A Japanese friend took me to the Shitamachi area for a lunch outing last month, and I enjoyed it so much that when a friend from Arizona came visiting this past week, I took her to the same place. We strolled down Ningyocho's Amazake Yokocho, passing a basket shop where you can still see the craft of lacquer application and a tea shop where we stopped for some delicious hojicha (brown tea) flavored ice cream treats. We also stopped at a tenugui shop, Hamacho Takatora, which sells original designs of tenugui, traditional cotton washcloths.
Inspired by the tea shop, I dug out my recipe book and searched in the "try" folder where I store torn out recipes from magazines or newspapers. If the recipe turns out to be a keeper, then it moves to the "save" folder. I had filed away a matcha babaroa (green tea bavarois) recipe from a Japanese cooking magazine years ago, but I hadn't yet tried it. I don't even remember which magazine it came from. I gave it a go, and turns out it was simple to make. Served with some store-bought azuki bean paste thinned out with a little bit of water and a dollop of strawberry ice cream, it was a nice ending to an evening meal. This one is moving to the "save" folder!
Makes about 7 servings.
I used a 6 count silicone muffin pan and had enough for six molds plus one extra.
1 tablespoon matcha powder (green tea powder)
10 g (1 tablespoon) gelatin powder
360 ml (about 1 1/2 cup) milk -- I used low fat
65 g (about 1/3 cup) sugar
100 ml (about 1/4 cup) heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
If using a metal mold, you may want to lightly grease the inside of the molds. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together the matcha powder and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Slowly add 100ml (1/4 cup) of boiling water to the bowl, whisking until the tea and sugar dissolve. Sprinkle in the gelatin powder and mix well. Let sit for about 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, the remaining sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract. When the sugar dissolves, add the green tea mixture and whisk together well.
In a larger bowl, get an ice bath ready. Place the bowl with the green tea/cream mixture in the ice bath and stir gently using a rubber spatula. Continue to stir, scraping the bottom of the bowl, until the mixture starts to thicken slightly.
Place the mold on a baking sheet and pour the mixture into each cup up to the top. Cover the mold with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The bavarois should unmold easily from the silicone. If using a metal mold, press the top of the bavorois gently with your finger to create an air space between the mold and the bavarois and then it should release easily.
Invert the bavarois onto a plate and serve with some whipped cream or ice cream or just by itself.