Baking| Chocolate Matcha Olive Oil Brownies … and an origami crane for Japan

“One kind word can warm three winter months.”

Japanese proverb

Chocolate Matcha Olive Oil Brownies It’s been a while since I blogged about chocolate brownies. There was a time that I used to oscillate between baking brownies and chocolate chip cookies alternatively every week because that’s all I could bake. This was 3-4 years ago. Then the blogging bug bit me, brownies suddenly took a back seat and I got adventurous with ‘other stuff’ in my own little sense.Chocolate Matcha Olive Oil Brownies There was a world of exciting baking to be discovered as I crawled out from under my rock, or ‘my stone age of baking‘! I covered new ground ferociously as if to make up for lost time. Now I’m back in my comfort zone where new techniques and baking discoveries are therapeutic, as are endless brownies and cookies. I know that more often than never one {or both} of my guinea pigs will make a meal out of my kitchen adventures! I am eternally grateful for their adventurous culinary spirit!Chocolate Matcha Olive Oil BrowniesThe last brownies I made were in August 2010 from David Lebovitz’s recipe for Roberts Absolute Best  Brownies. They were very indulgent and quite the best. This time I’ve created brownies for an event that marks  Divya’s blogiversary at her lovely blog Easy Cooking and decided to send her some chocolate love. Keeping in mind the dieting diva, I embarked on experimenting with an olive oil version … with other thoughts that continue to haunt my mind, namely Japan.Chocolate Matcha Olive Oil Brownies Makiko is a young Japanese girl in Madrid who is collecting  a 1000 origami cranes to send to Japan to wish her family and friends good luck ... a touching and beautiful thought. Many years ago when the lad was in junior school, they read the story about ‘Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes‘ as they studied the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I still remember how the little fellow came home and got onto the net after relating the story to me. He spent hours  learning how to make origami cranes…Chocolate Matcha Olive Oil BrowniesThe capacity of the young mind to imbibe is wonderful. To this day, many years later, the son makes little origami stars, cranes, boxes for me when he wants to put a smile back on my face. He knows I love craft work and is always ready to charm. So I beckoned him to Miriams beautiful post on The Winter Guest where she posted the most beautiful Matcha Mousse Pies and an origami crane for Japan. Chocolate Matcha Olive Oil Brownies

Miriam wrote … ‘ In Spain, a Japanese girl called Makiko and living in Madrid has set up a blog to ask for people to contribute by making an origami crane. The blog is called 1000 grullas por Japón, meaning 1000 cranes for Japan. It is a Japanese tradition to make 1000 origami cranes when you want to make a wish come true.

1000 cranes for JapanI asked if he could make me one for Makiko for Japan! Ever the charmer, he got his little hands to work. So here we are – a paper crane for Makiko. It’s a beautiful initiative and it would be lovely if more of us could join in.  Once you’ve made the origami crane {Makiko’s blog has a video showing you how to}, all you need to do is take a photograph and send it to Makiko. She will gather all the crane photos and send them to her family and friends in Japan.Chocolate Matcha Olive Oil Brownies To tie in all my thoughts and feelings, I added some matcha {Japanese green tea powder} to the brownies. I also used some home made ricotta which I had left over from a French Fougasse I had made 2 days ago. Matcha pairs nicely with chocolate, both in taste and in colour contrast. Yet, IMHO, flavours of matcha are very subtle and in many ways acquired.  For brownies sans butter, these olive oil ones were wonderfully moist and fudgy… deeply chocolaty too! If you are looking for a healthier version of the indulgent brownie, then do give these a shot, with or without matcha!


Chocolate Matcha Olive Oil Brownies Chocolate Matcha Olive Oil Brownies {with ricotta}

A healthier take on chocolate brownies with olive oil and homemade ricotta. Matcha adds subtle flavour and a vibrant colour contrast to these.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 12-16 servings


* 115gms dark chocolate {I used 70% couverture}

* 1/3 cup olive oil

* 3 eggs, room temperature

* 1 cup vanilla sugar

* 1 tsp vanilla extract

* 3/4 cup all purpose flour

* 1 tsp baking powder

* 1 pinch salt

* 1 tbsp {heaped} cocoa powder

* 175gms ricotta, drained well {homemade recipe}

* 1 tsp matcha {Japanese green tea powder}

* 1/4 cup powdered sugar

* 50ml low fat cream

Cooking Directions

1. Line with baking paper/parchment a 7 X 11 inch {or 8 X 8 inch} baking tin.

2. Preheat oven to 190C.

3. Place the dark chocolate and olive oil in a heatproof bowl, and microwave, one minute at a time, until melted. Stir and keep aside.

4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a bowl. Reserve.

5. Run the ricotta, low fat cream and 1/4 cup powdered sugar in a blender until smooth. Divide into half, and mix matcha in one half. Reserve.

6. Beat the eggs, vanilla sugar,vanilla extract for 20-30 seconds until blended.

7. On low speed, blend in the chocolate/olive oil mixture, followed by the reserved 1/2 quantity of plain ricotta.

8. Fold in the dry ingredients, and turn batter into the prepared tin. Spread with an offset spatula.

9. Take the reserved matcha/ricotta in a piping bag and pipe randomly on top, pressing nozzle into the batter to let some seep into it. Run a knife through a few place to swirl if desired.

10. Bake at 190C for approximately 45 minutes, until a few crumbs stick to tester when inserted.

11. Cool completely in tin on a rack.

12. Chill for about an hour and then cut as desired.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

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About me: I am a freelance food writer, recipe developer and photographer. Food is my passion - baking, cooking, developing recipes, making recipes healthier, using fresh seasonal produce and local products, keeping a check on my carbon footprint and being a responsible foodie! I enjoy food styling, food photography, recipe development and product reviews. I express this through my food photographs which I style and the recipes I blog. My strength lies in 'Doing Food From Scratch'; it must taste as good as it looks, and be healthy too. Baking in India, often my biggest challenge is the non-availability of baking ingredients, and this has now become a platform to get creative on. I enjoy cooking immensely as well.


  • 5 years ago

    Gorgeous post Deeba; not only with delicious photographs, but such care. I love the idea of 1000 cranes, I am going to head to her site. I have been meaning to play around with matcha, and chocolate; so need too after reading this!

    Happy Weekend to you!



  • 5 years ago

    Kavey´s last blog post ..Make A Wish To The Fairy Hobmother!My Profile

  • 5 years ago

    I was baking only one kind of sponge which would go for a snack, a base for a cream cake, with ice cream etc etc etc before I stepped into this amazing world! What would we do without these fantastic blogs to look up to?

    The brownies look fab, fab! And u give us another novel twist to the recipe with ricotta? Just can’t wait to try this too! Incidentally, I baked your olive oil walnut brownies and there truly are darned good bites!!
    Suma´s last blog post ..Crispy Cottage Cheese Fingers – Uber Yumm!!My Profile

  • This looks really great, Deeba! I have yet to try olive oil in sweet treats but I bet a good fruity variety would be a lovely addition to many cakes, and of course bars.
    Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets´s last blog post ..DMBLGIT March 2011- Judges and AwardsMy Profile

  • Helene
    5 years ago

    Oh my what a great idea the 1000 Cranes. Also what an exciting twist to make brownies with matcha. Never heard of brownies that way before. They are absolutely gorgeous.

  • 5 years ago

    Beautiful post. I love the idea of the cranes- so unique. The brownie recipe looks incredibly good and the addition of olive oil makes it extra special. Of course, anything with chocolate works for me so I’m a bit biased.

  • I can’t get over that perfectly folded crane! Although it is fairly easy to guess where the little chap has got his aesthetic sensibilities from!
    Saee Koranne-Khandekar´s last blog post ..The tale of two dabbas Recipe- Stuffed chili pickleMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    A marvelous brownie! I love that Italian and Japanese touch.



  • 5 years ago

    Want a beautiful post and brownies. So is the origami crane, nice idea. I was just checking out matcha recipes today. I was thinking about a matcha frappe, but these brownies are next on my like. Now I’m off to see if I can make a crane!
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  • 5 years ago

    What a lovely gesture that is and a gorgeous brownie as well!

  • That’s a great thought, D. I remember that story too, but I couldn’t manage to make a crane :(

    The brownies look awesome. Love the incorporation of matcha!
    Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes)´s last blog post ..New LookMy Profile

  • 5 years ago


    This is an amazing recipe! I’ve been looking for the perfect matcha recipe for a while and I think I found it. I’ve never baked anything with matcha before! I think I will change ricotta to mascarpone because I love mascarpone!
    Zita´s last blog post ..Vegan Peanut Butter-Chocolate Oatmeal CookiesMy Profile

  • Sarvjeet
    5 years ago

    Very touching and thoughtful. Love your idea of cranes and thoughts of the little girl in Madrid. Quic q deeba. – can I replace vanilla sugar with powdered sugar and vanilla.

  • 5 years ago

    I am watching a genious at work.
    I am perplexed looking at your photos.
    Your post is a celebration of life.
    Beautiful and so special combination of flavours ♥
    Ana Powell´s last blog post ..Asian Steamed Sea Bass – Robalo Asiático ao Vapor – Lubina Asiática al VaporMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    I LOVE brownies :))) Thank you for the nice recipe!
    Svet´s last blog post ..Pläne für den FrühlingMy Profile

  • I think there’s not enough space in this comment box to list all the things I liked about your post… the opening sentence, the story about your boy making origami, the brownies themselves… the list is endless. Thanks for mentioning my post, I am deeply touched.
    Miriam/The Winter Guest´s last blog post ..Matcha tea mousse pies and Japan in our mindsMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    This is a beautiful post Deeba:D

  • 5 years ago

    The Brownies look awesome Deebs..the matcha blob looks like a heart shape on top of the it.Thanks so much for sending these to my event!!

    I consider you my baking diva..I’ve tried so many of your recipes,your tips and tricks and cake decorating ideas to perfection..Thanks!!!

  • 5 years ago

    What a beautiful brownie Deeba!!! Adding Matcha must have given a real kick to it… Ia m gone try it soon:-)
    Ramya´s last blog post ..Yeasted Meringue Coffee cake filled with Chocolate and PistachioMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    What a lovely idea! Going to start folding right away. The brownies look sensational as usual. I remember my pre-blog days, when I used to bake the same things over and over again. I wouldn’t have even thought about attempting things like macarons a few years ago. Thank you Mactweets :)!
    shaz´s last blog post ..Use your powers for goodMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    The colours in this post are beautiful Deeba and I certainly sit with my daughters to make some cranes for Japan today.
    Sally Prosser´s last blog post ..What kind of picnicker are youMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    What a beautiful crane! I just love this idea and it can’t help but lift the spirits of Makiko’s family. Your brownies look so pretty and I bet have an even richer flavor with the matcha and olive oil. I would never have thought to add ricotta leftovers! Such a great idea!
    Elaine´s last blog post ..French Friday with Dorie- Quinoa- Fruit- and Nut SaladMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    I’m so glad I bought some matcha tea a few weeks ago! Who knew I would need it to make brownies. These brownies are really out there and I plan to share them on my chocolate blog in the next week. My readers will love them! So innovative! Will be making without the roses since I’m allergic.
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  • 5 years ago

    Wow Deeba these look amazing! As usual :)
    Amanda´s last blog post ..Peppercorn Pork Stir FryMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    What a touching post … hope to make our paper cranes soon.
    The brownies look terrific , what a great combo of colors , flavors & photographic skills.
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  • 5 years ago

    What a lovely post, Deeba. Not only are the brownies tempting, but the story of the 1000 cranes and your son’s contribution is heart-warming.

  • 5 years ago

    Love matcha, love chocolate! Great combination! Love the blog! ~Juliane

  • 5 years ago

    Deeba I’m so glad the “blogging bug” bit you hard a few years ago because you share so much love and giving to others through here! We are all lucky to have you.

    And matcha in brownies? Nice!

    Laura Flowers´s last blog post ..Freshly Squeezed Texas Margarita on the RocksMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    Thanks for a great idea for how to use my new tin of matcha powder – I knew I wanted to pair it with chocolate and this is just such a great way

    I remember the story of sadako and 1000 paper cranes – what a wonderful way to make wishes come true – will try and work out how to make one
    Johanna GGG´s last blog post ..WHB- Plum and Cinnamon Oat SliceMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    I love the idea of 1000 paper cranes for Japan. I’ll get to work on that. Your brownies look decadent. How great that they are healthier too.
    BarbaraBakes´s last blog post ..Daring BakersMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    I shall do that origami crane in my next post for sure Deeba! my Japanese friend made it once for me, it is time for me show my love and same goes for ur brownies!
    Ananda Rajashekar´s last blog post ..Way Back into Love! – Vodka PastaMy Profile

  • I’ve used ricotta in pound cakes before and have loved the results, I’ll have to try it in brownies too. The matcha swirl looks so pretty and I like that you’ve used olive oil instead of butter.
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen´s last blog post ..chocolate blueberry truffles a sweet surpriseMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    What a very sweet idea! I’m going to have to get around to it pronto! Thanks for the lovely post and those brownies looks fab!

  • 5 years ago

    The matcha ricotta mixture sounds lovely in these, and I like the idea of lightening them with olive oil instead of butter. And, what a nice idea to make origami cranes and send photos! I participated in a bake sale for Japan on Saturday, and everyone in Austin was so enthusiastic and generous. It was a great day for a great cause.
    lisaiscooking´s last blog post ..Radish Rye FlatbreadMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    This looks fab! I admire your continuous thoughtfulness towards people of Japan.

  • What a wonderfully delicious and thoughtful post Deeba! And what a lovely idea sending those cranes to the people of Japan too :) It’s wonderful how the food blogging world has really embraced Japan!

  • 5 years ago

    Just beautiful! The thoughts behind this and the brownies, wow!

  • 5 years ago

    The 1000 cranes is such a lovely idea! I’m going to head over to her site in a minute or so. this brownie recipe looks marvelous. I love the idea of olive oil instead of butter and the ricotta would make them so moist. Fun to add matcha too!
    Barbara´s last blog post ..Nanas Baked Noodles AntinMy Profile

  • Your beautiful post brought tears to my eyes, and not because of the chocolate. I will suggest to my daughter to make a crane. I have a feeling that you have started a new class project. Thank you
    Lael Hazan @educatedpalate´s last blog post ..Chocolate Cookies and a Thank You to Fire FightersMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    Excellent photography, beautiful sentiments & a really yummy batch of brownies, what more could you want :)
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  • Betty
    5 years ago

    extra virgin olive oil is sooo good! Everyone should try olive oil from Europe! It is really healthy and helps with heart diseases! Cheers!

  • 5 years ago

    There just aren’t enough hours in the day for chocolate brownies :-).

    I’m not entirely sold on the green tea and chocolate combination yet, but always willing to give it a try. I like a good jasmine green tea, so it’s an experiment I’ll enjoy trying out either way.
    MarkH´s last blog post ..Saved From Homelessness By ScratchcardMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    You like Matcha a lot, don’t you?
    I’m going for a Matcha Smoothie tomorrow :)

  • las 1000 grullas
    5 years ago

    Arigato, Deeba:)))
    las 1000 grullas´s last blog post ..Más grullas que vuelan hacia Japón 日本へ飛び立つ鶴たちMy Profile

  • 5 years ago

    I am totally loving this combination Deeba. Also loving the fact that the matcha powder I bought you is going so strong and you are creating exciting things with it! Lovely!
    Meeta´s last blog post ..Cinnamon Kissed Apple Goji Berry StrudelMy Profile

  • Nithya
    5 years ago

    I have been following your blog for the longest time and your posts are always a great visual treat. I am in Indian living in Japan and although these are not easy times for us, it always helps to know that people all over are sending their positive thoughts for the people of this country.


  • JoJo
    4 years ago

    Beautiful photos! I will definitely try this recipe, I love that it is a healthy version too!

    I love that you posted about the 1000 cranes, I used to live in Japan and I made 1000 cranes when something tragic happened to a friend with my classmates. It’s not easy to make that many cranes by yourself but if we all helped each other to make it, it’s not that hard. It’s a good symbol of what people can achieve by helping each other!

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