Or what I did with my first ever stash of hojicha.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hojicha Co. who sent me some hojicha powder. The recipe, images and opinions shared are mine. Thank you for supporting brands that I trust as they support Kitchen Butterfly
Thinking roasted and crunchy meringues meeting sweet, soft cream, crisp Asian pear finished with a squeeze of lime. Think heaven!
A few weeks ago, I came across Hojicha Co. As a green tea lover, everything from tea leaves to Matcha is welcome in my house, and kitchen and this was no exception. We exchanged messages and I pitched a few recipe ideas to them which they liked and I’ve made one of my favorites – Hojicha meringues.
First up, what is Hojicha?
Hojicha is a Japanese green tea that originated in Kyoto 100 years ago.
Unlike traditional green teas, hojicha is roasted after the leaves are steamed. Along with removing all bitterness, the roasting process gives hojicha its signature earthy aroma, its reddish-brown color and a unique smoky taste.
Since it is low in caffeine, hojicha is the perfect alternative to coffee for those seeking a warm and toasty drink in the afternoon or evening.
When Hojicha Co. said they’d send me some, I was excited both to drink it but also to explore cooking with it.
But one day, my daughter was making meringues and I co-opted her – tea lover as she is too – to help me craft these. They are delicious – a light green-brown on the outside and super green on the inside and full of that fresh and smoky/ roasted tea flavour.
Hojicha Meringues & Eton Mess
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 1/2 teaspoons clear or regular vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 cup white, granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons hojicha powder
- If eggs are refrigerated, remove and let stand at room temperature for at least half an hour
- Preheat your oven to 150C (300F) – you’ll turn it down once the meringues go in
- Put egg whites in a clean (stainless steel) bowl. To it, add vanilla extract; lemon juice or cream of tartar; and a pinch of salt
- Using a hand whisk or stand mixer, beat the egg whites on medium speed until stiff. Gradually add the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dissolved and the mixture is thick, stiff and glossy peaks hold, about 6 – 8 minutes
- Sift in the hojicha powder and fold in with a spatula till evenly mixed
- Set a piping bag in a tall cup/ glass and ut a small hole in the tip of a pastry bag or in a corner of a food-safe plastic bag; insert your favourite piping tip and secure
- Put whipped meringue into piping bag and pipe onto a parchment-lined baking tray, leaving a couple of inches between each one
- Turn the oven down to 110 C (230 F) and bake for 1.5 – 2 hours or until firm and dry to the touch, and on the inside. Some people like the chewy textured centres but I like mine crisp and crunchy all the way through so I leave till dry
- Turn off oven and let the meringues stay there for an 1 hour with the oven door closed
- Remove from oven and allow cool completely
- Remove meringues from tray and store in an airtight container at room temperature in cold climes. For humid zones, I recommend popping the airtight container in the deep freezer where they keep nice and fresh
To make the Eton mess, you’ll need
- Sweet, whipped cream
- Fresh fruit – I used Nashi pears – fresh and crisp
- Hojicha Meringues, broken
To assemble, alternate fresh fruit
and top with a whole unbroken meringue, for effect
The freshness and the textures make this a winner for me – crisp pears; cool, lightly whipped cream and the smoky, crunchy meringues. So so so good!
Have you tried Hojicha before? What’s your favourite way to enjoy it? Let me know