One of the sweetest parts of summer is sharing moments with others at fun occasions. Summers are all about savoring occasions when there’s a particular lightness in the air. I’ve been exploring matcha as an ingredient and learning more about this green tea that is capturing the interest of food lovers worldwide. In today’s matcha brownie recipe, I share a delectable treat that combines my appreciation of the beautiful matcha flavor and brings it to meet bright strawberry and the depth and richness of a fan-favorite decadent chocolate ganache brownie. Get ready to taste the prettiest brownie of your life.
Tea: a ceremony
The ceremony of preparing matcha also intrigues me. Many cultures have traditions built around preparing tea. Some have to do with certain life celebrations, like weddings, and others offer particular opportunities for generations to come together to share stories. A Chinese pre-wedding tea ceremony, English tea service, Moroccan mint tea after the meal, Turkish tea sipped slowly, iced tea at summer BBQs are all examples of tea moments.
Growing up, tea was an important ritual in my day: when I came home from school, my mom prepared a pot of tea in a ceramic pot and would pour it into tiny cups. We’d often sit and sip tea once it had cooled to just the right temperature in the kitchen and she would ask me about my day before I’d do my homework. These moments infused an appreciation for tea and slow living that I carry with me today. Whenever I need to reset, I make a pot of tea.
Matcha is no exception to the artistic ceremony and presentation. Japanese matcha originates from steamed green tea leaves that are grown in the shade, and then dried and finely milled. The green tea powder contains antioxidants, vitamin C, and L-theanine, which promotes focus and relaxation, in contrast to caffeine where a boost and subsequent slump are often experienced. In contrast to teas where the leaves are steeped to produce a brew, drinking a cup of matcha is special means that you consume the whole leaf! It is important to use the right kind of matcha – with no other ingredients besides matcha green tea. I look for bright green color (matcha lasts about a year), and culinary grade, organic, or ceremonial designations.
To prepare a cup of Japanese matcha, It is prepared properly using a bamboo whisk (“chasen“) to make M and N motions in the bowl as you pour hot water (175-185°F, which is slightly cooler than boiling water) into a bowl. With matcha ice cream, soft serve, cocktails, hot/iced/blended beverages, donuts, cakes – there are so many ways to enjoy matcha. I enjoy green tea, and particularly, the mild earthy flavor it imparts, so I wanted to experiment with it in my own kitchen.
Tea Forté opened their first brick-and-mortar boutique in Boston on Newbury St. I had the pleasure of attending a few events there in a beautiful, sunny zen library featuring teas and accessories with stunning designs reflecting traditions from around the world.
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I had a Belle moment climbing onto the ladder and envisioning swinging through a library of luxury tea blends to select the flavor au moment. 💛 Welcome @teaforteofficial, to their first brick and mortar at # 91 on the fantastic #NewburySt! 🍵 I’ll be back to sip on more Hamami soon 💕#teafortenewburyst . . . . . . #boston #bostonevents #teaforte #tea #igboston #igersboston #bostonbloggers #foodblog #foodblogger #foodie #iloveboston #ihavethisthingwithpink #styleblog #lifestyleblog #wiw #whatiwore #pink #ragandbone
Having enjoyed many cups of tea at home (B once gave me an enormous set of teas in their signature pyramid diffusers), I was curious about their USDA certified organic Matcha green tea, which I had not yet tried. I noticed their elegant Matcha collection in store, and decided it was time to start my own at-home Matcha adventure!
Crafting the Matcha Brownie Recipe
I love chocolate, and know what hits the spot. I’m particular about chocolate treats. For example, some are so rich that they actually do feel a bit like death by chocolate – and I’d like to live to eat another chocolate treat ;). Others are so sweet that I sense a glucose-induced roller coaster on its way from the first bite. Some aren’t exciting and don’t have enough flavor to fill a craving. Beyond flavor, texture and bite are important! Do you like cakey, chewy, or fudgey brownies? For chocolate, I enjoy a medium fudginess with a deep chocolate flavor. Interestingly, deep and flavorful is the profile I like most from red wines too. In fact, I’ve been wanting to host a chocolate and wine tasting – wouldn’t that be fun?
When I cook and test new recipes, I smell, taste, touch and combine from there. Matcha helps to add more of the deep, grounded flavors I like in an elegant way. Tea Forté has three flavors of matcha: matcha (original), chocolate matcha, and coconut matcha. For this recipe, I decided to use chocolate matcha. Matcha and strawberry are good flavor partners on their own (have you tried some iced lattes with them?), and matcha elevates, lifts, and enhances chocolate. I have been baking with freeze-dried strawberries (I get mine from Trader Joe’s) lately because they have all the brightness of the strawberry flavor, but don’t have any additional sugar. Plus, freeze dried fruit doesn’t add extra water from the fruit as it cooks (a challenge for baking time and even texture). I used coconut oil to enhance the fudginess and add a hint of coconut flavor.
All of the flavors work together gently and beautifully in each bite for a dessert experience that you will want to sing about!
*This recipe contains a few affiliate links so that you can easily find what I used online. I may receive a tiny commission, should you choose to purchase an item through my link. Thank you for your support, always!*
- 6 oz (or 170 grams) chopped bittersweet chocolate (about half a bag of Trader Joe’s chocolate chunks, or equivalent)
- 3/4 cup (or 180 mL) heavy cream
- 6 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup Tea Forté chocolate matcha (shop here online)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (lower on the glycemic index – see here for a piece I wrote elsewhere with more nutritional insight about coconut sugar, and sweeteners)
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (can substitute with all-purpose gluten-free flour, like Bob’s Red Mill, or even finely-ground almond flour without skin, but avoid ones that are mainly rice or bean based)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1.5 tsp pure madagascar vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup freeze-dried strawberry pieces (Trader Joe’s has a great version without added sugar or sulfur).
- 2 tablespoons Tea Forté chocolate matcha (shop here online)
- ~1/4 cup crumbled freeze-dried strawberry pieces (I crushed them in my hands just before generously sprinkling on top of the ganache).
12 Servings | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Baking Time: 30 min
- Grease a 8×8 pan (I used a brownie pan with removable dividers to slice the brownies into squares). I like to use the butter wrapper if butter is used, or a paper towel to spread coconut oil, or spray cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Fill a medium pot with 1.5 inches of water and simmer.
- Place a medium bowl ( I use a 9 inch pyrex bowl) over the mouth of the pot and add chocolate and coconut oil, stirring until melted.
- Remove bowl from heat, and whisk in brown sugar and coconut sugar.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after you add each egg.
- Whisk in vanilla extract.
- In another medium mixing bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.
- Add flour mixture in to chocolate mixture and mix just until incorporated – but, *Note* Do not over mix – this can lead to formation of a separate crust layer and brownie layer. Although, the crust will be delicious and slightly chewy, it just will be not as beautiful!
- Pour and spread brownie batter in an even layer in the pan.
- Take about 1/3 cup of freeze dried strawberries and shake evenly on top of brownie pan filled with batter.
- Bake about 30 minutes, checking with a toothpick to ensure it emerges mostly clean.
- While the brownie cools, make the ganache (see Ganache directions below)
- Brownie should be slightly warm, but not hot, when you spread the ganache on top.
- Sprinkle powdered matcha and crumbled freeze-dried strawberries on top.
- Cut into small squares and serve – recommended: serve with an oat milk
- Simmer cream in a small pot on medium heat.
- Pour hot cream over chocolate in a heat safe bowl (I use a pyrex) and let sit for 15 seconds
- Stir until melted and smooth. (I use a mini silicone spatula (shop similar here) for ease of cleaning. It is also easy to scrape the bowl with.)
- The ganache should have a shiny appearance and should have begun to solidify. Let cool slightly before spreading on warm (but not hot) brownies. *If the ganache has cooled too much, or if you want to use it another time, you can microwave it for 10 seconds and stir to soften.
- Crumble 1/3 cup of freeze-dried strawberries and sprinkle them on top of the ganache.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of matcha powder on top of the ganache as well.
Enjoy your matcha brownie with a hot or iced matcha latte with vibrant strawberries on top, and share with friends and family.
Click here to shop the beautiful ceremonial matcha bowl and whisk set from Tea Forté featured in this matcha brownie recipe post.
strawberry matcha latte whisked with oat milk – delicious!
Enjoy – square by square of this pretty dessert delight!
Thank you to Tea Forté for generously providing the beautiful gift of your matcha teas and set for me to use to create and share this delicious treat!
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