“My favorite treats always contain contrasts in texture and flavor, like a sprinkle of sea salt on a sweet cookie (with nuts, of course!), or a crispy, flaky pastry filled with rich custard. I love the creamy smoothness of panna cotta, but I have a hard time committing to a dessert that is just soft with no crust or crunch or cake, and with one uniform flavor.
My solution is to combine what would be essentially two separate desserts into one even better creation. A buttery, tender matcha shortbread is paired with a smooth and creamy strawberry panna cotta, inspired by the classic lemon bar. The slightly bitter grassiness of the matcha is balanced perfectly by the fruity sweetness of the strawberry. With every bite, the initial softness of the panna cotta gives way to the tender bite of the shortbread. Two great things that go great together.”
Matcha Otome is a ceremonial grade green tea powder that has a fresh aroma and rich, savory notes of sweet grass with slight astringency. From the prestigious Uji region in Kyoto, this matcha is excellent as is or in drinks such as matcha lattes, smoothies and cocktails.
1 packet powdered gelatin (the equivalent to 2 1/4 tsp)
16 ounces (2 cups) of heavy cream
1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp strawberry jelly
How to make:
The Matcha Shortbread
Preheat the oven to 325°F and line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper in a sling style for easy removal.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and matcha powder and mix on medium speed until a dough forms.
Press the dough evenly onto the bottom of the pan, making sure to press it all the way up to the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a glass or a tart tamper to make it as even as possible. Use a fork to dock the dough repeatedly.
Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until lightly browned. It will be puffy when you first remove it, but it will settle and solidify as it cools. Remove from the oven and refrigerate to cool while you make the strawberry panna cotta.
The Strawberry Panna Cotta
Place 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl. Sprinkle the surface of the water with gelatin powder and leave to bloom.
In a small pot, add heavy cream, granulated sugar, vanilla, salt, and strawberry jam. Place on the stove over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar and the jam has dissolved. This should take about 5 minutes. Do not let the cream come to a boil.
Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin until it dissolves. Let cool for 2 – 3 minutes.
Remove the matcha shortbread from the fridge. It should be firm to the touch. Slowly pour the strawberry cream on top of the matcha shortbread. Let it cool in the fridge for at least 3 to 4 hours until the panna cotta is fully set. Cut into bars and serve topped with strawberry slices if desired.
Store any leftover bars in airtight containers in the fridge.
Did you make this recipe? Snap a pic and tag us on Instagram at @senbirdtea or #senbirdtea. We’d love to see your creation!