ね、知っている？(Hey, did you know?)
These cupcakes may be the simplest of the geeky/nerdy (it varies…) birthday cakes I made this spring.
My spouse loves Mameshiba, which is… well, as the song goes, they aren’t quite beans and they aren’t quite dogs; and everyday they bring you a bit of trivia–
You know what? This is like trying to explain Doctor Who to someone who’s never seen it. Just check out the videos (in Japanese with English subtitles) on the Mameshiba site. Problem solved.*
I made matcha cupcakes, a variation on the Sakura Matcha Cupcake recipe, and vegan buttercream to decorate them to look like Edamame, the “mascot” of the bunch. I wanted the cupcakes to be green, too, but if you don’t like matcha, you could just make green cupcakes with food dye or a different recipe with natural green color. I used about 1/4 of the “buttercream” to make chocolate frosting for decorating the faces, and dyed the other 3/4 bright green with yellow and green food coloring. (I had initially wanted to make the frosting matcha, too, but the cupcakes were very matcha-y already and the color would have been off.)
I’m still working on those decoration techniques! Feeling more confident with the pastry bag after two more decorating sessions but still hoping to take a proper class at some point. I think some of my Mameshiba look like variations on Classic!Watson with his mustache…
Adapted from “No. 21: Matcha” muffins from She Knows Muffin オリジナル・レシピ集 ―We Love Muffin!, p. 25.
Yields 12 muffins
Time: 40 minutes
Active: 15 minutes
Cooking: 25 minutes
100 g (3.5 oz/ 7 TBSP) unsalted butter, softened (muen batâ, 無塩バター)
160 g (2/3 US cup + 2 tsp) unpacked brown sugar (sanontô, 三温糖), or brown beet sugar (tensaitô, てんさい糖, 甜菜糖)
2 eggs (tamago, 卵)
295 g (3-1/4 cups) cake flour (hakurikiko, 薄力粉)
10 g (2 tsp) matcha powder for cooking (seikayo maccha, 製菓用抹茶)
12 g (3-1/3 tsp) baking powder (bêkingu paudâ, ベーキングパウダー)
140 mL (1/2 cup + 1.5 TBSP) milk (milk: gyûnyû, 牛乳; low-fat milk: teishibônyû, 低脂肪乳; soy milk:tônyû, 豆乳)
Silicon muffin cups (mafin kappu, マフィンカップ)
OR muffin tins (mafin kata, マフィン型)
1. Preheat the oven to 180º C (350º F).
2. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and mix well.
3. Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, matcha powder, baking powder). Alternating milk mixture and dry ingredients into the batter in three parts, gently stir the batter to incorporate. Do not overbeat.
4. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full.
5. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
Divide the frosting–1/4 will be for the chocolate (use 1-2 TBSP cocoa powder); dye the other 3/4 bright green-yellow with green food coloring (shokuyô midori, 食用緑) and yellow food coloring (shokuyô kîro, 食用黄色). Frost cupcakes with the green icing with a knife; use a pastry bag (pastry bag: shibori bukuro, 絞り袋 with a round tip for the eyes and mouth.
Use sliced almonds (âmondo suraisu, アーモンドスライス) for the ears.
*This jellybean speaks Japanese just fine, thanks!