January 21, 2008
Green Tea Cupcakes
Is there anything more exciting than Asian groceries? In pursuit of unadulterated green tea powder, I went to the biggest one I’ve ever seen. It was just like a standard commercial grocery store but a billion times more fun. There was an entire twenty foot-long case of different kinds of tofu: tofu noodles, puffed tofu, tofu skin, smoked tofu, dry bean curd, and on and on. More important, where else can you find acorn starch? No where else, that’s where.
Yet despite the fact that this Asian market was the third I’d visited, and the fact that it stocked fourteen kinds of starch, the only green tea powder I could find was mixed with dextrin. I was so desperate to make the Green Tea Cupcakes from my recently-returned copy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World that I bought it anyway. At least it wasn’t mixed with sugar, right?
As I feared, the impure powder didn’t produce the rich green cupcakes pictured in the book, even though I added a good deal more than the recipe called for. They came out tan, with a greenish hue, sort of the shade I turn when I have the flu. I decided to dust them with the powder to give them a little more color. I was more concerned that they would end up tasteless, though. This fear turned out to be unfounded—they were delicious.
In fact, these might be my favorite cupcakes from VCTOTW yet. The texture was perfect—moist, light, yet substantial. The almond extract and the rice milk come through nicely, and the tea powder gives it a lovely flavor I wouldn’t have recognized as tea if I hadn’t made them. I baked twenty-seven of these babies on Friday and they were gone by Sunday. Not just from the three of us—though if I had a little less restraint, I could have finished them by now myself.