surfers

Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture is an internationally celebrated tourist post.

Unfortunately for all the beauty of the city, its mountains, old buildings, ancient culture and striking sea shore, the great majority of its restaurants and cafes are little more than traps for the crowds of tourists and surfers.

The perfect fried organic potatoes with anchovy and garlic savoury garnish at Magokoro!

But some locals belatedly realized that things had to change or else.
Heaps of organic food are grown or raised in Kamakura and its neighbourhood.
Just add to that the marine produce of the Pacific Ocean and you have the ideal combination to satisfy all tastes and priorities, be they omnivore, vegetarian or even vegan.

The same locals formed their own association, The Japan Vegetarian Society, in 1993 to help their fellow citizens and newcomers alike to discover restaurants, cafes and shops in accordance with their favourite food styles.

Since then they have grown into a small but extremely active non profit organization not only with their own blog/website but also a semi bilingual free pamphlet with a guide and map to no less than 51 establishments!

Blog address (Japanese)
Call 0467-25-2668 if you cannot find the map.

Organic Vegetables and fish (mackerel) Lunch tray at Magokoro

The pamphlet/map is a real little treasure as it features not only restaurants, cafes, confectioneries, fair trade goods shops, grocery stores but even “earth-conscious (ecological) shops”, temples, body-care-shop, bicycle rental shops, hiking courses, temples, cooking schools and tourist information desks!

Each establishment is represented with at least one picture with letters indicating whether it serves or sells vegan, vegetarian food. It also clearly explains through the same simple lettering system if the food contains seafood, seafood seasoning, dairy products, eggs or even if it does contain such produce as leek, Chinese chive (nira) Japanese shallot (Rakkyo), onion or garlic!

It goes as far as counseling people to double-check in some cases!
The whole literally backed up by an easy English/Japanese lexicon for tourists with special gastronomic priorities on the other side of the pamphlet!

The same very ecology-conscious association has initiated an unusual association of shops with their own currency: Beach Money and Beach Money Shops!

The all-organic vegetables lunch tray at Magokoro

One outstanding establishment among this unforeseen wealth is a café/restaurant located right in front of the main beach where surfers and wind-surfers practice their sport all year round: Magokoro/麻心!

Founded in 2001, it has become the reference to organic (for all tastes!) food in the city of Kamakura.
For lunch you can choose among trays of organic food containing only vegetables, or a combination of the same and meat or fish. They will make sure not to include any dairy products, egg or mayonnaise for vegans upon request.
Vegetarians and omnivores will want to sample the restaurant organic creations featuring pizzas, curry dishes, macrobiotic cakes, organic coffees and teas, hemp beer according to the seasons and times of the year.
Keep in mind you might have to wait as it is extremely popular!

In the afternoon it will be easier to enjoy the sea view from their bay window counter seats or relax surrounded by a décor all of wood, painted walls and charming artistic bric-a-brac, the more for it as the whole establishment is non-smoking!

Live music and events are organized in the evenings (also in daytime occasionally), including Colour Therapy Sessions.
Better check in advance!

The Organic & Hemp Style Café & Bar, Magokoro
2-8-11, Hase, Kamakura, 248-0016 (within walking distance fromHase Station)
Tel. & Fax: 0467-25-1414
Homepage (Japanese, but including pics of their food!)

Kamakura Welcome Guide Association
Tel.: 0467-22-3516
Homepage (English, French, Japanese, Chinese plus services provided in Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian)

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Matcha Bavarois Cake


Matcha/抹茶, an ingredient readily available here in Shizuoka, opens the door to so many ideas as it can included in almost all cakes.
Moreover its green colour is an extra attraction that is difficult to resist!
Here is the recipe of a cake that marries western and eastern traditions!

Matcha Bavarois Cake!

INGREDIENTS: For a 21 cm diameter mold (can be adapted to square molds or individual molds)

-Sponge Cake:
Eggs: 3 large
Sugar: 70 g
All purpose flour: 40 g
Matcha powder: 1 tablespoon
Butter (unsalted): 25 g

Milk: 200ml
Fresh cream (vegetal): 200 ml
Egg whites: 3
Sugar: 50 g
Gelatin: 5 g
Matcha powder: 1 tablespoon
Water (to dissolve matcha powder): 5 tablespoons
Matcha liqueur (optional, but try and find it or replace with something else according to taste!): a little

-Decoration jelly (nappage):
Matcha powder: 2 tablespoons
Gelatin: 5 g
Sugar: 40 g
Water: 250 ml

Supplementary decoration (optional):
Chestnuts (cooked)
Black beans (cooked)
Candied mint leaves


-Sponge Cake:
Separate the whites and yolks of the eggs, beat the yolks until thick and lemon colored, add the sugar gradually.
Mix matcha powder and sifted flour. Mix in butter by hand (with the tips of your fingers). Add egg yolks and sugar and mix well. Cut and fold in the stiffly beaten egg white.
Bake in an ungreased pan in a very moderate oven.
Bake until the cake is puffed, has lost its shine, and springs back when gently pressed.
Let cool completely and trim off to shape of the cake mold.
Line the cake mold with a layer of sponge cake.

Soften jelly in cold water or dissolve it depending on type.
Whisk the the egg whites thick and hard with sugar.
Bring the milk and fresh cream to boil.
Switch off fire.
Add matcha powder and matcha liqueur and mix well.
Let cool completely. Add and mix in gelatin.
Fold in egg whites.
Pour the bavarois over the sponge cake and leave in refrigerator overnight.

-Decoration jelly:
Soften gelatin or dissolve in a little water.
In a pan pour in water, matcha powder, sugar and heat to dissolve sugar. Switch off fire and add gelatin. Mix weel.
Wait until it has cooled off completely.
Take cake out of refigeraor and pour jelly all over.
Put back in refrigerator and leave it until it has properly settled.

Decorate further with chestnuts, candied mint leaves and black beans.


That is how it would look once cut.


The same as an individual cake!

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Matcha Tofu Muffins


Tofu and Matcha tea are considered for good reasons as health food here in Japan.
They can also be combinedinto a very European/American style cake: Muffins!

INGREDIENTS: For about 6 muffins

-Tofu (kinu tofu): 150 g (no need to press waterout)
-Egg: 1
-Wheat (use one of your preference): 4 tablespoons
-Cornstarch: 2 tablespoons
-Cream powder: 2 tablespoons
-Sugar: 3 tablespoons
-Matcha tea powder: one and a half tablespoons
-Butter: 15 g
-Baking powder: 1 teaspoon


-Melt butter inside microwave oven.
Take out and pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius

-Drop all ingredients inside a food processor and process until you obtain a smooth mixture.

-Fill muffin cups with mixture up to nine tenths height.
(Pouring the whole lot in an oiled/buttered pound cake mold is fine, too)

-Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes (Check colour as all ovens have their own “character”)

-Let them cool completely.
If you don’t eat them at once, wrap them in cellophane paper and leave inside refrigerator or in a very dry box.

Best enjoyed with tea? LOL

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Japanese Cake: Matcha Sticks


Matcha tea, or refined tea powder is quickly becoming popular all over the world.
Now, you don’t have to go all the way to Japan to find some if you live in the States! Just the excellent resource website in Los Angeles called Matcha Source!
(I do not have any interest inthe company, but I thought it deserved to be known!)

Here is another easy recipe for a cake you can use for any occasion or even as a gift:
Matcha Sticks!

INGREDIENTS: For 12 sticks
-Eggs: 2
-Sugar: 50 g
-Honey (liquid9: 20 g
-Butter: 50 g
Flour: 50 g
-Almond Powder: 50 g
-Matcha: 5 g
-Baking Powder: half a teaspoon
-Kuro mame/Black beans (feijao style/boiled): as many as you like”


-Eggs must be at room temperature. Take them out of the fridge and leave them to attain room temperature if necessary.
Mix flour, almond powder, matcha and baking powder in a bowl.
Melt butter in microwave oven for a minute.

-In another bowl, beta eggs. Add sugar, honey. Mix well with an electric whisker.

-Progressively add flour mixture and mix well. Once all the flour has been mixed, add melted butter little by little and mix well.

-Cover inside of an oven dish with baking paper. Pour the cake mixture in. Add the beans in parrallel rows.
Bake for 20 minutes at 170 degrees Celsius.

-Once cooked, take out the cake together with the baking paper.
Once completely cooled down, cut and serve.

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French Dessert: Creme Brulee aux Myrtilles/Blueberries Creme Brulee


I found a whole series of desserts in my old notes!
Blueberries are still in season.
Here is an easy and very tasty variation of a classice French dessert:
French Dessert: Creme brulee aux Myrtilles/Blueberries Creme Brulee!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 persons

-Egg yolks: 8
-Blueberries: 350 g
-Unskimmed milk: 300 ml
-Thick fresh ceam: 700 ml
-White sugar: 200 g
-Vanilla: 1 whole pod
-Sucre cassonade/brown sugar: 2 tablespoons


-Pre-heat oven to 150 dgrees Celsius with a large deep oven plate filled with water up to a third of its depth.

-Make a cut along the vanilla pod and mix the inside with the milk in a deep pan. Bring slowly to boil.

-Beat the egg yolk and white sugar together in a separate bowl.

-Add the fresh cream. Mix. Add the vanilla milk and mix.

-Place the blueberries inside dessert dishes. Cover with the hot cream. Place the dishes in the bain-marie and cook for 20 minutes inside oven.

-Last and just before eating, sprinkle each dish with brown sugar and caramelize the cream under the grill.

-Serve lukewarm or cold.

If you wish to taste it with wine, a sparkling white wine would be great!

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French Dessert: Orange & Lemon Meringue Tart


Meringue, especially with tarts is almost a must in French patisserie.
It is not as diificult as it sounds. A little method is all you need.
Here is a typical recipe:

Orange & Lemon Meringue Tart!

INGREDIENTS: For persons

-Pate Sable/Sable Pastry: 300g (look at basic recipe below!)
-Eggs: 4
-Butter: 180 g + 40 g for the tart molds
-Orange juice: 150 ml
-Lemons: 3 (organic if possible)
-Flour: a little for the molds
-Ice sugar for the finishing

-For the meringue:
Egg whites: 2
Sugar: 30 g


-Prepare the pate sable as indicated below. If you make a lot, you can freeze whatever is left. In France it can be bought at cake shops.

-Lightly butter and flour the tart molds.

-Spread the pastry and lay in the molds. Make a few holes with a fork and let rest 1 hour inside the fridge.

-Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Wash the lemons with clean cold water. Finely grate their skins onto a small plate.

-in a pan bring the orange juice, grated lemon skins, sugar and butter to a boil.

-Take off fire, and mix in the eggs, one at a time, energically beating them all the time. When all eggs are completely mixed, put back on fire and heat until it starts boiling. Take off fire and let cool completely.

-Lay a piece of cooking paper over the pastry in the molds. Fill it with dry beans (or cooking beads). Bake for 5 minutes. Take out beans and paper and cook again until you are satisfied with the colour of the pastry. Let cool.

-Beat the egg whitesadding the sugar progressively until they “stand”.

-Pour orange and lemon custard into tarts. Then decorate top with a good part of meringue.

-Sprinkle with ice sugar and bake for 3 minutes at 210 degrees Celsius.

Whereas pastry and custard can be prepared the evening before, the meringue must be prepared and baked at the last second (just before the meal starts)

Pate sable/sable Pastry basic recipe

Flour: 200 g
Butter: 150 g (not too cold, please!) + a little for the mold
Milk: 1 large tablespoon
Egg yolk: 1 small
Sugar: 30 g
Vanilla sugar: to taste
Cinnamon: a large pinch
Salt: a little pinch

-Prepare the pastry ( a little in advance if possible):
In a large bowl, mix the flour with the sugar, vanilla sugar, cinnamon and salt.
Add the butter in small pieces and knead with your finger tips until you obtain an homogeneous sable pastry.
Beat the egg yolk with the milk and mix quickly to the pastry to “link” it.

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French Cake: Brioche aux amandes/Almonds Brioche


The French are so fond of their brioches that almosteach region has its own special one!
This recipe originates from the French Alps:
Brioche aux amandes/Almonds Brioche!

INGREDIENTS: for 6 persons

-For the Brioche:
Flour: 300 g
Sugar: 50 g
Fast leavening baking powder: 2 small regular packs
Milk: Half a cup/100 ml
Eggs: 4 medium-sized
Melted butter: 90 g
Salt: a pinch

-For the cream:
Soft butter: 60 g
Sugar: 90 g
Thick fresh cream: 60 g
Almond powder: 80 g
1 lemon peel/finely chopped


-4 hours and 30minutes before baking, prepare the brioche pastry.

-Mix flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. Then add eggs, melted butter and milk. Mix vigourously for 5 minutes.

-Cover bowl with a cloth and let the pastry rise in a warm place for 3 hours.

-After all that time, prepare the almond cream by mixing i a bowl, soft butter, sugar, fresh cream, almond powder and the lemon peel.

-Knead the brioche pastry again and shape small “bars”, 10 cm long and 3 cm diameter..

-Lay a large piece of cooking paper over the oven plaque.
Place the brioche bars 1 cm apart in a pattern of your choice. Pour the almond cream between them.

-Let the briche rise again in a warm place for 1 hour.
Bake for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius.

Best enjoyed with a hot chocolate!

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Japanese Dessert: Matcha Anko Roll/ Matcha Tea & Sweetmeats Roll Cake


The “East meets West” expression has been used so many times that it has almost become corny, but this particular (and simple) cake definitely deserves the appellation!
Matcha & Anko Roll Cake:

INGREDIENTS: for 8 cakes/2 sponge sheets baked in 15 cm square mold

-Eggs: 2
-Flour: 30 g
-Sugar: 30 g
-Matcha: 2 small teaspoons
-Anko/Sweetmeats: 15 g x 8=30 g (See Recipe here)


-In a large bowl, break the eggs and mix the sugar, half at a time. Beat until the mixture turns whitish and fluffy. Only then add 1 tablespoon of water and mix.

-Add tea half at a time and beat it in.

-Place cooking paer inside an oven square mold and pour half of the cake mixture. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 8~10 minutes. Repeat with the second half of the cake mixture.

-Take the ckae sheet and its cooking paper out. Turn sheet upside down onto a piece of cellophane paper. Once completely cooled down, take the cooking paper out carefully. Trim the sponge cake and cut into four 5×10 cm pieces (three along and one across).

-Place a ball ofanko in the middle of each piece of sponge cake and “lock/wrap” the sponge cake around the anko. Press the ends togeteher to make sure tey don’t open again. If they keep opening seal ends with syrup.

To be enjoyed with cold or hot green tea!

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Baked Matcha (Green Tea) Cheese Cake


Shizuoka Prefecture, where I live, produces no less than 50% of the national crop of green tea. You can imagine the quality of green tea consumed in homes in our Prefecture!
Matcha, high quality green tea powder has increasingly become popular in cooking not only in Japan, but abroad.
It does make for a beautiful combination with cheese cakes!

Baked Match Cheese Cake!

-Cream Cheese (Philadelphia style): 250 g
-Sugar: 90 g
-Eggs: 2
-Fresh cream: 100 ml
-Cornstarch: 1 large tablespoon
-Matcha: 1 nad a half large tablespoons

-Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Place a sheet of cooking paper inside the cake mold
Bring the cream cheese to room temperature

-Mix softened cream cheese with sugar and mix with a hand mixer. Next add eggs, one at a tim e and mix well.

-Add fresh cream and mix well.
Mix cornstarch and matcha, then sprinkle the mixture in a “rain” over the cheese cake mixture and mix.
Pour the mixture into baking mold.

-Cook at 180 degrees Celsius for 40~50 minutes.
Atfer having cooled the cake completely leave in refrigerator to chill probably before serving.

Easy, isn’t it?

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