Sometimes an ingredient grabs our attention and we want to use it in every and any way possible. Such is the case with matcha. We love this classic Japanese beverage prepared the traditional way as a frothy hot tea, but we have also come to love it in baked goods. The slightly bitter, vegetal flavor of the tea works well with chocolate, as a featured ingredient such as in our Matcha Shortbread or used in other more unconventional ways.
Perhaps you saw our post on the vacherin? These snowy white receptacles for fruit, ice cream, sorbets, mousses and creams are a classic of French cuisine. Here we added matcha to the whipped meringue to produce not only a subtle green color, but also a rich green tea flavor.
Fill them anyway you like. We made one version with purchased mango sorbet and drizzled with raspberry sauce. A second time we use chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce. You can see how creative you can get! How will you use these elegant tea-flavored vacherin? By the way, matcha can be pricey but look for a cooking grade matcha, which is an economical way to go and perfectly suited to baking. We used one from Aiya Matcha.
- 4 large egg whites
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup superfine sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sifted matcha
- Preheat oven to 225°F. Line a baking sheet pan with parchment and trace 6, 3-inch circles onto paper. Flip paper over.
- In a clean, grease-free bowl whip egg whites with balloon whisk attachment of stand mixer on low speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue beating, turning speed to high, until soft peaks form. Add sugar gradually and beat until meringue is stiff and glossy. Beat in the smaller amount of matcha and taste; adjust as desired. Keep beating until green color is solid.
- Scoop into a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip such as a Wilton 1M or 4B. Starting in the center of a traced circle, start piping concentric circles until the outline is filled. Then, along the outside edge of the circle, pipe a ring and continue to make a second ring above the first, making a sidewall of meringue.
- Bake for about 1½ hours or until completely dry and crisp to the touch. They should stay as pale as possible. Cool pan on wire rack. Store shells in a dry place for up to a week.
- Instead of a piping bag you can simply dollop the meringue mounds onto your baking pan and create swirls with the back of a spoon. Make sure there is at least a slight indentation in the center to receive all the luscious things you that you will be using to fill your vacherin.
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