Homemade Matcha Green Tea Cheesecake With Pistachio

I have always been a fan of green tea, but my addiction for the bitter goodness was heightened when I was kindly sent some high quality matcha powder from my dear friend Laura at Cherishing The Cherry Blossoms. From cookies to lattes, matcha powder can pretty much be incorporated in any sort of food. But after the home oven annoyingly broke, my baking options became limited and I scoured the internet for non-baking, dessert ideas to feed my sweet tooth. Enter my new favourite easy-to-bake green tea cheesecake!

Loosely based on a basic no-bake cheesecake recipe, I created my own green tea version and made small tweaks to the traditional ingredients to give something different and slightly healthier (with a particular emphasis on the ‘slightly’). So here is my matcha green tea cheesecake with pistachio…

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Base:

– A handful of crushed pistachios
– Original Digestive biscuits, crushed (about 5 biscuits fills the base of two ramekins)
– Small nob of butter

Filling:

– Low fat cream cheese (1 standard pack fills two ramekins)
– Icing sugar (as much as you desire to satisfy that sweet tooth)
– One teaspoon of matcha powder dissolved in warm water (about 10-15ml depending on size of cheesecake you intend to make)

Finishing:

– Sifted matcha powder to dust on top

Directions:

I used ramekins for my cheesecakes, as I felt this was the easiest way to control my portions and I think they look good for presentation purposes. But you can use any container you wish.

1. Roast the crushed pistachios in a pan for a few minutes until a little brown. I feel that this helps to bring out the pistachio flavour more intensely. Add the butter and crushed biscuits, then stir until all well combined.

2. Dish the above into the ramekins and press down neatly with a spoon.

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3. Mix the cream cheese and icing sugar together until a well combined mixture forms.

4. Add the dissolved matcha to the filling mixture and mix well. Make sure the match mixture has been dissolved completely before adding to the cream cheese, otherwise you will see lumps of green. The final mixture should be a very pale green colour and still quite thick in texture. If the mixture falls off your whisk or wooden spoon easily then it is too liquid and will not set in the fridge.

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5. Spoon the mixture over the bases in the ramekins and smooth the top

6. Pop the ramekins into the fridge and allow the cheesecakes to set for at least and hour.

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7. When you are ready to eat the cheesecakes, dust some matcha powder over the top just before serving. If you do this before you set the cheesecakes in the fridge, the powder will sink into the filling.

8. Enjoy!

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Have you tried cooking or baking with matcha powder before? Please feel free to share your recipes!

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That Wedding in Singapore

The sun beamed with intensity as we walked under a pure, blue Singaporean sky towards Marymount, to attend the morning tea ceremony of my dear cousin and his beautiful bride. It was a bright morning. Just like every other one had been in Singapore, where the sunlight was strong all you saw was white. And the soaked backs of men’s shirts was a reminder of the usual humidity.

But despite the unbearable heat, the groomsmen and bridesmaids successfully conducted the traditional Chinese ‘gate crashing’ in style and the bride nevertheless emerged in the most stunning ‘kai po’ I have seen to date. The tailor-made dress had an incredible lace back (think the high quality crochet type) which fitted her perfectly. Of all chinese kai po’s I have seen, this one is the closest to the stunning design worn by Hong Kong model Kathy Chow. Needless to say, I immediately noted down the name of the tailor!

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Several hours after the warming buffet at the bride’s lovely home, where some of the best local Singaporean food was served (although 90% of it was super hot and spicy, and by this point of my holiday I was desperately craving something that wasn’t) it was time to get ready for the main wedding ceremony held at the great Raffles Hotel.

At first it seemed doubtful that we would watch the happy couple get married in the courtyard, with the indecisive rain clouds hovering and causing a stir. The hotel staff were constantly on guard and ready to stack up all the chairs as soon as a couple of drops came down. This happened at least 3 times, before it was decided that Plan B had to be implemented. But this plan certainly wasn’t secondary in terms of impact. Taking place on the sheltered stage in the courtyard and looking out onto the beautiful lawn, we watched the groomsmen, bridesmaids and super cute nephews and nieces walk up the rich, red carpet. Not to mention the dramatic and emotional music in the background – it was safe to say I was already sobbing after one minute!

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So the big moment came, the bride arrived. An elegant, one-shouldered white gown, with light ruffles that were so airy they almost looked perfectly ‘under-styled’ – of course it was Vera Wang. From Vera Wang’s lower-end collection, this gown not only had a fantastic price tag, but the upmost quality and grace that only a designer gown would bear.

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As for myself, I wore a simple, fitted skater dress in dusty, pale blue by French Connection, teamed with nude courts and accessorised with a statement necklace I purchased from a local Singaporean boutique.

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Have you or will you be attending any summer weddings this year? Please share all your wonderful experiences, I hope you have enjoyed reading mine.

Dishoom & Friends

This weekend I had a great time catching up with some of my closest friends from University. Having dinner at Dishoom in Shoreditch, London offered the perfect, warming ambience as well as some of the best cocktails and Indian food I have had.

If anyone is thinking of trying out Dishoom, I would definitely recommend the Shoreditch restaurant, over the covent garden one, as it offers a much more chilled out vibe and an amazing court yard for enjoying it’s incredible cocktails. The Bollybellini was probably my favourite, packed with strong lychee and raspberries in Prosecco – a definite girlie beverage. A great warmer is the Winter Pimm’s, although I did think it was pretty much like mulled cider, but with a heavier price tag.

To eat, we shared several dishes from the all-day menu (serves from 11.30 until late):

Skate Cheeks Koliwada – a nice light batter, the skate almost had a melting texture.
Dishoom Chicken Tikka – I don’t usual rate Chicken Tikka very much but this was chargrilled perfectly and I loved the sweet vinegar marinade.
Paneer Tikka – This was probably one of my favourite dishes, ten out of ten – except they could have probably served more of it in the bowl!
Spicy Lamb Chops – again, well charred, was amazing with a little lime juice on top!
Chicken Berry Britannia – this Biryani worked surprisingly well with the cranberries, I found this very more-ish!

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Atmosphere: busy but laid-back and cosy
Service: ultra-friendly staff – not to mention a couple of dashing waiters!
Food: great flavours with well-balanced spices and hotness.
Price: cocktails are quite expensive for the amount given compared with typical bars, but do taste amazing. Individual dishes are priced reasonably well. The entire meal per person this night (with a cocktail each) was around £20.

Since this is the first snapshot food review for this blog, please do let me know if there are any other areas you think would be useful to talk about, I will be happy to hear any suggestions for improvement. Essentially, I just want to give a concise and honest summary  of my eateries so I hope this did the job! What has been your experience of Dishoom?