I’m always looking for the latest and greatest in gourmet baking items. I loved it when semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips evolved into the dark and super dark kind. Next came peanut butter and cinnamon chips, which were fun for making new flavors of tarts and scones. One of my friends got me into mint baking chips–a nice addition for a pop of freshness and color, especially in chocolate baked goods. And of course there are white chocolate chips, the most plain yet most versatile of chocolate chips that you will find. Any macadamia nut cookie just wouldn’t be the same without them. But hello! Where are the matcha chocolate chips? Now you know that’s a good idea!
Matcha chocolate chips are the chips that I wish I could buy at the market but aren’t available. There’s something about the slightly bitter taste of matcha that cuts through the cloying sweetness of white chocolate to create a more complex and balanced taste on the palette. Chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, ganache…with these Matcha Chocolate Chips the possibilities are endless.
At the World Tea Expo, I was offered some samples of Aiya’s Cooking Grade Matcha, and ended up using it to make these chips. Cooking grade matcha is a much more affordable version of ceremonial drinking matcha. As it is used as an ingredient and not meant to be drunk on its own, it’s a lesser quality grade of matcha tea. Be cautious when purchasing it though, as some brands are dull in color which often translates to a lack of flavor. I like Aiya’s Cooking Grade Matcha not only because you can get it at a very reasonable price, but also because of its brilliant color and lovely taste. It’s a great find for someone who uses matcha to cook with as often as I do. If you prefer, Aiya also carries Organic Cooking Grade Matcha.
If you work fast and can take the heat on your hand, these chips may look more like buttons than chips when you pipe them. “Buttons” have a more rounded top, whereas “chips” have a little peak to them. The hotter the chocolate when you pipe it, the more likely these matcha bits will look like buttons. As the chocolate cools, it’s able to create more pronounced peaks since cooler chocolate holds shape better.
The first time I heard of chocolate chips being referred to as “buttons” was when I was watching Nigella Lawson make some sinfully decadent chocolate chip cookies on the BBC. I remember falling in love with the word instantly, much preferring it over the word “chips.” Buttons, chips, drops…whatever you decide to call them, this recipe will add a world of possibilities to your baking repertoire.
Matcha Chocolate Chips
Makes 1 cup of chips (buttons).
5 1/2-6 ounces white chocolate or vanilla candy melts
1 Tbsp matcha powder (I used Aiya Cooking Grade Matcha)
fine mesh strainer or sifter
#5 pastry tip
large drinking glass
large baking sheet fitted with parchment paper
1.) Fill bottom of double boiler with water, making sure the water doesn’t make contact with the base of the top bowl of the double boiler. Bring water to a gentle simmer (bring water to boil, then reduce to very low heat). Place white chocolate or candy melts in top bowl of double boiler. Using rubber spatula, gently mix and melt the chocolate.
2.) Sift matcha into the melted chocolate and mix in thoroughly.
3.) In pastry bag fitted with #5 pastry tip, pour the melted chocolate. It’s easiest to fill the bag by folding the tip over and placing the bag in a glass before filling it with the chocolate. You will have more control over the chocolate flowing out this way.
4.) Secure parchment paper to a large baking sheet by placing dabs of the same melting chocolate on the bottom four corners of the parchment. Smooth out the parchment so that it is well secured to the sheet and laying completely flat on it.
5.) Pipe 1/4″ dollops of melted matcha chocolate on the baking sheet so that the chips don’t touch each other. If you are working with candy melts you will need to pipe faster than if you use white chocolate (candy melts set up/harden faster).
6.) Wait for the chips to completely harden, then release them from the parchment by gently pulling the parchment up from each of the 4 corners towards the center of the baking sheet. Use the chips/buttons in any recipe, as you would chocolate chips.