Saturday, March 24, 2012

Can't get enough of Matcha Desserts : 焼き菓子、ふわふわ抹茶餅

As we continue the search for matcha sweets, have you ever wondered why usually Kyoto Uji matcha is used instead of Shizuoka matcha? In fact, Shizuoka Prefecture accounts for half of the green tea leaves produced in Japan. I tried to google for an answer but it seems like both Kyoto Uji and Shizuoka produce high grade quality green tea. Hence, both are known as Japan's Top 2 Matcha Production Area. Nonetheless, if we were to name a third one, it would be 八女 from Fukuoka. There seems to be no straight answer for which is the best but perhaps Uji matcha has become so well known that a product would fetch higher sales if marketed under the name of Uji matcha.
Andeico Double Layer Matcha Dessert
平安神宮にも奉納されている歴史と伝統ある「丸宗」が厳選した京都産宇治抹茶を使用。しっとり焼上げたくちどけの良い抹茶スフレと、なめらかに仕上げたクリームのような抹茶プリンの2層デザート。 
the green tea used here is from the famous green tea specialty shop in Kyoto called Marusou "丸宗". This old shop dates back around 200 years ago to 1781. Matcha tea leaves from this company is only harvested once a year, which makes them very premium. Back to the dessert, why is it called double layer? it is because the upper layer of this dessert is a baked matcha cake while the bottom is rich creamy pudding.
Those who have experienced baking with real matcha powder will know that the baked goods will come out with a brown top layer, which is exactly shown here. 
And once you dig into the cup, there is the soft rich green tea cream (even though it is said to be pudding). This dessert is well executed as the baked top layer does not seem to be placed on top of the pudding layer but  made together with the pudding. It sticks to the pudding and thus it makes me wonder how they actually manufactured it in the factory.

Though this is available at a cheap price in various convenience stores, the taste is not compromised and I dare say that this is even better than most green tea sweets so far because it is not sweet at all.
モチクリーム京風宇治金時 Mochi Cream Series : Matcha Azuki Mochi
I am not sure if this is produced under the company mochicream as the inside of this mochi looks different from the picture shown on the company website. Nonetheless, it is possible that the producer has varied the products slightly and released it as a convenience store snack. 
Like most mochi, this innocent looking ball is also dusted with matcha powder.
however......the azuki bean filling is so little as compared to the usual wagashi that it can't be spotted in the cross section....but i like it this way.

This is more likely to be a fusion between traditional Japanese sweets and western sweets because there is not much azuki to be found. Instead, the ultra-thin mochi skin wraps the green tea whipped cream, followed by the usual whipped cream and lastly the azuki beans in its rather original shape (not fully mashed ) This mochi dessert perfectly suits me because Japanese wagashi filled with red bean paste is usually sweet and the taste is very predictable. But for this, the amount of green tea cream: whipped cream: azuki bean is about 3:1:1, which is an appropriate ratio to me. Also, the mochi skin is not too thick and thus a pleasure to consume.

i used to remember spotting mochicream with beard papa in Singapore. But apparently, mochicream no longer has any shops in Singapore as listed from its website. this is surprisingly good and there are also other flavours such as kinako black bean, strawberry shortcake, chocolate and almond, blueberry cheesecake available in some convenience stores here. Nonetheless, the mochicream website also allows those who are lazy to walk out to do some online shopping. 

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