With St Patricks day coming up, we tend to see a surge of green-coloured food and drinks infiltrate the shops, stores and blog feeds. A lot of these use artificial green colouring, but not being a huge fan of artificial colourings, I decided to share a naturally green treat for St Paddys day instead. I’m not sure that there’s anything Irish about this treat – other than the soft green hue… though surely the Irish love chocolate as much as the rest of us, no? In fact I’m pretty sure when I went to Ireland back in 2006 I bought a chocolate bar – so there you have it! ;)
Matcha – which I have used to colour and flavour this raw white chocolate – is finely ground, high quality green tea leaves produced in Japan. Green tea has a number of health benefits such as being very high in antioxidants – matcha more so than traditional green tea as you ingest the whole l(ground) leaves rather than just steeping then discard them. Some studies have also indicated that regular consumption of green tea/matcha can reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, and help with weight loss and management.
Matcha has a very distinct taste – with strong vegetal tones and being naturally slightly sweet. Good quality macha should not be overly sweet though, or bitter, however the taste can take a little getting used to for some people.
The first time I tried matcha was when I went to Japan on holiday in 2009, where evvvvverything was matcha flavoured. From Kit Kats to Starbucks lattes to McDonalds McFlurries. I tried a few different matcha-flavoured treats and wasn’t really sure what the fuss was about – to me they all tasted sickly sweet like the non-matcha flavoured counterparts, but with a funny aftertaste. It wasn’t until I purchased a small tin of matcha chocolates that I finally started to click. I’m not sure what the ingredients were (the list was in Japanese) but they were delicious – creamy, not too sweet and with that subtle but distinguishable matcha taste.
When I was thinking of what ingredients to pair with my matcha chocolate, my mind immediately turned to genmaicha, which is a traditional Japanaese style of green tea served with toasted rice. I Googled how to make the rice myself and found this article online, however in the end I went with the easy option and bought some genmaicha from my local Asian supermarket. A bit of a cop out I know, but I wanted to make the recipe easy for everyone, and the process for making your own genmaicha seemed a little long-winded and complicated. That said, I do like a cooking challenge, and love making things from scratch, so this may have to be a project I save for a rainy day.
If green tea chocolate just isn’t your thing, you may want to try one of my other (naturally) green coloured dishes this St Paddy’s day.
Breakfast just wouldn’t be breakfast without a Green smoothie bowl, or even better – Green smoothie pancakes (oh yes!)
And for the main even, how about a simple Greens + beans soup to tantalise your taste buds or the creme de la creme of all green coloured food, my Green pesto pizza, which is green from the base through to the toppings.
And if you are new to matcha and find that you looooove it and want to experiment with it some more, I found a few recipes online that might interest you like this delicious Coconut Vanilla Matcha Smoothie or a warming cup of Matcha Coconut Latte. And to dunk into that latte, these Matcha Choc Chip Cookies sound just perfect.
- 120g | 4.3oz raw cacao butter, roughly chopped
- 2 - 3 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup raw macadamia nuts
- 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
- 2 Tbsp genmaicha
- Add the cacao butter, honey, vanilla and salt to a saucepan over very low heat and allow to melt completely. Remove from heat and set aside a few minutes to cool slightly.
- Food processor method - Add the macadamia nuts to a food processor and blend a few minutes until they are completely smooth. You will need to stop every so often to scrape down the sides. Add the cacao butter liquid and matcha and mix until combined.
- Blender method - Add the nuts, matcha and cacao butter mixture to a high-powered blender and mix on high until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate mix onto a lined cookie sheet and use a spatular to spread out to your desired thickness (usually around 0.5 - 1cm | 0.2 - 0.4in). Sprinkle with the genmaicha and place in the freezer to set.
- Once set, break into bite-sized pieces. Store in the fridge up to two weeks.
- A few notes about substitutions - you could use cashews in place of macadamias here and other sweeteners in place of the raw honey (eg maple syrup) though this will change the colour and flavour slightly.
- Cacao butter is the star ingredient here and can be bought from health food stores, or some larger supermarkets.
Ricardo Caicedo says
Thanks for linking to my post about making the roasted rice.
Your pictures are beautiful! I don’t cook that well but I will give your recipe a try.
Thank you Ricardo – I can’t wait to try making my own genmaicha using your recipe one day soon when I have a little more time :)
Oca Ocani says
That sounds delicious.
I’m definitely trying this as soon as I get a bag of Genmaicha.
Thanks for the recipe :)
No worries Oca, hope you like it :)
The Blonde Chef says
Wow these photos are so gorgeous! And this is such a creative recipe! I haven’t cooked with matcha before, but now I’m intrigued!
Thank you! Im fairly new to cooking with matcha myself, but after this recipe turned out such a success I’ll definitely be experimenting some more :)
That is the coolest recipe I’ve seen in awhile! Now I really have to buy matcha powder.
Thank you Dasha! It’s definitely worth hunting out some matcha for :)
I’ve been craving this ever since you posted the photo on Instagram. I’m not even kidding. It looks so good!
Haha, when I went to Singapore last year you could get everything matcha flavoured too. And it was so good. Well, I guess I have to go to Japan soon ;)
Haha, Instagram is such a killer for yummy looking food shots! I didn’t realise the matcha trend had caught on in Singapore too, obviously a reason for that ;) And yes, any excuse to go to Japan, such an amazing country! x
Jill Yu says
It’s so beautiful!
Could you tell me what the white staff is?
It’s looks like pop corn or it’s puffed rice?
How do you make it?
Thanks Jill :) Yes, thats puffed rice which is part of the genmaicha tea mix. You can buy it at an Asian supermarket or make it using this recipe here – http://www.myjapanesegreentea.com/how-to-make-your-own-roasted-rice-for-genmaicha
Jill Yu says
Thank you so much!
I can not wait to try the recipe!
I love the look of that green matcha chocolate but unfortunately when I tried this recipe it did not turn out as light a green as yours pictured. I used vanilla bean powder, did you use vanilla essence? Maybe that is why mine appears darker.
Hi Pho – I used vanilla extract which is quite dark in colour but it’s only a small amount so it shouldnt make that much difference. The other things it could be is the honey – I only used 2 Tbsp’s, and the one I use is quite light in colour so if using a darker colour that could change the overall colour. Hope you liked the flavour all the same :)
This looks amazing! How creative to add matcha and genmaicha. And your pictures are gorgeous!
Matcha and genmaicha go beautifully with white chocolate :) Thanks Aimee x
The picture looks amazing! And the story about how you decided to create this is quite intriguing. I enjoyed reading the whole thing.
If only you could make this for me and send it to me, that would be great! I don’t think I could undertake the whole process myself.
Thank you so much Azella! The process is a little time consuming, but definitely worth it – such yummy flavours:)