Light Matcha Cream

matchacreamnThis refreshing, light cream is the second dish I have made with matcha, Japanese powdered green tea. It has become my staple throughout the Summer and since hot days are soon over in Europe, I thought it was high time I posted it. I based my recipe on the Joël Robuchon’s cream (in “Le meilleur etle plus simpledeRobuchon), the same one I used while preparing Light Coffee and Cardamom Cream.

As an avowed – though still inexperienced – matcha desserts fan I find this cream extraordinary. It is a distant cousin of Matcha Crème Brûlée, but without the crunch and with a bit less calories. As always, matcha adds elegant bitterness and makes the cream particularly cooling. This is most of all a dessert, but it can also be served between the meals as a palate “refreshener”, recently fashionable in many restaurants.

Beware! This recipe is far from being perfect. In spite of double straining, a part of matcha powder accumulates on the bottom of the dish, creating a darker thin line. This doesn’t alter really the taste, but is quite annoying… If anyone has an idea how to avoid it, please let me know! (Strangely I have never had this problem with Matcha Crème Brûlée).

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 on top 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 half of the creams is covered.

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.

31 Replies to “Light Matcha Cream”

  1. Hi Sissi, this looks lovely – and your photo really shows just how “cream-like” it actually is and holding its consistency really well! I’m not familiar with matcha – I’m planning a trip to Kyoko soon though, a Japanese supermarket in Paris – so I will pick some up. I want to make so many things… Sukiyaki again, some dashi for some noodle soups finally, and some things like this… can’t wait! And I agree – looks like the perfect snack or dessert for warm days, lovely and cooling! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Charles. You are so kind 🙂 Matcha might be quite expensive, but since you use just a bit of it every time, it lasts for a long time. I hope you’ll post some of the wonders you mention!

    1. Thanks, Clarkie. Actually I have already seen on some other blogs matcha giving a much brighter colour in creams. Mine is always on the calmer side 😉

  2. This baked ‘matcha custard’ looks delicious, smooth and creamy. The layer of matcha at the bottom would only be visible after you have eaten most of the matcha. If someone does not like this dish they will not finish it and therefore not notice the matcha bits. For those who like it they will notice it at the end. I think they will not complain since they must have enjoyed what they ate. The bit at the end is like a palate cleanser, it would be bitter I guess:)

    1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies, for cheering me up! You are right, this is only visible when the cream is almost finished and I didn’t mind it at all, but somehow it makes my cream not perfect. I love your optimistic way of seeing the things 🙂

      1. I suppose you could let the mixture rest until the undissolved green bits settle to the bottom before pouring the mixture into ramekins and baking. You could either throw away the undissolved green bits or pour it all in one ramekin so one lucky persons gets the most antioxidants:) But I am not sure if its worth the effort. Or after the cream sets well invert it onto a plate and call it ‘light matcha cream with matcha glaze’!

        1. Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies, once again. It’s an excellent idea! I haven’t tried waiting until the powder settles in the bottom of the pan before pouring it into ramekins. “Matcha glaze” idea is even better 😉 You are very creative!

  3. Sissi, this looks wonderful…! I love matcha-flavoured dessert! You’re so good at making dessert, I don’t usually bother to make something sweet other than choc chip cookies or bubble tea ;).

    1. Thank you, CG and welcome back 🙂 (By the way, now that you also know Moomins, have you seen my last week’s Moomin Salad?”)

  4. Sissi, amazing dessert. I’d be so happy eating this everyday. Not sure what you can do with matcha powder on the bottom… They are really fine powder and even drinking green tea with matcha powder in it, always at the end matcha stays on the bottom… I think taste and look-wise I dont mind. =) You always explain about food and process of cooking so well. I need to improve mine!

    1. Thank you so much, Nami! I will have to work out why this thing doesn’t happen with matcha crème brûlée. Maybe the fat content in crème brûlée stops matcha powder from falling down? Otherwise this dessert is extremely easy and practically guiltless 🙂

  5. What a fantastic idea! I’d just made some custard … boring ol but very versatile vanilla but hey! this is a nice twist to it … flavoring it with matcha. Macha custard sounds lovely! I love the slight bitterness of it and I thought it was great in macarons too. I’m also hooked on matcha tea and must have it at least once a day … it’s become an addiction. Oh no!

    1. Thank you, Ping! I never drink matcha (am worried I wouldn’t know how to brew it), but love drinking green tea in general. If you are hooked on matcha, you would probably enjoy this dessert.

  6. Oh, I just love this Sissi! I’m a huge matcha fan and this cream looks so inviting and delicious (not to mention beautiful). Matcha powder can be a little tricky in terms of avoiding drop-down (the powder accumulating on the bottom). What seems to work well in terms of minimizing this effect anyway, is to blend the matcha with hot water/milk/cream with a whisk (there are special matcha whisks that probably work best but I use an ordinary one). So in your recipe perhaps you could try dissolving the matcha powder in one of these liquids prior to mixing it in with the yolks and sugar. No guarantees, but the whisk is the traditional method of blending this green tea.

    Can wait to try this recipe! (also, if you enjoy matcha desserts, you might like my August 9th post – Lemon Infused Green Tea Biscotti with Papaya and shaved Almond)

    Cheers, k.

    1. Kelly, thank you so much for the detailed advice and for all the compliments! I will try next time combining matcha with hot millk, but if I ever see the special matcha whisk I will buy it straight away! I love kitchen gadgets.
      Thank you for reminding me about your wonderful recipe, I have already forgotten how delicious your biscotti looked!

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