This Asian-style green tea cheesecake is lighter and more delicate in texture than its New York counterpart
This Greentea/Matcha Cheesecake will blow your socks off. Literally.
Inspired by Teakha, my favourite teahouse in Hong Kong that is nestled away from the hustle and bustle of Hong Kong, the urban concrete jungle. I have finally garnered up the patience – not to mention the courage – to recreate their signature green tea cheesecake. Lighter than the inevitable-waist-thickening-New York style cheesecakes, this green tea cheesecake is one true piece of sheer decadence.
Caveat emptor: not all green tea powders are created equal. Matcha earns its name because of the way it is grown, processed and ground. Matcha is a powdered green tea, but not all powdered green teas can be matcha. Matcha green tea powder comes from the tench leaves, and undergoes a very strict growing process. When the newest leaves start to bud, they are covered from sunlight. This give them a very different taste than sencha leaves, which grow in 100% sunlight.
Blocking 90% of sunlight slows the growth of the leaves and increases the production of the amino acids that give matcha its unique taste. The buds are hand picked and ground by certified tea artisans in a stone mortar. The end product is an extremely fine powder that can be dissolved in warm water.
What does this all mean from a nutritional point of view? Because matcha is made from high-quality tea, and the whole leaves are ingested, it’s a more potent source of nutrients than steeped green tea. In addition to providing small amounts of vitamins and minerals, matcha is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been tied to protection against heart disease and cancer, as well as better blood sugar regulation, blood pressure reduction, and anti-aging. Another polyphenol in matcha called EGCG has been shown in research to boost metabolism, and slow or halt the growth of cancer cells.
So where did I get my matcha powder from? I was fortunate as my girlfriend Jaki gave me some high quality organic matcha powder from The Green Room in Suzhou a few months back. Finally, I had a reason to test it out and put it to good use! For those not too sure where to source the powder from, you can easily find high quality green tea / matcha powder in health food stores, Japanese/Asian supermarkets, and online.
- 2 x 8oz packages of fat-free cream cheese (softened)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon of green tea powder
- 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 5-6 wholewheat Digestive biscuits
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius / 350 degrees fahrenheit. Start with making the base. To do so, crush 5-6 digestive biscuits in a bowl till it resembles a crumb like consistency.
- Melt the butter in a pot. Pour melted butter into the bowl of crumbs and mix thoroughly with a spatula until evenly coated.
- Layer the crumbs at the bottom of a ~8-inch diameter cake tin and even it out consistently.
- In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese together with the sugar until thoroughly combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.
- Add the matcha powder to the mixture and beat again until smooth.
- Brush leftover melted butter around the inside edges of the cake tin. Pour batter into the prepared crust cake tin.
- To ensure a level surface for the cake top, smooth the batter with a spatula.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of baking, cover the top of the tin with a piece of foil to prevent it from browning. Take the cake out. You will know when it is done if it looks firm and the centre jiggles evenly when it is shaken lightly.
- Let the cake cool for at least one hour at room temperature before transferring it to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight (better) before slicing and devouring it all (extreme self-control needed). NB: This cheesecake can be prepared two days in advance. Simply just cover the cake and keep it refrigerated.