Today we're celebrating a coworkers birthday at work and, per usual, I took this opportunity to make up some cupcakes (what's a celebration without a cupcake?!). Unfortunately, Coworker doesn't like chocolate or peanut butter (the horror!) but he loves Lipton's Green Tea and Citrus (photo from zeer.us).
So I started off on my quest to translate that into a cupcake. To make a Green Tea cupcake you need Green Tea Powder, also known as "Matcha". After exhausting my resources for odd ingredients (Trader Joe's and Whole Foods) I found an Asian Grocery Store in Hartford. This place was fantastic! It had all the foods that I pay way too much for at the normal grocery store. So after picking up some lemongrass for the soup I was making that night, inexpensive nori for sushi and "healthy stomach" tea by request of the fiancee, I found the Matcha! My excitement was so overwhelming that I didnt really look at the box very well (I assumed it was all in Mandarin anyways).
Checking out the box when I got home I realized I picked up "Matcha Au Lait", the Asian Equivalent of Cafe Au Lait (and yes, it said so in English on the box). It's a mixture of granulated sugar, skim milk, powdered green tea and some other unecessary ingredients. If you find the real stuff, probably available next to the Matcha Au Lait, you will need to adjust the amount of the green tea you use!
For the Green Tea Cupcake I used the Magnolia Bakery Vanilla Cupcake Recipe with a few changes. First, I only did half and it made a perfect dozen cupcakes. Second, I mixed in about 5 Tablespoons of the Match Au Lait. Lastly, I used regular flour with salt and baking powder as a substitute for the self-rising flour.
For the frosting I used this Citrus Frosting Recipe (halved) with the milk instead of half and half and 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice. The frosting is incredibly light and fluffy but it does have a slightly grainy texture. I thought this might be because I mixed the lemon juice in with milk, but while cleaning up I found a blob of frosting that had been flung from the bowl prior to the lemon juice addition and it was the same texture.
The Verdict: Doesn't taste or look particularly "Green Tea-ish" which is actually fine by me, because I don't like Green Tea Desserts, but the combination of the two is a very refreshing!