Ichiran matcha pudding is a Japanese-style custard pudding with green tea and red bean flavour. This dessert is also a healthier option to satisfy your sweet tooth craving and a great alternative to get your caffeine fix in the morning.
Delicate and soft yet robust with flavour, this matcha custard pudding has a complex mix of flavours. You will enjoy the right amount of sweetness and different textures in each bite.
We've tested our recipe with and without gelatin, both vegan and non-vegan styles, and also with sugar and sugar alternatives. For this dessert, we've concluded there's a style for everyone.
What is Matcha pudding made of?
This dessert comprises matcha powder, gelatin, water, milk, sugar and red bean paste. Our recipe serves four people, and each serving contains 36 kcal.
This versatile recipe is gluten-free. Moreover, it can be easily modified to be vegan-friendly and dairy free.
Matcha Pudding Ingredients
For this recipe, you will need the following:
This crucial ingredient is what makes this Japanese dessert naturally green. While it is totally up to your preference whether to use ceremonial grade or culinary grade matcha powder, we prefer the latter in this recipe.
Culinary-grade matcha is made from slightly older tea leaves and is less expensive than ceremonial-grade. It has a more robust and bitter flavour, making it better suited for cooking and baking applications. The taste notes perfectly balance the coconut and vanilla flavours of this green tea dessert.
While ceremonial-grade matcha is typical of higher quality, it is also more expensive. Plus, the sweeter flavour notes are more suited for beverage purposes.
Salt helps balance the dessert's sweetness and enhances the overall flavour. While you can make it without salt, we don't recommend omitting it entirely. It may result in a less flavorful end product. However, you can adjust the amount of salt used based on your preference.
If you are trying to reduce your sodium intake, use a smaller amount of salt or a low-sodium alternative like MSG.
Honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and stevia are healthier alternatives if you want to reduce your sugar intake.
Honey, maple syrup and coconut sugar can be used in a 1:1 ratio. Coconut sugar has a slightly caramel-like flavour that can add depth to desserts. However, honey and maple syrup are in liquid form, so you may need to adjust the other liquid ingredients in the recipe. You could reduce the amount of milk by 25%. Otherwise, the custard might be on the runny side.
On the other hand, you could add a little bit of gelatin to firm up the texture. This is an option if you want to keep the creaminess of the milk in the custard as it should be. Stevia is an excellent calorie-free alternative. Refer to the conversion chart on the package, as the amount needed will depend on the brand and type of stevia.
Keep in mind that using alternative sweeteners may alter the taste and texture of the custard slightly. Therefore, finding the right substitute that suits your taste and dietary preferences may take some experimentation.
If you're lactose intolerant, you can substitute whole milk with any nut milk of your choice. However, we highly recommend coconut milk as the flavour notes and creamy texture perfectly complement the matcha's clean, earthy taste. If you use heavy cream instead of milk, you are one step closer to making green tea chocolate which is a sweeter dessert alternative.
Vanilla extract will help to enhance the overall flavour of the dessert by providing a subtle sweetness and a touch of warmth. Additionally, you can use vanilla extract to mask any potential bitterness that the matcha powder may have.
However, if you prefer to omit the vanilla extract, you can certainly do so without affecting the overall texture or consistency of the custard.
Gelatin is commonly used in these recipes as a thickening agent. It forms a gel-like texture that gives the pudding its characteristic texture and consistency.
In particular, gelatin helps to stabilise the pudding and prevent it from becoming too runny or watery. Additionally, it also helps to give the pudding a smooth and creamy texture, which is desirable in a pudding.
Without the use of gelatin, the pudding may not set properly and could end up having a looser consistency. Therefore, gelatin is an important ingredient in many matcha pudding recipes.
How to make Matcha pudding?
Our easy matcha pudding recipe is for a quick whip-up if you have a few hours before your guests arrive. It can also be made ahead of time and is best served chilled.
Firstly, melt the gelatin using the double boiler method. The double boiler method is a gentle and gradual way to melt gelatin without overheating it. Overheated gelatin will cause it to lose its setting ability.
Next, heat up some water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer. In a heatproof bowl, place the gelatin and place the bowl on top of the simmering water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally as it begins to melt. Once it’s dissolved, remove the bowl from the heat.
Whisk Matcha with milk
Then, heat up the milk until small bubbles form and turn off the heat. Start by sifting the matcha powder to remove clumps. Whisk the sifted matcha powder with three tablespoons of hot milk using a matcha whisk. A whisk or chasen can help ensure the tea's buttery, smooth texture.
If you don’t have the whisk, then an electric milk frother will do the trick. It is important to note that you must ensure absolutely no lumps while whisking. Otherwise, the green tea dessert will not achieve the desired smooth consistency.
To the milk, add sugar and whisk until well dissolved. Leave out a tablespoon of the whisked matcha and add the rest of them to the milk and sugar mix. Add melted gelatin and salt and whisk well.
Finally, we want to add a tablespoon of the matcha mixture to the red bean paste and mix well. This will help the red bean better infuse with the rest of the dessert when layering them.
Layer in a bowl or cup
Separate it into individual servings like small bowls or ramekins by layering the red bean paste mix with the matcha milk mix as the top layer. Refrigerate for two hours before serving with whipped cream for garnish.
Can I Make This Dessert Without Gelatin?
While gelatin is a common ingredient in this dessert, you can still make ichiran matcha pudding without gelatin using plant-based alternatives like cornstarch, arrowroot powder, kanten powder and agar agar.
Cornstarch and arrowroot powder will maintain the texture of the desert, and it only requires you to mix it with the other ingredients over medium-high heat.
Kanten powder and agar agar need to be melted similarly to gelatin. However, unlike gelatin, kanten powder and agar agar vary in strength. Depending on the amount used, it will highly affect the texture of the dessert. More kanten powder or agar agar might turn the dish into matcha pudding jelly, giving it a slightly firmer texture than the original mousse-like texture.
Matcha tiramisu is another green tea dessert that does not use gelatin and can be made without baking.
There are many variations that you can make of this dessert. By just adjusting the ingredients or adding additional flavours, it is easy for you to jazz it up based on your preferences. That is how versatile this recipe is.
Vegan Matcha Pudding
This pudding can be vegan-friendly and dairy-free by substituting the gelatin with plant-based alternatives. You could also replace whole milk with any nut milk of your choice.
Matcha Chia Pudding
Add a few tablespoons of chia seeds to the mixture before refrigerating for added texture and nutritional benefits. Add more chia seeds if you don't want to include red bean paste in this recipe.
The chia seeds add more viscosity to the pudding without interfering with the natural green tea flavour, as the chia seeds are naturally flavourless.
Matcha Pudding in Milk Tea
This dessert can be a great addition to milk tea for added texture and flavour. Add cubed or mashed matcha pudding over your iced milk tea and serve. You can adjust the amount of pudding based on your personal preference. Adding boba or other toppings like grass jelly is also recommended for more texture.
How to Store Matcha Pudding
This green tea dessert is best served chilled and kept in the refrigerator to maintain its freshness and custard texture. It stays fresh in the fridge for up to four days.
You can store it in individually portioned jars and turn it into your on-the-go snack.
Matcha Pudding Recipe
- Cut the gelatin sheets and melt them using the double boiler method.
- Pour the whole milk into a saucepan and bring it to almost a boil. When there are small bubbles around the edge of the saucepan, turn off the heat. Add sugar to the milk and whisk well until dissolved.
- Add 3 tablespoon of the milk mixture to the matcha powder. Whisk until the mixture is silky smooth and lump-free. Pour the mix into the remaining milk mixture and whisk until well combined.
- Add the gelatin liquid into the mixture and whisk well. Add salt to taste. Add a tablespoon of the matcha mixture to the red bean paste and mix well.
- Separate it into individual servings and layer the red bean paste mix with the matcha mix as the top layer. Refrigerate your matcha pudding for 2 hours, serve with whipped cream on top.
Calories have been calculated using an online calculator. Nutritional information offered on Honest Food Talks is for general information purposes and are only rough estimations.
This recipe gives the Japanese matcha pudding a custard-like texture. Adding eggs to this ichiran matcha pudding recipe, you're on your way to making a matcha mousse. This will be a softer, creamier alternative to our recipe. You can also use this method to make strawberry pudding by using pureed fresh strawberries.
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