Matcha sakura mushipan with azuki bean paste filling (抹茶桜蒸しパン)

I’ve been trying to find pickled sakura flowers in my country to no avail and in my recent cherry blossom viewing trip to Japan, I managed to buy some back! The first recipe I am trying out will be matcha sakura mushipan (Japanese steamed bread) with azuki bean paste filling (sweetened red bean paste)!

Here it goes….

Ingredients (makes 8 to 9 cupcakes)

1 1/2 cups cake flour

3 level teaspoons baking powder

4 level tablespoons matcha powder

6 level tablespoons sugar (Note: I had previously indicated a reduced sugar portion in my recipe. After trying the recipe for another time, I am convinced reduced sugar portions are not necessary as matcha powder is rather bitter hence the sugar + azuki beans help to balance the sweetness.)

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk

3 eggs

6 tablespoons canola oil

3/4 can of azuki bean paste (sweetened red bean paste) for filling

Pickled sakura flowers (1 for each mushipan)

From left: Azuki beans (sweetened red beans) used as a filling, pickled sakura flowers, matcha green tea powder from Uji

From left: Azuki beans (sweetened red beans) used as a filling, pickled sakura flowers, matcha green tea powder from Uji

Pre-work preparation:

1. The salt needs to be removed from the pickled sakura flowers and this process takes some time. Prepare this 2 hours ahead of time and rinse the salt away from the flowers. After rinsing the flowers for a few rounds, continue to soak the flowers in a bowl of water with frequent changes to the water to ensure the salt is removed from the sakura flowers.

2. After salt has been removed, pat dry the flowers using kitchen towels.

Pickled sakura flowers covered in salt

Pickled sakura flowers covered in salt

Rinse away the salt and continue to soak the flowers with frequent changes to the water

Rinse away the salt and continue to soak the flowers with frequent changes to the water

Steps:

1. Line the cupcake tray with cupcake paper.

2. Mix the cake flour, matcha powder and baking powder together using a handheld whisk in a mixing bowl.

3. Using another bowl, combine the sugar, milk, eggs and oil using a handheld whisk.

4. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients gradually and mix till the batter is smooth and uniform.

5. Prepare the steamer and heat it up.

6. Spoon some batter into cupcake liners to form the base of the cupcakes. Add around 2 rounded teaspoons of azuki bean paste filling and take care to keep the filling away from the sides of the cupcake. Spoon more batter to cover the azuki bean paste till the cupcake liner is 3/4 filled. Check to ensure that the azuki bean paste has been properly covered with batter.

7. Place a sakura flower on top of each cupcake as decoration. Press each flower gently so that it sticks to the batter nicely.

8. Steam the cupcakes using medium fire for 11 min. (To test if it is ready, use a skewer test. The stick should not come out wet. If it is wet with batter, then steam it for a few minutes more. Take note that when doing the skewer test, try to poke it from the side to avoid the azuki bean filling.)

9. Eat it when it is warm! 🙂 (If you have leftovers, you can always refrigerate and warm it up with a steamer before eating.)

Some of the steps in pictures! ….

Mixing bowl with the dry ingredients (flour, matcha powder and baking powder)

Mixing bowl with the dry ingredients (flour, matcha powder and baking powder)

After mixing the wet and dry ingredients, the batter displays a brilliant green color

After mixing the wet and dry ingredients, the batter displays a brilliant green color

Adding the filling to the batter. (We were adventurous and tried cream cheese filling too. I made no mention earlier as it is a big flop and it tastes super weird! XD)

Adding the filling to the batter. (We were adventurous and tried cream cheese filling too. I made no mention earlier as it is a big flop and it tastes super weird! XD)

Ta-daa!! Ready to be steamed! Brilliant green batter with a pretty pink sakura flower on top :)

Ta-daa!! Ready to be steamed! Brilliant green batter with a pretty pink sakura flower on top 🙂

So pretty in green and pink!! :)

So pretty in green and pink!! 🙂

The final result of the matcha sakura mushipan after it came out from the steamer

The final result of the matcha sakura mushipan after it came out from the steamer

Omg, so pretty ~ ~ ~ I'm in love with this little cupcake :)

Omg, so pretty ~ ~ ~ I’m in love with this little cupcake 🙂

Cross section of the cupcake. (Note that this cupcake only had 1 teaspoon of azuki bean filling. It is not enough and hence in the recipe above, I mentioned to use 2 teaspoons instead.)

Cross section of the cupcake. (Note that this cupcake only had 1 teaspoon of azuki bean filling. It is not enough and hence in the recipe above, I mentioned to use 2 teaspoons instead.)

These little cupcakes are perfect to celebrate the cherry blossom season! 🙂

This recipe is adapted from

1. Matcha Mushipan (Green tea Japanese steamed cup bread) by Angie

2. Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings

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