Light Matcha (Green Tea) Cream

matchacreamnSpring is still at its earliest shy stages here, but I already start dreaming of light refreshing desserts and those flavoured with matcha instantly come to my mind. This cold light matcha cream with its freshness, its astringency and its magnificent green colour perfectly embodies springtime and the boost of energy I desperately need now.

The recipe is based on a classic French milk and yolk baked cream, which can be tweaked with any chosen flavour. I took it from “Le meilleuret le plus simple de Robuchon and simply added matcha. At the time I made this cream for the first time I used the cheapest matcha available in Switzerland (which was quite expensive anyway, like every matcha I see in Europe). When I used a better quality product brought from Japan, I realised that not only the colour but also the taste and aroma had nothing to do with my first experiments. Instead of pale, greyish hue, I have been obtaining a vibrant, impressive green colour and intense taste. Now that I see my old photos and this one, I feel this is a completely different dessert! (Not to mention the flavours). I encourage everyone to avoid the cheapest matcha. Buying the second least expensive one will make a big difference (UPDATE: of course this advice is for those who live outside of Japan, where the cheapest matcha from a good brand is excellent anyway).

After dozens of creams prepared and thoroughly enjoyed, I must admit I still have a slight problem with matcha sediments staying at the bottom of each dish… It doesn’t bother me and I’m even delighted to find the most intense flavours at the bottom, but I thought it’s worth mentioning in case some of you have a trick to avoid this flaw.

If you feel like playing with matcha, you might also like these ideas:

Moist Poppy Cake with Matcha Ganache
Moist Poppy Cake with Matcha Ganache
Matcha and Coconut Wobbly Cream
Matcha and Coconut Wobbly Cream
Light Matcha Crème Brûlée
Light Matcha Crème Brûlée
Matcha and Oat Truffles
Matcha and Oat Truffles
Matcha and White Chocolate Truffles
Matcha and White Chocolate Truffles

Preparation: 1 hour + at least 2 – 3 hours in the fridge

Special equipment:

3 or 4 individual baking dishes

Ingredients (makes 4 small or 3 medium creams):

400 ml (about 14 fl oz) milk (I used skimmed)

4 egg yolks

4 tablespoons sugar (or sweetener)

2 flat tablespoons matcha + some more to sprinkle before serving

Pour the milk into a pan.

Slowly bring the milk to boil.

Put aside.

Heat the oven to 140°C.

Combine the yolks, the sugar and the matcha.

Strain the warm milk into the bowl with egg yolks and mix everything with a spoon.

Wash the pan.

Pour the cream mixture into the pan.

Heat the mixture for about 10 minutes (without boiling), constantly stirring.

Strain it and put aside.

Boil a big amount of water.

Prepare a baking dish at least as high as the individual cream dishes and big enough to contain all the creams.

Strain the cream mixture once more into the individual dishes.

Place them in the big baking dish.

Fill the big dish with boiling water so that it comes up to the halfway point of the baking dishes.

Cover the creams tightly with aluminium foil and put (very carefully!) into the oven.

(This step is very important to avoid a thick “skin” forming on the top of the creams.)

Bake for about 25 minutes (the creams are ready when only the centre is slightly trembling, but the rest is set).

Let them chill and put into the fridge for several hours.

Serve very cold sprinkled with sieved matcha just before serving.

28 Replies to “Light Matcha (Green Tea) Cream”

  1. So pretty and elegant Sissi…I yet have to make something with matcha…this would be a great start.
    Again, thank you for the recipe…have a great week my dear 😀

  2. Oh how I love the color and flavor of all things matcha! What a beautiful cream Sissi! I’ve been making a matcha pudding lately and now I want to switch over to this cream. I don’t mind the sediments in the bottom. I’m with you – that burst of flavor is intense goodness. Bobby’s not that crazy about it but I love it. Another great recipe Sissi!!!

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. I hope you will enjoy it. It’s very simple dessert, but perfect for matcha lovers. (My husband doesn’t like matcha either, so everything is for me!).

    1. Hiroyuki, here the cheapest matcha I get costs more than 1200 yen and it’s got such a blueish, pale colour… yields very pale unattractive desserts, not to mention the aroma… Then I bought a slightly expensive one (1500 yen or more) and it was much better. When I saw these matchas in a Tokyo shop (it’s apparently a very small shop specialising in grilled tea, which I had there upstairs in their tea room) I refused to buy the cheapest one! The difference ins price between the cheapest “baking grade” was so small… and then I bought the cheapest (baking grade, I think it was about 600 yen or less; it’s not on this list, but it was in the shop and the same brand) just to check the difference: it’s still 100x better than the one we get here and to be frank for me the colour was exactly the same!
      By the way, Japanese “normal” green tea sold here is horribly expensive and bad too: it’s about 700 yen and it’s similar in taste to the one I bought at 100 yen shop (just to check the difference). When I went to Japan this second time I bought several teas at 700-1000 yen for a package and my friend was saying they were very expensive but for me they are normal price and frankly cheap given the quality! (And the taste is heavenly…. I had no idea green tea could be so amazing…).
      In short for us, Europeans, green tea and matcha in Japan are not expensive 😉 (I have heard from A_Boleyn that in Canada matcha is also very expensive and doesn’t yield such a vivid colour).

  3. Spring is exactly what sprung to mind when I saw this lovely post. It’s amazing how even the slightest signs of weather change can lift our spirits and shift our inner clocks. I love that. Even here in California, you would think the transition would not be as obvious but I am every bit as excited and seem to have spring fever too! I think matcha is expensive everywhere and I agree, you generally get what you pay for and it’s worth every ounce for the good stuff. I don’t mind the sediment either, even when I diligently whisk it is still there but to me, it’s like a familiar friend at the bottom of my cup every afternoon ;-). I have a new tin of matcha and will make your creamy delight for the family this weekend (so pretty too). I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks Sissi.

    1. Hi, Kelly. Luckily we use matcha in small amounts… Thank you so much for the compliments. I hope you will like this simple cream.

  4. Sissi, your amazing Matcha Green Tea Cream is sooo smooth, comforting, and delicious! So elegant, as well. I would be so honored to serve this for a special dessert to family, and friends!

  5. As you know, I am not a big lover of Matcha, but I do agree with you that the colour itself is super and is quite appreciated during this slow and painful wait for spring. We have had yet another dumping of snow on Southern Ontario and yesterday my husband and I shovelled for an hour to get ahead of the 20cm of snow that fell. Fortunately, not much more fell later in the day. But the temperatures plummeted to a chilly -15°C with a wind chill that made it feel more like -27°C. I have had enough, as you can well imagine.
    I was speaking to my relatives in Budapest last weekend and they were already planting their summer garden outside, winter has been very gentle on them and I am not ashamed to say that I am envious! I am longing to be able to walk out the door without the heavy boots and coats and scarves and mittens so your beautiful green post made me smile. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much, Eva. Many people dislike astringent matcha flavours and I remember you are not a fan (my husband doesn’t like it either).
      I hope spring comes quickly to Canada too. I don’t think -15°C is possible in my region of Switzerland… When we have -5°C (very rarely during the day), it’s considered as a particularly cold winter temperature, but I remember -15°C from Poland… so I’m glad we have such a mild climate. I have officially stopped wearing boots and winter coats two weeks ago (this is my biggest joy!).
      We are now having exactly the opposite during the day (+15°C), so I’m really glad it’s finally springtime! At night it’s still close to 0°C, so the heating must be on (luckily!). I have also just planted some herbs on my small balcony and I hope to see them sprouting soon!

  6. Very nice, sounds delicious. One of the most delicious cookies I ever had was a Japanese macha cookie. Excellent in every way, except maybe the price, but I didn’t pay
    Spring started coming this week but this morning it snowed. Winter and spring are having a battle.

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies. Here it’s definitely the end of winter coats, boots etc.. and I hope I won’t see snow before next winter.

  7. Such a simple dessert and so few ingredients and it looks so lovely. Like a perfect light ending to a heavy, filling meal (since I always think it’s nice to have *something* a little sweet after a dinner, even if Swedish people consider it an unhealthy habit). It looks very nice indeed Sissi! I had a question though. In your instructions you said this:
    “Fill the big dish with boiling water so that half of the creams is covered.”
    Do you mean “so that the water comes up to the halfway point of the baking dishes”? Otherwise it sounds a little like water should go inside the pudding dishes?

    1. Thank you, Charles. I suppose it depends on how big the sweet thing is and how big the meal was 😉 (It’s like the French habit of eating cheese before the dessert. It takes quite a long time to get used to make a “space” in your belly for the additional piece of cheese… and I still must say I often hesitate if the dessert will be delicious I prefer a big portion of dessert and skip the cheese, but I have to calculate…). Thank you for the correction. I am updating the instructions (of course I meant what you say…).

  8. You know that this will be gone in two bites if this was served in front of me. Before you notice, whole dessert would be gone, and I’d be happily smiling. Matcha desserts gives me happiness… so delicious. I love this matcha cream. What agreat dessert!

    1. Thank you so much, Nami. I appreciate your compliments a lot! (It is a tiny dessert indeed and so light it’s also a “two bite” thing for me 😉 )

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