Strawberry Mushipan (Japanese Steamed Cup Bread)

It seems that steamed cakes are the ‘in’ thing now. During my recent trip to Singapore, many sweet bread stores were selling an array of them, from marbled steamed cake to glutinous steamed cake. Freshly baked, individually wrapped in plastic and sold out before the end of the day, they were real hits in Singapore. When I had my first bite of the marbled steamed cake, I swear, I was in heaven. It was the softest, moistest cake I had ever put in my mouth! I was an instant fan! Good thing they were cheap because I bought quite a few of them!

Following the success of my Matcha Mushipan (Green Tea Japanese Steamed Cup Bread) recipe, I have returned with a different version of the simple steamed cake. Because of the sudden abundance of large, succulent strawberries sitting in my fridge, I decided to adapt my previous mushipan recipe to incorporate strawberries. Because strawberries are fairly tart and not overly cloying (like bananas or peaches), they lend a subtle sweetness that does not overpower the senses. Soft, fluffy and delicately fruity cakes are a lovely change to those typical dense, heavy, sugar-filled chocolate ones!

Depending on the size of your cupcake moulds, this recipe makes about 5 or 6 steamed mushipan.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
4 large, ripe strawberries (leaves and stems removed)
2 tablespoons sugar (or equivalent sweetener of choice)
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

Preparation:

  1. Prepare a large steamer filled with an inch or two of water. Leave the heat off until you are just about ready to steam your mushipan.
  2. Line small ramekins with cupcake cases. If you have no ramekins the size of your cupcake cases, use silicone cupcake moulds instead. You don’t have to line these.
  3. Mash strawberries in a small bowl with a fork until only small chunks remain.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder and mix well.
  5. In a smaller bowl, combine egg, mashed strawberries, sugar and oil. Mix well.
  6. Gradually pour this mixture into the flour mixture, mixing slowly until smooth. Batter will take on a faint pink tinge.
  7. Carefully spoon batter into cupcake liners/moulds, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
  8. Turn up the heat to prepare your steamer. Once water comes to a rolling boil, place cups in steamer, cover steamer with lid and steam on high for about 6 minutes.
  9. Remove cooked mushipan (will be extremely hot!) and place on wire rack to cool.
  10. Serve warm, please! :)

Heavenly Matcha Cookies

Following my recent success with matcha mushipan (Japanese steamed cup bread), I decided to continue baking with green tea in mind. Really, who knew matcha could be used in so many ways other than the way it was intended to be used?! Drink matcha? Nah, why not bake with it? Ahh, whoever came up with the idea must’ve been a culinary genius.

These lovely cookies boast the distinct taste of green tea. Coupled with that nice crunchy texture and sweet buttery flavour reminiscent of sugar cookies, you know you’ll have trouble stopping at just one! And not only do they taste great, they also make your kitchen smell amazing when you take them out of the oven! Bonus points!

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons matcha (green tea powder)
2/3 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 egg yolks, whisked

Preparation:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour and matcha with a whisk or fork until the flour turns an even green colour.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the egg yolks to the creamed mixture and mix well.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture in parts to the creamed mixture, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Shape the dough into 2 logs and wrap them tight in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 150°C and line baking tray with baking paper.
  7. Remove logs from fridge and, with a sharp knife, cleanly slice cookies off log about ¾ inch thick and lay them on the baking tray.
  8. Bake cookies for approximately 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cookies stand on a wire rack to cool.
  10. Enjoy with a huge glass of milk!

Matcha Mushipan (Green Tea Japanese Steamed Cup Bread)

I think my reason for wanting to make mushipan (Japanese steamed cup bread) stemmed from my itching desire to make steamed goods for once, not baked goods. So, abandoning the oven for a day, I set up the huge steamer sitting low down in the pantry cupboard and attemped the fairly easy project that was matcha mushipan. The only problem I had was that I didn’t have any small ramekins in my possession for putting cupcake liners in. Good thing I bought these handy silicone cupcake moulds that I can just put batter straight into and pop them in the steamer without worrying about the mushipan going out of shape.

Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings does a wonderful matcha sakura version of these cute steamed cake-bread gems. Mine is just a basic matcha mushipan recipe, which you can use and tweak as you like. Add white chocolate chips to it, add more/less sugar to it, make it up as you go!

So, yes. Matcha. High quality matcha would work best in this recipe. As a brew, the health benefits of matcha exceed those of ordinary green tea. By drinking matcha, you ingest the ground leaves, not just the water that the leaves are brewed in.

“One glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of its nutritional value and antioxidant content.” – Matcha Source

This makes it an even more powerful cancer fighting, fat burning concoction!

So, if you’re ready to take on the matcha mushipan challenge, here’s a really easy recipe that you can try out. If all goes well, you can impress friends who’ve never used a steamer to make sweet breads before!

Depending on the size of your cupcake moulds, this recipe makes about 5 or 6 steamed mushipan.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons matcha (green tea powder)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 1/2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons sugar (or equivalent sweetener of choice)
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or canola oil)

Preparation:

  1. Prepare a large steamer with an inch or two of water. Leave the heat off until you are just about ready to steam your mushipan.
  2. Line small ramekins with cupcake cases. If, like me, you have no ramekins the size of your cupcake cases, use silicone cupcake moulds instead. You don’t have to line these.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, matcha and baking powder. Mix through with a whisk or fork until the flour turns a uniform pale green colour.
  4. In a smaller bowl, combine egg, milk, sugar and oil. Mix well.
  5. Gradually pour this mixture into the flour mixture, mixing slowly until smooth.
  6. Carefully spoon batter into cupcake liners/silicone moulds, filling each cup about 3/4 full.
  7. Turn up the heat to prepare your steamer. Once water comes to a rolling boil, place cups in steamer and steam on high for 8 minutes.
  8. Remove cooked mushipan (will be extremely hot!) and let cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Serve warm! :)

Related Post: Strawberry Mushipan (Japanese Steamed Cup Bread)