Matcha, if you have never heard of it before, is a strikingly coloured green tea powder from Japan. Unlike most teas, which you can prepare by soaking a teabag in water, matcha is meant to be stirred in and dissolved in the water.
Matcha is a little bit like hot chocolate mix, except much greener and without the taste of hot chocolate. I guess the only similarity really is that both powders are soluble in water.
This was my first time tasting matcha, and it was quite enjoyable. I really liked the bright green colour, so I was not paying much attention though. I felt like I was drinking one of those super healthy smoothies with strange ingredients like crabgrass. Ha. I would never drink one of those.
Matcha’s colour is so vibrant that the matcha buttercream filling I used in these macarons did not even have any added food colouring. That vivid green colour is completely natural. Pretty crazy.
I bought a lower grade of matcha because lower grades have a much stronger flavour. Cheaper matcha is made from older leaves so its taste is more pronounced, which is exactly what you need. If you are just buying matcha for drinking, lower grades can be a bit too strong and slightly grassy because they contain more chlorophyll.
If you decide to make these you should know that I did not use regular green tea powder, which is not the same thing as matcha since it does not originate from Japan and is not made the same way. All matcha is green tea powder, but not all green tea powder is matcha. Do not be fooled at the tea store! I almost got tricked by the sly tea saleswoman.
“Here is the matcha you wanted,” she told me as she held up a canister of green tea powder and smiled politely to mask her deception.
If it had not been for the large black lettering which clearly said “green tea powder” on the front of the container, she would have gotten me. I learned my lesson: Tea saleswomen can be as crafty as car salesmen.
Matcha has a great edge over regular green tea when it comes to baking. Since matcha is very finely ground and soluble in water (and therefore many things that you would bake with) the powder can easily be added to almost any dessert. Adding in a cup of green tea is definitely much trickier.
Today’s post is quite short because these matcha macarons are not going to be served by themselves, but rather as a garnish for next week’s post (you can now find it here). Stay tuned, because these macarons and the next dessert are a great match-a.
P.S. If you’re new to making French macarons, may I suggest checking out my macaron tutorial that covers all things macaron?
- 113g (4oz) almond powder
- 226g (8oz) icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon matcha powder
- 141g (5oz) egg whites, at room temperature
- 71g (2.5oz) sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon green food colouring (optional)
- ½ cup (114g) butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (30g) icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons matcha
- Follow my macaron tutorial (available here), except add in a tablespoon of matcha powder while grinding together the almond powder with the icing sugar.
- Cream the butter until light and fluffy, about two minutes with a mixer. Add in all the other ingredients and beat together for four minutes. Beat in more icing sugar if necessary.