Thursday, June 7, 2007
Green Tea Cheesecake White Chocolate Brownie
Green tea is one of my favorite flavors for sweets, from cakes, cheesecakes, puddings, ice cream (I can't tell you how much I adore green tea mochi ice cream), to drinks like milkshakes and frappucinos (I would be drinking this stuff 24/7 if only it wasn't so expensive and not to mention fattening). Up until a few years ago, its use as a dessert flavor was fairly localized to Asia but now it's growing in popularity around the world, working its way into very French desserts like macarons and madeleines. I received my bag of green tea (matcha) powder a long time ago from Steven's parents who brought it back from Taiwan. It is absolutely precious to me so rather than using it, the bag of matcha sat untouched safely in the pantry. A few days ago I looked at the bag again, and although it was entirely in Japanese, from what I could understand it expired last month. Ack! Now I need to use up the powder and there's no excuse for letting it sit around, so stay tuned for a flurry of green tea sweets.
I never understood blondies. It seems only natural that if brownies are made with chocolate, then blondies should be made with white chocolate. Instead, blondies are more like bar cookies made with brown sugar and chocolate chips rather than melted white chocolate. So this leaves the poor white chocolate brownie without a proper name. It's a tragedy. :( As a result, this dessert has an abnormally long name, but I can't think of anything better. This will be my entry for Myriam's 2nd Browniebabe of the Month. Helen and Meeta also made white chocolate brownies, we must all be on the same Daring Baker vibe.
- Matcha powder can be quite expensive especially the high quality stuff used for tea ceremonies, baking quality matcha is often more affordable.
- The green tea cheesecake swirls can be omitted for a regular white chocolate brownie/blondie
- The amount of matcha you need will depend on its strength. Since mine is really weak (perhaps due to the expiration date), I had to use almost 2 tablespoons in the cheesecake filling, but this is highly unusual. Usually 1 to 2 teaspoons of matcha is enough so start out with a little bit and taste it.
- The brownies were almost a tad too dense (I usually really love fudgy brownies) but next time I will add 1/4 tsp of baking powder to the batter.
- When I made these I was expecting something identical to a regular brownie but with white chocolate flavor. However, the texture of these brownies was very different from what I was expecting, I can't put my finger on it exactly. I think it might have to do with the different proportions of cocoa butter and other stuff in white chocolate vs. semi/bittersweet. They also didn't have a crust on top.
Green Tea Cream Cheese Swirl White Chocolate Brownie
8 Tbsp butter (1 stick), cut into 1-in pieces
5 oz. white chocolate, chopped
5 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 C flour
8 oz bar of cream cheese, room temp
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp green tea/matcha powder
About 2 tsp of water, hot but not boiling
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Mix the green tea powder with a bit of hot water to form a paste. Mix the cream cheese, egg, and green tea paste until smooth. Taste a bit and see if it's strong enough.
Melt the butter with the white chocolate. Mix in the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and flour (and baking powder if you want to experiment with it). Whisk until smooth but do not over mix.
Line a 8 x 8 square baking dish with a sheet of foil (with overhang for easy lifting) or grease and flour it. Pour in half of the white chocolate batter. Then drop half of the cream cheese mixture on top in spoonfuls. Top the batter with the rest of the white chocolate brownie batter, then finally add the remaining half of the cream cheese mixture on top. Use a knife and swirl the brownie and cream cheese together to create a marbled pattern.
Bake the brownies at 325ºF for 40 - 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. The center should be almost set. You don't want the toothpick to come out clean because that would mean the brownies have overbaked. Cool in the pan for 5 then lift the brownies out and cool to room temperature. They're best served cold so chill them in the fridge for about 3 hours.