Let me try again. If you're a fan of matcha, you've probably visited Cafe Oratnek and tried them all.
Unless you're like me of course, and tend to like visiting after the hype has died down, once everyone's moved on to visiting other new and exciting places, in hopes of there being less of a crowd!
So I did eventually visit this cute little cafe, although I still didn't avoid a bit of a wait around the busy lunch period (but I guess that's a sign that it's actually good!). And I did manage to try their delicious looking Matcha French Toast, which was every bit as amazing as I had imagined it to be!
Cafe Oratnek's version is quite a unique creation- thick slices of rye sourdough dipped in a matcha egg batter, served alongside a creamy dollop of matcha cream, strawberries and banana chips, all sprinkled with a layer of matcha coconut.
Me being me came home and decided to whip up my own recreation of the dish on a lazy Sunday afternoon, and had a look around the internet for some ideas on how to put it together. Nothing unusual, as I'm searching for food all the time, however on this occasion, the internet must have decided that I was really into matcha and started popping matcha ads here and there. And not just any type of matcha ads I must add.
More specifically, advertisements for matcha pills.
There's such thing? Since when was matcha a supplement that had to be taken?
Curiosity got the better of me and I had a quick skim through the marketing blurb which seems to be mostly touting the weight loss effects of matcha, whilst casually throwing in words like boosting metabolism, strengthening immunity,high EGCG (because we're all supposed to know what that means...) etc etc etc. Quite clever marketing but matcha pills makes as much logical sense to me as popping chocolate into a pill and selling it as a weight loss product.....oh wait, people are already doing that!
For those who haven't jumped on the matcha band wagon, matcha is essentially a form of green tea where the tea leaf is processed and ground into a fine, green powder. Matcha is prepared by mixing this powder with hot water, meaning that you are consuming the entire leaf rather than an infusion and hence a stronger version of regular green tea.
As a result, you will find higher levels of nutrients in the drink in comparison to regular teas and the main one you'll hear about in relation to green tea is an antioxidant which goes by the name EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). It's often related to health benefits like weight loss, reducing hyperglycaemia (helping with diabetes), prevention of cancer etc etc, and whilst there are some studies in this area, there is very limited clinical evidence from human studies to make any recommendations.
So if matcha isn't you thing, it's certainly not something you'll need to be introducing into your diet anytime soon. But if you love the flavour, and love matcha desserts like me, that's a different story!
And I'd definitely give this recipe a go- it's a little fiddly because of the multiple components but I've cut some corners here and there to make it slightly quicker and it took me less than 15 minutes to whip up. Perfect for a light brunch or even a quick dessert!
Matcha French Toast
100mL dollop cream
2 teaspoons matcha powder
2 teaspoon caster sugar
4 Tablespoons dessicated coconut
1 teaspoon matcha powder
6 thick slices day old French bread
1/2 cup milk
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon matcha powder
pinch of salt
handful of strawberries
handful of banana chips
- To make the matcha cream, combine the cream, matcha and caster sugar. Mix well
- Combine the dessicated coconut and matcha powder in a bowl to make the matcha coconut topping
- Whisk milk, eggs, sugar, matcha and salt until smooth. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Soak bread slices in mixture until saturated. Cook bread on each side for a couple of minutes, until golden brown.
- To serve, assemble the pieces of toast and fruit on a plate with a generous spoonful of matcha cream on the side. Sprinkle with matcha coconut topping
- The french toast and matcha cream are only lightly sweetened as the addition of banana chips and fresh strawberries add further sweetness, and makes for a lighter dessert. Feel free to adjust the sugar content if you prefer a more dessert like treat.
- I used store bought banana chips but if you have the time, home made ones are even better! Just make sure if buying store bought banana chips to go for the baked rather than the fried ones, as the fried ones are higher in fat.
- I have opted to use thick cream for dolloping (I use Bulla) as it contains slightly less fat than pure cream (~35% compared to 45%) and is pre-thickened so that you can use it straight out of the tub rather than having to whip it