Hitting up Wimbly Lu Chocolates for a matcha latte + an update about life

Wimbly Lu Chocolates, Singapore

Celebrating the last chill weekend before everything gets all hectic again. In a couple of days, we’ll be heading to Kuching for an overseas wedding, then hopping straaaight into the Christmas fray back in Singapore right after that. The fam’s all coming to join us from Down Under on Christmas Eve and everything’s going to be loud – and James will no doubt want to host an ambitious Christmas dinner or something crazy. Looking forward to it all, but for now, I think I’m happy just having a laid-back Saturday. In other news, I’ve rekindled my fondness for matcha lattes.

Wimbly Lu Chocolates, Singapore Wimbly Lu Chocolates, Singapore Wimbly Lu Chocolates, Singapore

I wrote a blog post about Wimbly Lu Chocolates back in February – have a look if you’re interested in knowing more about the cosy little cafe! ;)

Wimbly Lu Chocolates, Singapore

White Chocolate Chip Matcha Tahini Cookies

White Chocolate Chip Matcha Tahini Cookies White Chocolate Chip Matcha Tahini Cookies White Chocolate Chip Matcha Tahini Cookies

Hands up if you’re still looking for the perfect cookie. Well guys, I don’t mean to brag but this may actually be a contender for the Best Damn Cookie Award 2015. No lie. Some of the best things I’ve ever baked have been directly attributed to blatant experimentation. These super sexy white chocolate chip matcha tahini cookies are no exception. Continue reading “White Chocolate Chip Matcha Tahini Cookies”

Thick & Fluffy Matcha Pancakes

Matcha Pancakes Matcha Pancakes

The weekend is nigh upon us and don’t we all need a great recipe to start it right? Lazy Saturdays mean you have a little more time to whip up something creative for breakfast! Green eggs and ham? Nah, try matcha pancakes with syrup! There is nothing more delightful than a green tea flavoured sweet treat! Now, if you don’t have any matcha powder on hand, fear not! You can replace the green-hued powder with cocoa powder or even some instant coffee powder for a more smoky, earthy hit. Continue reading “Thick & Fluffy Matcha Pancakes”

Chocolate Chip Honey Cupcakes with Matcha Icing

Honey Cupcakes Green Tea Icing

So, I’ve been in Singapore for about a week now. The weather here’s been pretty great – humid, but not unbearable; pockets of rain here and there in the afternoons, but they don’t last long. I’ll be picking James up from the airport in a couple of hours. He’s spent the last 5 days in Vanuatu on holiday with his family. I can’t wait to see him again! I hope everyone had a brilliant Christmas, and here’s to an awesome New Year ahead! Continue reading “Chocolate Chip Honey Cupcakes with Matcha Icing”

Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil}

Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil} Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil}

I’ve been drinking heaps of tea lately. It used to be a daily essential for me, but there was a cessation of the habit at one stage and as a result, I was left with a large stash of assorted teas sitting abandoned in the pantry. Thankfully, in the last week or so, I’ve gone through that stash pretty quickly. I’ve found that green tea is still my favourite, and while I’ve lost my penchant for oolong and rooibos, I’ve also gained a new love for white tea. Now that we’ve got a new herb garden growing strong and healthy, I’ve been adding lots of fresh mint leaves to my cups of tea (we also have thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, curry and chocolate mint growing in the garden — yes, chocolate mint actually exists).

Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffin Batter Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffin Batter Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffin Batter

Sprinkle the tops with some sugar crystals for an extra sweet & crunchy surprise.

Anyway, these are the green tea muffins we made over the weekend (they’re not mint-flavoured, as one might initially mistake them for). Studded with chocolate chips and sprinkled with sugar crystals, they rose beautifully in the oven and turned out surprisingly soft and moist. For a recipe that doesn’t include eggs or butter, this was definitely an impressive result. Fragrant coconut oil replaces the butter in this case, and you can make these muffins entirely vegan by using your favourite non-dairy milk (like almond or soy), and investing in some dairy-free chocolate chips.

Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil} Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil} Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil}

Sprinkling large sugar crystals on top of each muffin was an idea that stemmed from my favourite banana bread recipe. I can’t seem to remember where I put that recipe (should probably remember to look for it), but I know that it called for a generous dusting of brown sugar all over the top of the pre-baked loaf. The bread came out with a gorgeously caramalised and tantalisingly crunchy top. The concept worked very well with these matcha-infused muffins. As the muffins themselves weren’t overly sweet or overpowering in flavour, they gave the sugary tops and delicious chocolate morsels a chance to truly shine.

Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil} Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil} Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil} Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil}

I think the green tea and chocolate chip combination had everyone swooning and clamouring for more. If you haven’t yet had the chance to indulge in any sort of matcha-flavoured sweets or desserts, introducing yourself to these simple mini cakes would be a good way to start. The recipe is straightforward and, with light hands, the preparation and baking process is incredibly easy. If you’re looking to cut down on your chocolate intake, you can replace the chocolate chips with some dried fruit or nuts.

Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil} Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil}

Love using matcha powder in baked goods? Have a look at our other matcha recipes: [one] Chinese Wolfberry (Goji Berry) Matcha Cake, [two] Matcha Mushipan (Green Tea Japanese Steamed Cup Bread), [three] Heavenly Matcha Cookies, [four] Dark Chocolate Swirl Matcha Cheesecake.

Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil} Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil} Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil} Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil}

Soft and moist little green cakes. Just look at that ooey gooey chocolate mess! Mmm.

Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil}
an eggless & butterless muffin recipe ; yield: ~12 regular muffins.

Ingredients:

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 tablespoons matcha (green tea) powder*
a pinch of sea salt
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/3 cups milk, warm
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 cup chocolate chips**
2 tablespoons large sugar crystals, for sprinkling

* Maeda-en’s “Culinary Quality” Matcha Green Tea Powder works extremely well in baked goods.
** We used Sweet William’s Dairy Free Chocolate Chips, a delicious alternative to regular chocolate chips. You can also substitute the milk in this recipe with a non-dairy alternative such as almond or soy to make vegan muffins.

Matcha Powder and Chocolate Chips Matcha Powder and Chocolate Chips

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cups.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, matcha powder and sea salt. Mix well, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, thoroughly whisk together the sugar, milk, coconut oil and vinegar.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Using a wooden spoon, gently fold the mixture a few times, then add the chocolate chips and continue to fold lightly until everything just comes together.
  5. Spoon equal amounts of the batter into each paper cup. Fill each one to the brim and use the back of your spoon to evenly spread and flatten the tops. Then, generously sprinkle the tops with large sugar crystals.
  6. Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes, or until they have risen and browned slightly.
  7. Remove from oven and let muffins stand in tray for 10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool.
  8. Best eaten slightly warm, while the chocolate chips are still melty and gooey!

Sugar-Dusted Green Tea Chocolate Chip Muffins {with coconut oil}

Chinese Wolfberry (Goji Berry) Matcha Cake

Goji Berry Matcha Cake

Goji berries, as they are most commonly referred to in the English-speaking world, are also known as Chinese wolfberries. And rightfully so, as you’d be surprised at how often these unassuming little red berries are used in Chinese cooking. In fact, they are a celebrated ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In many parts of Asia, dried goji berries are added to a variety of sweet and savoury dishes such as almond jelly, rice congee, herbal soups and herbal teas.

Flour and Matcha Soaking the Goji Berries

While the Chinese have been using these berries in their cooking for centuries, the rest of us are only now starting to realise the benefits of eating them. Frequently classified as a superfruit, goji berries are high in antioxidants and contain many essential minerals and vitamins, including vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, C and E.

Eggs Combining eggs and sugar Ribbon Stage

I don’t know about you, but dried goji berries taste much like tomatoes to me; a little sweet, a little salty, a little tangy. They also make an interesting textural addition to this green tea cake. Soaked in water to soften and plump them up, the berries are then folded into the matcha-infused batter for an extra sweet-savoury burst of flavour.

Goji Berry Matcha Cake Goji Berry Matcha Cake

The cake bakes to a lovely brown on the outside, but slice it open and you will find pretty green speckled with dark red. Not overly cloying, it is much like a sweet bread rather than a cake. You might like to try toasting a slice and giving it a smear of red bean paste or strawberry jam. Other serving suggestions include a side of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Goji Berry Matcha Cake

Goji Berry Green Tea Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup cake flour
1 tablespoon matcha (green tea) powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
A pinch of salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup raw caster sugar
1/3 cup dried goji berries (Chinese wolfberries), soaked in water for 10 minutes, drained
5 tablespoons butter, melted

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and line a 7x3x4 inch loaf tin with non-stick baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, matcha, baking powder and salt. Mix well, set aside.
  3. Using a stand mixer, combine eggs and sugar until pale and thick (ribbon stage). This can take several minutes.
  4. Sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture and add the softened goji berries. Gently fold the mixture with a spatula until berries are evenly distributed, then fold in the melted butter. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared tin, evening out the mixture with the spatula as needed.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Remove cake from tin and remove paper lining before leaving to cool on a wire rack.

Goji Berry Matcha Cake

Dark Chocolate Swirl Matcha Cheesecake

In the world of baked goods, chocolate is a good addition to matcha. Especially white chocolate. When James and I were running around beautiful Japan, we found some green tea chocolate. Actual green tea flavoured little wafer-thin discs of chocolate that melted in your mouth. They were pieces of heaven. I had to stop myself from having piece after piece after piece! We also came across strawberry cheesecake flavoured Kit Kat in Yokohama, but that’s another story. I am very surprised I didn’t become a human balloon in Japan. They really know how to mix and match their flavours to get the best possible taste experience.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m a huge fan of green tea. I also have periods where I become a raging chocoholic for a week because chocolate is like fuel for happiness. And, being a lover of rich foods, I adore the thick creaminess of a well-made cheesecake. What better way to spruce one up by infusing the flavours of green tea and chocolate into its decadent body?

Very easy to whip up, very chic at events, keeps well in the fridge. This two-part recipe calls for the making of a simple crust base (adapted from Donna Hay) and the matcha cream cheese filling. You may decide to use store-bought pie crusts to make life just a little bit easier. I substituted the white flour in Donna Hay’s base crust recipe with wholemeal flour instead for a healthier and more flavoursome end product.

Cheesecake Crust Base
adapted from Donna Hay’s cheesecake base recipe.

1/2 cup wholemeal flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup sugar (or equivalent sweetener of choice)
3/4 cup butter, softened

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Line the base of a springform cake pan with baking paper. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, almond meal and sugar until evenly distributed.
  4. Add the butter to the dry mixture and gently rub the ingredients together with your fingers until it all comes together.
  5. Transfer the dough to the cake pan and press it into the base with the palms of your hands. Use the back of a large spoon to flatten any uneven bumps and create an even spread of the dough.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, remove from oven and set aside.

Matcha Cream Cheese Filling

250g cream cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar (or equivalent sweetener of choice)
1 1/2 tablespoons matcha (green tea powder)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
50g good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa), chopped
Prepared crust base

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C.
  2. Microwave cream cheese for about 45 seconds to soften.
  3. Using a fork or a mixer, mix cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until well blended and smooth.
  4. In the same bowl, add the eggs, matcha and vanilla extract and beat until well blended.
  5. Lightly grease the sides of your springform cake pan (with crust base already prepared at the bottom) and pour the batter in. Tap pan lightly on kitchen bench to remove any air bubbles.
  6. Melt the dark chocolate (tips on melting chocolate successfully).
  7. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of cheesecake filling and, using a skewer, gently swirl the chocolate around to create desired patterns throughout the batter.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and stand the cake for 1 hour, leaving the door slightly ajar.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.