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3 Must-Try Green Tea Desserts

Japanese green tea has a host of proven health benefits, such as weight loss aid, added protection for our immune system, increased energy, and improved cognitive function. But did you know that Japanese green tea isn't just for drinking? You can make several delicious desserts with it while reaping these very same benefits.

Let's look at three must-try green tea desserts that you may not be familiar with.

1. Japanese Green Tea Ice Cream (brain-friendly!)

This recipe is a modern, creamy equivalent of what used to be shaved ice made from Japanese green tea. This dessert often found its way onto royal tables as early as the 1800s.

Today, you can make delicious ice cream from brewed Sencha green tea that tastes every bit as gorgeous as anything you'd find in an ice cream parlor.

sencha ice cream

Ingredients (This recipe serves 4 people.)

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 8 Japanese green tea bags
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large egg yolks

 Method

  1. Put the cream, whole milk, sugar, tea bags, and salt in a medium saucepan. Over medium-low heat, bring the milk mixture to a light simmer.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and let the tea steep for about 30 minutes (cover it if you wish). Squeeze the tea bags (you'll want to extract as much flavor as possible) and discard them.
  3. Bring the milk mixture back to a light simmer while you beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl. Remove the milk mixture from the heat.
  4. While whisking the egg yolks, add one-quarter of the milk mixture to the bowl (you want to temper the eggs to prevent them from cooking). Now add in the rest of the milk mixture very slowly, continuing to whisk.
  5. Once you've added all of the milk mixture to the eggs, pour everything back into your saucepan.
  6. Now heat the pan, constantly stirring, for 5 to 10 minutes (over medium-low heat). You'll know the mixture has thickened enough (like a custard) when it coats the back of your spoon. Alternatively, check the temperature; when it reaches 170 degrees, it's done. Be careful not to overcook the mixture, as the milk will curdle, in which case you'll need to strain it before the next step.
  7. Pour the custard into a bowl and cover. Let the custard reach room temperature before placing it in the fridge overnight (or for at least 6 hours).
  8. Once the custard has cooled, put it into your ice cream maker and freeze according to the instructions. Alternatively, place the container in the freezer, stirring occasionally. Make sure your ice cream has firmed up to your desired texture, then serve.

Matcha Ice cream

2. Immune-boosting Panna Cotta

This panna cotta is packed with antioxidants that can support your immune system while providing an incredible finish to any dinner.

Ingredients (This recipe serves 6 people.)

  • 2 tablespoons of cold water
  • 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin (2 teaspoons)
  • 2 cups of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Sencha green tea leaves (or use Sencha green tea bags)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • Blueberries or raspberries; fresh mint leaves (optional, for serving)

 Method

  1. Put the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes so that the gelatin absorbs the water.
  2. Meanwhile, put the cream, milk, sugar, Japanese green tea leaves (or tea bags), and salt into a small saucepan.
  3. Bring your milk mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat. Let it simmer for one minute, stirring constantly. You don't want your milk to boil over.
  4. Remove the milk mixture from the heat and mix in the gelatin, stirring well for one minute. Cover your pan and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes so that the tea steeps. Then, if using tea bags, squeeze them and discard them. If using loose tea leaves, pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the leaves.
  5. Pour the milk mixture into six ramekins and put them in the fridge. Let them chill for at least 5 hours, or till the panna cotta has set.
  6. To remove the panna cotta just before serving, run a knife around the side of each ramekin and then dip them into boiling water for just a second. Lift out each ramekin and invert your panna cotta onto serving plates, topping with berries and garnishing with fresh mint leaves, if desired.

     3. Energy-boosting Green Tea Cake 

    Traditional pound cake just got a makeover! This fabulous recipe serves six people.

    green tea cake

    Ingredients (This recipe serves 6 people.)

    • 1 cup of granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup butter (unsalted), softened at room temperature
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3 tablespoons of Sencha green tea powder
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1/2 cup milk (either dairy or plant-based)
    • 1 teaspoon spirulina (optional, or 2 drops green food coloring)
    • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

     Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a cake pan (9-inch circular), or use a Dutch oven.
    2. Cream together both butter and sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, then beat the eggs in one at a time. Add the Japanese green tea powder and stir well.
    3. Combine the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl, then add them to the butter and sugar mixture. Mix well.
    4. Now stir in the milk and beat till the batter has no lumps. Add the green food coloring, if using, or the teaspoon of spirulina, and stir well.
    5. Pour your green tea cake batter into your pan or Dutch oven, and bake at 350 F for 30 to 40 minutes (it will bake faster in a Dutch oven). Test by inserting a fork into the center of the cake; it should come out clean.
    6. Let your pretty cake cool inside the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it to a cake rack. Allow your fresh cake to cool on a rack for another 30 minutes.
    7. Once the cake has cooled, sprinkle it with the confectioner's sugar and serve.

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