This weekend S introduced me to something he had been raving about for ages - green tea muffins. I have to admit to being slightly skeptical, but he kept on about how brilliant they were, so I gave them a go. And they were well worth it. They are extremely light and fluffy. While they are sweet, the green tea and almond flavours balance it so that they don't have the cloying over sweetness that you get in a lot of muffins.
The recipe is from a colleague of S's so I'm not sure on it provenance, but wherever it came from they are certainly delicious and a unique and unusual flavour that I think would be lovely as part of a larger afternoon tea.
Green Tea Muffins
1/2 cup soy yoghurt (I just used natural yoghurt)
2/3 cup rice milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (I would probably halve this in future as it was a little strong)
1and 1/4 cups plain flour - I used self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda - I didn't use this
3 to 4 teaspoons matcha tea powder - ideally you need to get the Japanese one from an Asian grocery, and make sure it's the one without added sugar, however we couldn't get it so we just used green tea powder.
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius and line muffin pan with liners
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, rice milk, vanilla, oil and almond extract, beating well to blend in the yoghurt. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, matcha powder, salt and sugar. If using rice flour it will be a little lumpy. (I just used ordinary white flour). Beat a little longer to break up any large lumps. Fill liners two-thirds full and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted through the centre of one comes out clean. Cool on racks before topping with glaze.
GREEN TEA GLAZE (Icing)
2 tablespoons margarine
1 cup icing sugar
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon matcha tea powder
1 to 2 tablespoons rice milk
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I would probably omit this in future, although S loved it)
Drop of vanilla extract
1. With a fork, beat margarine to fluff, then mix in icing sugar and matcha to form a crumbly mixture. Slowly beat in 1 tablespoon rice milk, almond extract and vanilla. If icing is too thick to spread pour in additional rice milk a teaspoon at a time an mix till desired consistency is reached.
Dollop on the cupcakes then smooth over. We didn't decorate them, however when S had them the first time they were decorated with little silver balls and icing flower.