Hojicha Cupcakes with Black sesame and Sweet Cream

Have you ever had cupcakes that are so good you don’t really need any special frosting? These hojicha cupcakes (roasted green tea) are just that. With plenty of earthy, roasty hojicha flavor, you could eat them plain, with a dollop of whipped cream, or my favorite, sweetened whipped cream with some matcha (green tea) powder sprinkled on top. Oh, and don’t forget the black sesame. Of course you could just keep it a secret and see if whoever eats these will even notice 😉

 

Hojicha ほうじ茶- Roasted green tea

While matcha seems to have hit mainstream these days, there’s another Japanese tea that may not be as well-known.

And that’s hojicha! 

Roasted green tea.

Have you had it?

If not, it’s got a very unique flavor.

Extremely robust, earthy, tea-like and very hojicha.

It’s a very bold tea and I like it that way.

It’s often served at the end of a meal or with dessert in Japan.

And the great thing about it is that it’s basically caffeine free.

So you can drink this anytime of day or night without worrying that it’ll keep you up all night long.

Cuz it won’t!

Ok, so how do you use hojicha?

 

How to use hojicha tea

The most frequent way I ingest hojicha is by drinking it.

Hot hojicha tea in the winter and cold tea in the summer.

Spring and fall?

Hmm, not so sure, but likely a mixture depending on the weather.

Do you change the way you drink your beverage by season or temperature?

If you decide to brew hojicha tea, a guideline you can use for one person is about ~3 grams per 160-200mls of water at 200F for 30 seconds.

Of course you can brew it longer or use a larger quantity for a more potent tea

If you’re just getting started with hojicha tea, the above might be a good starting point for you.

And yes brewing time, temperature, tea quantity etc all affect the resulting flavor in your cup.

Even the cup affects the flavor.

Or does it?

Well, consider having champagne out of a mug versus a champagne glass, I think it might be perceived as tasting different.

But I guess you’d have to close your eyes and have someone serve you to know for sure. Will you try it?

Anyways, back to the hojicha…

If you cold brew it tends to have a different character to it (cold brewing tea or coffee tends to smooth the flavors out)

So what that means is less bitter if you’re sensitive to bitter flavors.

You don’t need any special equipment and in fact you can just use your tea pot, add tea as you usually would, fill with cold water and allow to brew overnight.

Try it and see if you notice a difference.

 

So aside from drinking it as tea, I’d say the second most common way I use it is in sweets like ice cream and baked goods.

While hojicha is good and delicious on it’s own I do like to add a little somethin somethin to make it even better…

Wanna know what that is?

 

 

 

Black sesame seeds (黒胡麻 kurogoma)

Surprise!!!

Black sesame goes great with a lot of sweet things.

Be it ice cream, baked goods, pudding and many other things.

And that includes these hojicha cupcakes!

I particularly like to add black sesame for an additional layer of flavor and texture.

Sometimes I mix them in to the batter, but this time I just sprinkled them on top.

You can even hide them under a the whipped cream or layer them in the bottom of the cupcake batter for a crunchy bottom 😉

How about that?

 

Other ways you can serve the hojicha cupakes –

  • with a scoop of matcha or green tea ice cream
  • with a scoop of hojicha ice cream
  • with some azuki or sweet red bean
  • with some kuromame sweet black bean
  • plain with a sprinkling of powdered sugar
  • a cup of coffee
  • and of course, with a nice warm (or cold) cup of  Japanese green or hojicha tea!

 

 

Tips for making the hojicha cupcakes a success-

  • Weigh your ingredients, I’ve found ever since I started to weigh out my ingredients (especially when it comes to bread), I end up with better results
  • Want to really indulge? switch out the olive oil for the butter it’s a lot 😮
  • Though I like to use silicone cups every now and then I’ve found i get a better crust using the bare metal cupcake pan.
  • If using the bare cupcake pan, spray it with cooking spray so your cupcakes don’t stick or break when you try to remove them. Before removing them, use a chopstick or spatula to loosen them from the sides and then tongs to pick them up out of the cupcake hole.
  • Preheat your oven so that you’re baking time is the same as mine. I usually preheat for a minimum of 20 minutes, longer is better
  • Use the toothpick or (ohashi-chopstick) test to check for doneness, poke in the center and when it comes out clean, it’s done.
  • I’ve found hojicha whole leaf tea is somewhat easy to source, but haven’t seen the powdered version in the US. If you can’t find the powder, just use a mini coffee grinder and do it yourself. 20 seconds of wheeeeeeee and you’ll have powdered hojicha tea. Be careful not to inhale the fine tea dust or you might sneeze achoo!
  • You need to powder the tea for the cupcakes and most other food preparations of hojicha. I mean do you really want to be eating tea leaves? Ya I don’t think so Even if you’re a koala, they eat eucalyptus leaves Not tea leaves…
  • The dust wand i used in my video is here – fun to play with if you like to dust your food 🙂

 

 

Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese food and it's your first time here, join the new Daidokoro FB group - a small community of Japanese cuisine enthusiasts!

**Japanese Cooking Bootcamp returns Feb 20, 2019! Learn more!

 

Here’s a video of me making the hojicha cupcakes and sweet cream – 

 

 

This post was brought to you in partnership with Kei Nishida owner of japanesegreenteain.com 

Use coupon code ALLDAYIEAT to get 15% off your order! 

 

 

So what do you guys think? will you be giving hojicha tea or these hojicha cupcakes a try?

lmk in the comments!

 

 

 

Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese food and it's your first time here, join the new Daidokoro FB group - a small community of Japanese cuisine enthusiasts!

**Japanese Cooking Bootcamp returns Feb 20, 2019! Learn more!

 
Print Recipe
Hojicha Cupcakes with Black sesame and Sweet Cream BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
Have you ever had cupcakes that are so good you don't really need any special frosting? These hojicha cupcakes (roasted green tea) are just that. With plenty of earthy, roasty hojicha flavor, you could eat them plain, with a dollop of whipped cream, or my favorite, sweetened whipped cream with some matcha (green tea) powder sprinkled on top. Oh, and don't forget the black sesame. Of course you could just keep it a secret and see if whoever eats these will even notice 😉
Hojicha Cupcakes with Black sesame and Sweet Cream (4)
Course dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
for hojicha cupcakes
Sweet cream
Course dessert
Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
cupcakes
Ingredients
for hojicha cupcakes
Sweet cream
Hojicha Cupcakes with Black sesame and Sweet Cream (4)
Instructions
For hojicha cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 340F
  2. Add sugar to olive oil and whisk until combined.
  3. Add in the eggs until combined, then add in hojicha tea powder.
  4. Add in the flour next, whisk until incorporated. Then add baking powder until just combined.
  5. Bake at 340 F for 20 minutes in the center rack. Test with toothpick or ohashi (chopstick) when it comes out clean it's done!
  6. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream and or coffee, Japaneses green tea / hojicha tea!
For Sweet cream
  1. Whisk sugar with whipping cream until stiff peaks form
  2. Top cupcakes with desired amount of whipped cream!
 

Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese food and it's your first time here, join the new Daidokoro FB group - a small community of Japanese cuisine enthusiasts!

**Japanese Cooking Bootcamp returns Feb 20, 2019! Learn more!

 

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