“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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“Food supports a story. Remember, there is a story behind everything you shoot.”
Adam Pearson

Matcha Macarons with Mascarpone Cherry FillingMarch 20th is marked as World Macaron Day / Jour de Macaron, a day that celebrates the very elegant and much applauded French cookie that is often referred to as the ‘new cupcake‘. Nothing appears to get close to shaking the macaron off its lofty perch as it continues to mesmerise and charm the world with delightful flavour combinations.Matcha Macarons with Mascarpone Cherry FillingAt MacTweets nothing gives us as much joy as celebrating this exquisite creation, and we do it every month with a great bunch of passionate macaron bakers.  This March, Jamie & I call for a new beginning. March welcomes the first changes from one season to the next, hinting at warmth and sunshine, the coming of springtime for some of us, the chilly days of winter for others.Matcha Macarons with Mascarpone Cherry FillingWe ask you to add a bit of spice to our lives with this change of season challenge at MacTweets. To make it even more fun, we call for you to be the harbingers of the coming season with something new, fresh and lively, incorporating both fruit and spice into one magnificent Macaron.Matcha Macarons with Mascarpone Cherry FillingI had many thoughts when the month began, leaping between the umpteen spices the spice-box offered, making it a difficult choice. I had thoughts of pink peppercorn with strawberries, black pepper & sour orange marmalade, cinnamon and apple. Then tragedy struck Japan and my thought pattern changed completely.My macarons had to be a tribute to the spirit of Japan, a brave and resilient nation which has stood up and faced the horrific natural disaster that hit it over a week ago. As tales of trauma and destruction continue to haunt the world, tales of bravery and rescue offer much needed joy. 9 days after calamity struck, an 80 year old lady and her grandson were rescued today. H O P E …

Matcha Macarons with Mascarpone Cherry FillingThe macaron shells are matcha flavoured, the filling some home preserved brandied cherries nestled in home made mascarpone. Matcha, though not a true spice, is sometimes referred to as a tea spice. The jar of brandied cherries in my fridge completed my tribute to Japan, a reference to cherry blossoms or sakura. Cherry blossom is an omen of good fortune and is also an emblem of love, affection and represents spring. Cherry blossoms are an enduring metaphor for the fleeting nature of life, and as such are frequently depicted in art.Matcha Macarons with Mascarpone Cherry FillingThe beginning of the year has hit Japan very hard, but they are a people that have risen above all odds, displaying strength and dignity in the face of unimaginable adversity. Sending good wishes  their way with these  macarons and four little rosebuds from my rambling rose.

Do you want to join us making MACARONS?

If you do, you are most welcome to join us  for this challenge, or the next. You can find all the information at our dedicated macaron blog MacTweets. We generally post the round-up by the end of every month, following which a new challenge is posted!


Recipe: Matcha Macarons with Mascarpone & Brandied Cherries

Summary: Macarons for Mactweets, the theme being Sugar & Spice, & everything nice…& fruity! I made these with Japan in mind – Matcha Japanese Green tea and cherries for their beautiful cherry blossoms that are referred to as ‘sakura’.

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1 egg white {I didn’t age mine}
2.5 tbsp powdered sugar
1/8 tsp egg white powder
1/4 tsp matcha
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup powdered sugar
125gms mascarpone cream {homemade recipe here}
2 tsp powdered sugar
1/4 cup brandied cherries, drained {or preserved cherries, drained}


    Preheat oven to 140C.
    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    Blend the powdered sugar, almond meal and matcha brifely in the bowl of your food processor to mix. {you can sift it too}
    In a large clean bowl, beat for about 20 seconds till the egg white appears foamy. Gradually add the granulated sugar and continue to beat till it becomes firm and holds peaks, about 2 minutes.
    Carefully fold the dry ingredients, in two batches, into the beaten egg white with a flexible rubber spatula. When the mixture is just smooth and there are no streaks of egg white, stop folding. {Do not overmix}
    Using a teaspoon, or piping bag, drop / pipe the batter on the parchment-lined baking sheets in 1″ circles evenly spaced one-inch apart.
    Rap the baking sheet a few times firmly on the counter top to flatten the macarons, then rest for about an hour.
    Bake them for 15-18 minutes.
    Let cool completely then remove from baking sheet.
    Gently whip the mascarpone with sugar till smooth. Don’t overmix or it will become very runny.
    Pat the drained cherry gently on a kitchen towel, flatten.
    To assemble
    Match equal halves of macarons, and keep together.
    Use a small spoon or piping bag/nozzle, deposit a tiny amount of mascarpone on the flat side of the macaron, top with a flattened cherry, add a teeny dot of mascarpone, and sandwich with another half of the same size, squeezing gently. Leave to set in fridge.


I bake my macarons on the upper shelf in my oven, using just the lower element for heat. I also use double baking trays.
Baking time (duration): 30 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 8
Meal type: Snack/Dessert
Culinary tradition: French
My rating: 4 stars:  ★★★★☆ 1 review(s)
Copyright © Deeba @ Passionate About Baking.
Microformatting by hRecipe.


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