One of my favorite flavor combinations is green tea with coconut. What I have learned is that green tea can very quickly taste grassy and somewhat herbal. To avoid this unwanted result, I prefer to use Matcha powder over steeping green tea leaves. Matcha gives a fresher flavor without the herbal undertones and provides a glorious green color to most dessert applications. It was my Japanese student, Yoko, who first introduced me to magnificent Japanese Matcha.
To flavor Gelato, Bavarian creams, panna cotta, cake batters etc Matcha works extremely well. The flavor works great with citrus, mango, passion fruit and other tropical fruits. It can also be a good combination with white chocolate, almonds and certain spices such as anise. Green tea liquor is available for applications when a little “freshness” and or flavor enhancement is required. Kirsch can also perform some of the above with excellent results as well.
Since most canned coconut milks are weak in coconut flavor, I prefer to use a frozen type of coconut puree. To make it a little lighter, you can mix dairy milk with coconut milk, but naturally, if you use too much, you will lose a significant amount of the coconut taste. For certain applications I boil dairy milk and add unsweetened coconut (desiccated coconut). Let this steep for a few hours and strain. This makes dairy milk with a delicious coconut flavor.
Getting it all together!
Bake the Matcha cake ahead of time and freeze it up to two weeks. The crumble freezes without any problems and can be baked when needed. The coconut panna cotta itself is best made the day of serving but will still be good the next day.
Coconut Panna Cotta
Yield: 4-6 servings
|2 Cups||(16 oz)||Coconut puree-frozen type||480 g|
|¼ Cup||(2 oz)||Whipping cream (34-36 %fat)||60 g|
|¼ Cup||(2 oz )||Extra fine granulated sugar||60 g|
|2 Tablespoons (opt)||(1 oz)||Coconut liquor||30 g|
- In a saucepan bring the coconut milk, seeds of the vanilla bean and sugar to a boil. Cover with plastic and let cool to below 183°F (81°C-83°C).
- Bloom the gelatin by placing it for at least 5 minutes in ice cold water. Squeeze the water out of the gelatin and place it in the cooled mixture. Stir well and let cool to room temperature before pouring in the verrines. Whisk to ensure that the coconut cream will be homogenous.
- Pour in the verrines or glasses which have a piece of green tea financier cake on the bottom.
- Set in a refrigerator to set the cream.
Green tea streusel
|½ Cup||(2 oz)||Bread flour, very cold||60 g|
|½ Cup||(2 oz)||Almond flour-meal, very cold||60 g|
|1 teaspoon||(1 tsp)||Matcha||2.5 gram|
|4 Tablespoons||(2 oz)||Extra fine granulated sugar||60 g|
|pinch||(pinch)||Fleur de sel or salt||Pinch|
|½ Cup||(2 oz)||Unsalted butter, very cold and cubed||60 g|
- A variety of methods on making the streusel:
- A. Place the cold ingredients in a food processor and pulse until crumbly.
- B. Place the cold ingredients in a machine bowl fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until the mixture resembles crumbs.
- C. Place the ingredients on a work surface and using a pastry cutter, cut the mixture until a crumbly mixture is obtained.
- Scatter the crumbs on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven until parts of the streusel shows signs of a golden hue.