Creamy matcha mint frosting with agar powder is perfect for piping Christmas trees during the holiday season or to top your favorite cake.
It’s that time of year when you begin getting bombarded with Christmas music, candy canes, disgruntled parents, tree lights, and of course, holiday recipes. While you may be safe from swarms of people here, you’re not about to avoid the food. In fact, the next three recipes I have lined up to post, are all holiday related, so brace yourself.
Matcha and agar, both of Japanese origin, may be some words you aren’t entirely familiar with. Agar powder is what stabilizes this frosting and give it a creamy consistency. It can be found in science labs and in the kitchen. Agar is a natural gelling agent extracted from algae, and is used by vegetarians and vegans as a gelatin substitute. It has no taste, so no need to try and balance out any strong flavors while cooking or baking with it. Agar is available in flake and powder form. In this recipe, I used powder, so double check which you’re using so it turns out properly.
If you’re an avid tea drinker, you may know matcha is a premium green tea powder, grown only in Japan. Before harvesting, the plants get covered, decreasing the amount of sunlight that reaches them. This step increases the chlorophyll content of the plants, giving them their green color. The leaves are then steamed, air dried, sorted, destemmed, deveined and ground into powder. The labor intensive process gives the tea a high price tag, but the health benefits are worth every penny.
Health Benefits of Matcha:
- Calms the mind, relaxes the body, and increases mental focus
- Consume the entire leaf (as opposed to the watered down version of green tea) receiving 100% of the nutrients
- Loaded with antioxidants – 10 times the amount in green tea
- Increases metabolism and burns calories
- Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the coconut milk, agar, matcha, maple syrup and salt.
- Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for 5-7 minutes. You will notice it begin to thicken.
- Remove from the heat, then stir in the vanilla and peppermint oil. Pour in a heatproof bowl and let cool. Place in the fridge for 4-6 hours or overnight.
- When you remove it from the fridge, it will be very firm. Place in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust if necessary. You may like it with more mint or more sweetener.
- If using for trees, attach the leaf tip to your piping bag and fill with frosting. Hold the cone with one hand, and start piping at the bottom. Press the tip firmly against the cone, squeezing the bag as you pull away from the cone, then release. Use the pictures above as a guide.
- Decorate the trees with diced goji berries and top with dried starfruit. Sprinkle with coconut for a snowy look. There are many other options you can use as well. Be creative, have fun!
- *Start with less matcha if you aren't used to the taste. You can add more later.
- **Cooking times do not include the setting stage or tree assembly.