It’s my birthday in a few days and oddly enough I feel just a bit less ambivalent about it compared to the last few years. I don’t tend to make a big deal out of stuff like this, but because it’s going to be my first year post quarter-life it seemed appropriate to write something.
I’m taking some time off this weekend from working on the blog as a little gift to myself, so I’m dropping by to post a little earlier. But of course I’m not posting here empty-handed in the recipes department. I didn’t want to exhaust myself on my birthday by making some grand old cake, so this year I made a simple Matcha Green Tea Souffle instead in advance.
This souffle was also a request made by my co-celebrator: my younger brother born on the same day 5 years later. (What are the odds, right?) My brother and I were like mortal enemies when we were small, but now that we’re older I must admit he’s the one I’m closest to among my siblings. You should’ve seen us back then! It’s the strangest of things how our relationship morphed, but it helps that we discovered we have a lot of things in common after all, including a love for matcha that made this Matcha Green Tea Souffle crave-worthy for us.
My relationship with my brother was one of the things that benefited the most from how much I’ve changed over the last twenty years, I think. You know they say that looking back makes you see how far you’ve come? Well whenever I do that, I also can’t help but think how my appearance is way different now. (Late bloomer lol!) And my temperament… Well, let’s just say it’s still a work in progress.
I still enjoy public speaking more than small-talk because I think prepared speeches are a hundred times easier than surprise conversations. I still have a ridiculous amount of things I wish I could cram in a day, but lately my body is rebelling more because it often feels overly tired. (The side-effects of growing older?) But Lord knows I am also so so different from who I was before.
For starters, someone who had been an exclusively tomboyish lover of running and volleyball now enjoys shopping and putting on make-up. Those were two things I always thought I’d never get into when I was younger! And gosh I remember I used to be so blunt I would sometimes get in trouble for speaking my mind too much, but I’m continuously learning the art of subtlety and how to choose the right words to drive my point across more effectively. I’m not quite as idealistic and romantic about certain ideas in this world like I used to be, so my regard in some people and concepts have eroded over the years. So I guess there are more layers to me now, as well as layers of myself that I’ve shed and left behind. I believe that’s how it should be.
On the other hand, it doesn’t seem like my deep-thinker ways will change anytime soon– and it’s both a blessing and a curse to me. I think about everything a little too deeply. And while it gives me a unique perspective on a lot of things and helps me to appreciate on a greater capacity; it also allows me the tendency to overthink and become too emotional. I’m trying to learn to find a balance somehow, because I feel like this is one of the things that makes me… Well, me!
In any case, I just want to be that person who is continuously learning from yesterday, is gratefully living for today, and is always looking forward to tomorrow. But can I just admit one thing? Turning 26 scares me a little. It’s like I’m on my way to REAL adulthood now, and I can’t help but wonder how I’ll do. I feel some pressure and trepidation, but there’s also a bit of excitement underneath it if I look closely. Can one ever be truly ready for what lies ahead?
I suppose you just have to take it one day at a time.
Now let’s talk about this Matcha Green Tea Souffle for a second, before I drown you in my melodrama haha! Procedure-wise, it’s not as simple as the Chocolate Souffle I shared before, but the process isn’t difficult. You have to make a custard for your souffle base and allow it to chill before folding in your stiff egg whites. If you’ve made ice cream or pastry cream before, this should be a piece of cake.
This recipe has more steps and takes a little longer but the delicious result is well worth the wait. Just be vigilant while you are tempering the eggs and cooking the custard, and make sure you have your extra bowl prepped since you don’t want to mess the custard up by overcooking it! Once the custard has thickened but is still smooth, remove from the heat and transfer RIGHT AWAY. These souffle rise up really well and are quite airy, with a creamy, deep matcha-flavoured body. It is a bit sweet but the taste of matcha is unmistakable.
Serves 4 to 5 depending on size of ramekin
- ½ Tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3 to 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 150 ml milk
- 100 ml heavy cream
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 2 Tablespoons + 4 Tablespoons granulated sugar, divided use
- 2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons matcha green tea powder
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- 1. In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together milk and heavy cream until almost boiling.
- 2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the egg yolks and 2 Tablespoons sugar. Sift the flour into the egg mixture and mix well.
- 3. Once the milk and cream mixture is warm enough, slowly drizzle it into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Whisk in the rest of the milk until the mixture is smooth. Prepare a clean bowl and set it beside your stove before proceeding with the next step.
- 4. Pour the egg yolk-and-cream mixture back into the saucepan and heat over medium-low. Whisk the mixture at all times while it is on the stovetop, about 3 to 4 minutes, until thickened and smooth. DO NOT stop whisking or else your custard may overcook and turn clumpy.
- 5. Once the mixture has thickened, immediately transfer to your prepared bowl before the remaining heat from the saucepan continues to cook the custard. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the custard to avoid skin from forming and refrigerate for 30 minutes to cool.
- 6. Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C). Brush the ramekins generously with butter, then scoop some sugar into each. Rotate the ramekins to make sure the entire surface is dusted with sugar so the souffle doesn't stick. Tap out the excess sugar and chill in refrigerator to set.
- 7. Once the custard has cooled sufficiently, sift in the matcha green tea powder into the custard. Whisk until fully incorporated.
- 8. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites at medium speed using a hand or stand mixer until frothy. Gradually add the 4 Tablespoons sugar into the frothy egg whites. Increase the speed to high and whisk until stiff and glossy. (You'll know it's stiff if the meringue doesn't budge even when you flip the bowl.)
- 9. Scoop a third of the meringue into the custard and whisk until homogenous. Switching to a spatula, carefully fold in the rest of the meringue just until you no longer see any streaks of white. Do not deflate the mixture.
- 10. Divide the mixture among prepared ramekins, nearly all the way to the top. Tap on the work surface to level the mixture and run your thumb around the rim. This helps the souffle to rise up evenly.
- 11. Place the ramekins on a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes, until well risen and slightly golden on top. The souffle should wobble gently in the middle when it’s ready. Dust with powder sugar and serve immediately.