Simple Eats – Macha Sablé
Baking Macha Sablé, a french cookie from Northern France infused with an oriental touch by using macha aka Japanese green tea.
Sablés (sah-blay) get their name from the characteristic grainy texture they have. They are similar to shortbreads but differ from their Scottish counterparts with in the inclusion of egg yolks. Simply delish!
Orginal recipe comes from “Okashi Treats” by Keiko Ishida, published by Marshall Cavendish
240 g pastry flour, chilled
15 g macha green tea powder
150 g unsalted butter, room temp
130 g icing sugar
pinch of salt
2 egg yolks
granulated sugar, for coating
1 egg white
green tea leaves or powder for decor, optional
1. Sift flour and macha powder together twice. Set aside.
2. Beat butter, icing sugar and salt together until soft & creamy. Add egg yolks and mix well. add flour & macha powder mixture and fold in with spatula. Transfer dough to cling wrap and chill for 15 mins.
3.Divide dough in two portions and shape into logs about 3.5 cm in diameter. Refrigerate until firm then slice into 7 mm thick rounds.
4. coat sides with sugar and brush the top with egg white and top with leaves or powder, if using. Place rounds at least 1/2 inch apart from each other on baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake in a preheated oven of 150°C for 25 mins. Leave to cool completely before storing in airtight container.
I did not follow the recipe to its entirety but instead made trial-and-error modifications and omissions along the way.
Mixing and sifting the flour and macha powder. Recipe called for pastry flour which has 8 – 9 % protein content. However, pastry flour is not an easily obtainable commodity unlike the usual all-purpose or self-raising flours. I’ll replaced it with cake flour with has slightly lower 5 – 8 % protein content. Also, I increased the amount of macha powder invariably for a stronger aroma, in the same vein as tripling the amount of vanilla essence stated in any recipe for a more robust flavour! I also omitted the addition of salt. I reckon that only fleur de sel is good enough to be added and since I don’t have it, no other salt should be added! The dry ingredients mixture is sifted twice before chilling.
Creaming the wet ingredients – butter, icing sugar and 2 egg yolks, in that order. The size of the eggs ain’t that important as the size of yolks remain fairly consistent despite the difference in eggs. Its the whites that vary in volume significantly.
A new gadget I got recently from phoon huat for my cranky oven which I’d using for about 10 years! The timer dial is spoilt and temperature needs to be recalibrated.
Test baked a batch of 6 and made them smaller. They started tanning on the surface and tasted a bit burnt from probably the charred macha. Probably too high oven temperature. It could also be the egg white wash. I added some sesame seeds on the top for decor but that turned out to be a big mistake. The intense aroma released from the seeds as they are being crushed in the mouth totally overran and musked the much more delicate macha flavour. So much for being “kay kiang”!
One of the “guinea pigs”. Brown on the outside, green on the inside. Aromatic from the sesame and macha combo yes, but not quite what I had in mind.
I adjusted the oven temperature, convinced that the heat is the problem. This is a proper batch with the rims cartwheeled over castor sugar.But the second batch still brown! Argh…seems like temperature is not the issue.
Beautiful tanned look… But just not the right colour.
Braced myself up for the 3rd try. Adjusted the temperature lower and shortened the baking time slightly. I told myself to give it an additional 2 minutes after the initial whiff of macha. Not very helpful I know but it works fo me!
Just before sending into the oven. Ishida-san’s book in the background where this wonderful recipe came from. I won this book from a sent-in entry contest on “Food & Travel”. Lucky!
Success at last! Yay! Nice and crisp with a strong aroma of macha without the bitterness!
Packed in tupperware for storage. The colour of the tupperware matches the cookies! :)