We have served these muffins at CIBI every weekend since we opened. Two classic Japanese sweet ingredients – matcha (green tea) powder and sweet azuki beans – give these muffins their distinct flavour and the unique green colour that has caught the eye of many of our customers. Over the years, they have become the finishing note of our leisurely Japanese weekend breakfast experience. They are great with both green tea and coffee. ~ Meg & Zenta Tanaka.
50 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
80 g caster (superfine) sugar
80 ml full-cream (whole) milk
135 g plain (all-purpose) flour
3 Tbs matcha (green tea) powder
2 tsp baking powder
120 g sweet azuki bean paste*
Flaked almonds, to garnish
*If you cannot find sweet azuki bean paste, you can use 50 g (1¾ oz) of couverture white chocolate.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Grease a six-cup muffin tin with butter.
Melt the butter in a microwave or using a hot water bath (the aim is to melt it, not cook it). Set it aside to cool slightly.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar and egg and beat at high speed until the mixture is smooth and pale, about 3–5 minutes.
Add the melted butter and beat until well incorporated. Pour in the milk and beat again for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Sift the flour, matcha and baking powder into the mixture, then stir with a spatula until smooth and shiny.
Pour the batter into the muffin tin, half-filling each cup. Add 2 tablespoon of azuki paste to the middle of each muffin. Divide the remaining batter between the cups, pouring in just enough to cover the filling.
Sprinkle almond flakes on top of each muffin and bake for 20–25 minutes, until they are nice and fluffy and a skewer inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Aim to take them out of the oven just before they start to turn golden brown.
Allow to cool before serving.
Credits: This is an edited extract from Cibi by Meg & Zenta Tanaka published by Hardie Grant Books RRP $50.00 and is available in stores nationally from 1 April 2018.
Photo Credits: © Mark Roper.