Matcha Green Tea and Azuki Beans Eclairs

We’re revisiting my pâte à choux recipe today, turning it into French eclairs with a Japanese twist.  Choux pastry is a super adaptable; you can pipe them into small rounds, logs, and even into a ring.  You can stick to the traditional route and fill the pastry with vanilla cream, or you can be creative and make a flavored filling.  As things warm up and the strawberries are starting to look good, a strawberry and rose-flavored cream combination may be a possibility too!  Today’s recipe combines two popular Japanese dessert ingredients: matcha green tea and azuki beans.

Now, just to be clear, the matcha I used here is an unsweetened green tea powder, not to be confused with powdered green tea mixes.  Matcha powder usually comes in a small tin, with a vacuum sealed packaging inside to preserve its flavor.  It is also vibrant and concentrated in color.  Powdered green tea mixes, on the other hand, are pale in color and are often used to make iced green tea or green tea lattes (you don’t want to use that because they are usually sweetened).

Instead of making the eclairs into log shape, I kept them on the petite side and piped three connecting rounds with a star tip for the aesthetic factor. They are a suitable treat for dessert parties and afternoon teas!


Matcha Green Tea Eclairs

Yields: 9 eclairs


1 batch of pate a choux (recipe here)

¾ cup azuki bean paste

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

For matcha pastry cream:

5 egg yolks, room temperature

¾ cup sugar

2 tsps matcha powder

3 tbsps cornstarch

1 ½ cup hot milk

1 tbsp unsalted butter

Prepare pate a choux dough, and pipe dough into logs (1 inch by 4 inches). Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned, then turn off the oven and allow them to sit for another 10 minutes, until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Set aside to cool.

To make the matcha pastry cream:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the matcha powder and cornstarch.

With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, vigorously whisking until the mixture thickens, 5 to 7 minutes; the custard will come together and become very thick, like pudding.

As soon as the pastry cream reaches this stage, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until cold.

To assemble, cut the logs in half horizontally and remove any wet pieces of dough. Spoon or pipe matcha pastry cream into the hollow center, top with about a tablespoon of azuki bean paste, replace the top half of the pastry, and dust with powdered sugar.

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