Red Bean Hojicha Mini-Cakes

These mini-cakes are an Asian version of muffins, pound cake or coffee cake. They are just sweet enough to have with afternoon tea, yet not overly sweet to have as breakfast with coffee!
I’ve adjusted my matcha cake recipe to use hojicha powder. Hojicha is dried, roasted green tea leaves. The result is a tasty, nutty match with the red bean paste filling.

Makes 12 muffins 
Bake time: 20-25 min

125 gr or 3/4 cup ground almonds or almond flour
160 gr or 3/4 cups salted butter, melted and cooled
5 egg whites
1 tbsp baking powder
70 gr or 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp hojicha (roasted green tea) powder, sifted 
200 gr or 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
A pinch of salt 
1 can red bean paste, if you prefer homemade, see below

Set the oven at 375 F

1. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt for 1-2 min.

2. Add the flour, ground almonds, butter, baking powder, hojicha powder and icing sugar and mix with a silicone spoon to combine.

3. Fill muffin tins with the batter 3/4 of the way and add 2 teaspoons of red bean paste in each.

4. Bake for 20-25 min until a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Recipe for homemade red bean paste:
250 gr or 1 cup red beans, soaked in water overnight
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Water to boil beans 

1. After soaking the red beans overnight, boil them in clean water for 1 to1 1/2 hours until they’re very soft and grainy. Drain water. 

2. Using a high powered blender, blend the cooked red beans with 2 tbsp water for 5 min.

3. Place the red bean paste in a saucepan over low heat, add sugar and stir constantly. This allows for the excess water to evaporate and the sugar to melt. 

4. Turn heat off after 10 min and let the red bean paste cool.


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