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27 May 2011

Matcha Green Tea, Pistachios & Chocolate Rice


Here I am again with the rice dessert.  I guess by now I can officially say that I love cooking and eating them.  I resort to rice desserts because they are simple to make and require less attention in the measurements of the ingredients.  With my hurried nature, I tend to disobey measurement rules and baking requires precision.  Two small, active kids make you run, literally, at any given time.   I dream of baking those beautiful cakes that almost don't look real.  Sigh.  For now, I have to satisfy myself with quick & easy desserts.  So if you are looking for those picture perfect cakes, try again my blog in a couple of years.  Maybe I will be able to surprise myself in creating my dream cake.



Matcha green tea.  As soon as I saw some pictures & recipes at the internet, I got hooked.  I had been looking for it for months and I finally found it at a large international gourmet shop.  Of course, where else?  I should have started there in the first place.  I was surprised at the price.  I had to pay about 25 Euros for a 100 g. canister of 100% pure Matcha green tea.  There were cheaper options - half Matcha green tea mixed with other kinds of tea.  I bought the pure one and hoped the 25 Euros I spent would be worth it.


Matcha green tea is the protagonist in the Japanese tea ceremonies.  It can be prepared either as a thick drink or thin and it's the healthiest tea that exists.  With the health benefits alone, it gives me satisfaction for paying a lot.




Matcha Green Tea, Pistachios & Chocolate Rice 

Ingredients:
Serves 4
  • 1 cup Arborio rice or anything similar
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Matcha green tea powder for the rice
  • 1 teaspoon Matcha green tea powder for the sauce
  • Matcha green tea powder for sprinkling on top
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar for the sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch or flour
  • 100 grams dark chocolate or milk chocolate, melted
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios, ground 
  • pistachios for sprinkling on top
  • chocolate flakes for sprinkling on top  
Directions:
  1. Mix 2 tablespoons green tea & 2 tablespoons sugar with 2 cups of water.  Adjust sweetness according to your preference. 
  2. In a small saucepan,  put the cup of rice with the green tea mixture.  Cook until rice becomes soft and liquid has been absorbed by the rice.  Stir in 2 tablespoons pistachios at the end of the cooking.
  3. In two bowls, divide the rice to 1/3 in one bowl and 2/3 in the other bowl.  Mix the melted chocolate with the 1/3 rice.  Let the rice cool.
  4. With a round mold for shaping food, put a layer of green tea rice.  Flatten.  Put a layer of chocolate rice then green tea rice again.  Sprinkle with pistachios, chocolate flakes & green tea on top.
  5. In a small saucepan, prepare the green tea sauce.  Boil 1/2 cup water.  Add one teaspoon green tea, one teaspoon sugar & the cornstarch.  Adjust sweetness according to your preference.  Stir vigorously until you reach a dense consistency.  Stir continuously to avoid having clumps of cornstarch.  
  6. Serve the sauce with the rice.