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Espasol is a sweet, chewy, and powdery delight that melts in your mouth. It is a unique Filipino rice cake popular during the Christmas season. This recipe, however is espasol with a twist! Matcha espasol takes the original version made with coconut milk and transforms it to a green tea version with a vibrant color and earthy flavor.
What is Espasol?
Espasol is one of many Filipino rice cake treats widely available in the Philippines. The original version is made with coconut milk, brown sugar, and bits of coconut. Although it resembles mochi, espasol is different because it is lighter and has a slightly grainy and powdery texture from the way the glutinous rice flour is utilized.
This Filipino sweet rice cake one holds a special place in my heart because it has roots in the same area where I was born, Laguna, Philippines.
The ingredients list for matcha espasol is surprisingly short. But they give an insightful look into the clever ways Filipinos reuse ingredients in one recipe.
- Glutinous Rice Flour: You'll need glutinous rice flour, which is different from regular rice flour. Glutinous rice comes from short grain sweet rice. As a flour ingredient, it yields that signature soft, chewy texture you find with mochi.
- Sugar: A straightforward ingredient used to sweeten the matcha espasol in this recipe.
- Heavy Cream: To highlight the matcha flavor, we'll use heavy cream instead of coconut milk in this recipe. It will also maintain the green color of matcha.
- Matcha Powder: You'll use matcha powder to flavor the espasol. The best type of matcha to use are the ones best utilized for culinary recipes which could be different from matcha used as tea.
- Sugar: You can use brown sugar in this recipe, but it may add color to the rice cake. You may not get the expected green color synonymous with matcha.
- Heavy Cream: You can use coconut alongside matcha for a unique flavor. This original ingredient also works great as a non-dairy alternative.
- Pre-Mix Matcha: Don't make the same mistake that I did by adding the dry matcha powder to the heavy cream. It took much longer to mix everything together. Take about a half cup of the heavy cream and mix in the matcha powder to completely dissolve before adding to the pot.
- Go Light on Dusting: This matcha espasol is rolled in a dusting mixture of dry matcha and glutinous rice. A little goes a long way, and if you add too much, you may have a bitter espasol.
How to Make Matcha Espasol (Rice Cake)
It only take a few steps to make espasol! Here is a quick breakdown of what you'll do:
- Toast the glutinous rice flour.
- Heat the heavy cream and mix with the glutinous rice flour.
- Cook until you make a dough.
- Spread evenly on a floured surface.
- Dust with more glutinous rice flour and matcha.
- Slice into individual pieces.
How to Serve
Once dusted and sliced, you can serve these right away. Espasol are great as wrapped treats. Cut wax paper into pieces big enough to wrap each individual espasol to share. Espasol will last you a couple of days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Traditional espasol is made with toasted glutinous rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and shredded coconut. It's all cooked together in one pot until you get a sticky ball of dough. Once spread out and cooled, it's dusted with more glutinous rice flour.
Mochi has a smooth, chewy texture and espasol has a powdery, chewy texture.
Matcha Espasol - Chewy Filipino Chewy Rice Cake
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- Toast the glutinous rice flour until it's slightly light brown. Set aside ¼ cup of the rice flour.
- In a small bowl, add 2 teaspoon of matcha powder and ¼ cup of toasted glutinous rice flour. Line a pan with wax paper and lightly dust the bottom with the matcha powder/flour mix.
- In separate pot, add the heavy cream, sugar and 1 tablespoon matcha powder. Mix everything together until the matcha powder dissolves.
- Place the pot on medium heat and cook until the sugar has melted completely.
- Add 2 cups of the glutinous rice into the pot and stir with a spatula.
- Keep stirring until the glutinous rice flour absorbs all the liquid, comes together like a dough ball, and turns shiny.
- Spread the cooked matcha espasol dough across the dusted pan. Then dust the top with the matcha powder mix. Use a brush to spread it evenly. Allow the espasol to cool completely.
- Once cooled, slice the espasol into 1 inch wide and 3-4 inch long pieces with a pastry cutter. Serve immediately.
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