As much as I like being a filthy old Pud-Hog, sometimes it’s nice to be healthy (and backtrack just a little on the sinning). So yesterday, after a stupendous chocolate cream tea in Dorset, I was in the mood for something light, fruity and seriously good for me.
I decided to make me a trifle. Not just any trifle, mind, but one with a secret ingredient: Matcha Powder.
For those of you who don’t know it, matcha is basically a condensed version of green tea, made with 100% ground green tea leaves. It’s pretty impressive stuff by all accounts, with one serving (just a single gram) apparently containing 70 times the antioxidants of orange juice, and 9 times the beta carotene of spinach. In fact, you’d have to drink about 15 cups of normal green tea to match it (and probably spend your whole day on the toilet).
I got my matcha powder from Teapigs, an ethically-sound company based in Brentford (you can see their credentials here), so not only was it healthy in the vitamin/mineral stakes, but it was also entirely organic.
Now. The most normal way to have matcha is to drink it (usually in water, although I once had an excellent white hot chocolate with matcha that I wouldn’t mind repeating). Luckily for us pudding lovers, however, it also goes well in desserts.
For this particular recipe, I was inspired by a pudding that I had at Japanese restaurant Necco (very delicious and reasonably priced, if you ever find yourself in Clerkenwell with a hunger and a few pounds in your pocket). Alas, I can’t remember the pudding’s name (or find the photo I took of it), so you’ll just have to trust me when I say it was full of exciting layers, one of which was a bit like a green tea custard.
Anyhoo, fancying something green and gooey myself, I invented my very own version.
What you’re looking at there is (from the bottom up) chopped apricots, matcha custard, Greek yoghurt mixed with apricot juice, and a sprinkling of hazelnuts and matcha powder. It was darn tasty too (boy, I love those textures), but my favourite component (the sweet, grassy-tasting matcha custard) was kind of overwhelmed by the yoghurt. For the recipe below I’ve done some tweaking so the matcha will come through.
Should you find yourself in the mood for something chilled, scrummy, ridiculously healthy and seriously easy to make, you now know what to do…
Matcha and Apricot Trifle (Serves 2)
- 4 apricots (tinned are ideal – otherwise you’ll probably have to peel them)
- 150ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1tbsp custard powder
- ½tbsp caster sugar
- ½tsp Teapigs matcha powder
- 2tbsp Greek yoghurt
- 1tbsp juice (from the apricot tin)
- Chopped nuts and matcha powder to decorate
You’ll also need something to serve them in – I used two red wine glasses, but glass bowls would be just as good.
- Chop the apricots into small chunks and pop in the bottom of the glasses
- In a microwaveable bowl, mix the custard powder and sugar with a small amount of the milk in order to form a smooth paste. If you want it to be a uniform green colour, add the matcha powder now too (if not, and you fancy a speckled effect like mine, mix it in as soon as the custard has been cooked)
- When you’ve incorporated all the lumps, pour in the rest of the milk and cook on high in the microwave for one and a half minutes. Take out, stir, and cook for another 45 seconds. Stir again. The mixture should be smooth and thick
- Giving the custard a minute to cool (boiling liquid and glass don’t go that well), carefully spoon it over the apricots and shimmy the glass until the custard layer is level. Oh – and don’t forget to lick out the empty bowl – you wouldn’t want all those healthy custardy antioxidants to go to waste now, would you?
- In a separate bowl, stir the juice into the yoghurt. Spoon this over the custard layer, being careful not to mix the two together
- Let the mixture cool down and set in the fridge (a couple of hours is more than enough)
- Sprinkle with chopped nuts (hazelnuts if you have them), and a pinch of matcha powder
I swear, it is DEE-licious (and guilt-free). Crunchy nuts, smooth herby custard, zingy yoghurt, juicy fruit – a winning combination if ever there was one. It’s very adaptable too. Don’t have tinned apricots? Use tinned peaches! Ain’t got Greek yoghurt? Use plain old natural!
One thing you probably can’t do without is the matcha powder (not if you want green custard, at least – plus the healthiest part of the whole darn thing).
If you don’t have any of that, panic not. It’s your lucky day! You see, for the first time ever on the Pud-Hog Blog, I can offer you Ogglers a discount: 20% off the Teapigs matcha products if you use this code: MATCHABLOG12.
One of your five a day? The healthiest custard you ever did eat? More money left for more puddings?
I say again, Ogglers: sometimes it’s nice to be healthy.