Saturday, January 12, 2008

Kuromame (black soybeans) Pound Cake, Matcha (green tea) version

OK, here's another one. Hey, those who have been in Japan for a couple of years -- Have you noticed that more and more young Japanese moms are baking pound cakes with leopard spots like this at this time of the year? It is to use up the leftover kuromame (simmered black soybeans),

one of the staples of osechi (Japanese traditional New Year's feast). It's a rather recent trend, and I had been wanting to give it a try since I read about it in 2006, IIRC.

It's so much fun to slice this cake to see the different patterns the beans make :)

The original recipe (Japanese) called for soybean powder, which I didn't have any, so I replaced it with almond powder and added matcha. It worked alright (though not perfect. I do think soybean powder is the key ingredient). IMHO, this cake tastes far better on the next day. When I tasted it fresh from the oven while it was still warm, I felt the slightest hint of dashi flavor in the beans and I wasn't too crazy about that.

Kuromame with Yogurt

Another re-use idea for leftover simmered black soybeans. Oh, please don't say "yuck!" The idea has become popular among young Japanese women in the past couple of years and they say it's a good food for weight watchers. I'm not kidding! This tastes better than it looks. Honestly.

I must say that I like this combination but only when a lot of beans AND plenty of syrup are added to yogurt.

You know, these are just holiday leftover ideas, after all... What's important about them is being able to feel, "I'm not wasting food." Right? ;) ;)



Anonymous said...

I like kuromame made in the style of azuki bean (tsubu-an) without dashi, but a touch of shoyu and with Japanese chestnuts (kuri?). Leftover kuromame or tsubu-an in oatmeal with walnuts for breakfast is my favorite.
Another thing I like with tsubu-an is ma-cha kanten (agar agar jelly) over 2 T. sweetened condensed milk/whole mile (50/50) topped with 1-2 T. anko.

Anonymous said...

I love kuromame! My mother makes them every year from our garden. She makes em more black by soaking a rusty nail in it! Nowadays you can't find any nails that rust...

Anonymous said...

I wonder if cooking kuromame in a cast iron pot would be as good as using rusty nails.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love the psychedelic looks of your cake! Really wonderful!



test it comm said...

I really like the colours of that matcha pound cake with black beans!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, i love the colours. Very pretty. And I'm sure it tastes delicious too. I want to try this one day.

obachan said...

Anonymous commenter
Kuromame with oatmeal!! Never thought about it but, now that you mentioned it, it may be a good combination if no dashi flavor is added.
Yeah, matcha and tsubu-an makes a great combination. And condensed milk, too. Mmmmm...

Wow! Home-grown kuromame! It must be really nice.

I read exactly the same thing on the net the other day about rusty nails. A Japanese woman complained that she couldn't find rusty nails any more these days. Looks like now they sell something like these to be used in place of rusty nails for simmering kuromame or making eggplant pickles. They are called "THE tetsu-tamago" (they really had to have "the" here, ha?) and "nukazuke-kun." Funny?

Anonymous commenter
From what I learned from several Japanese websites, the "rusty nails" trick is actually iron ions stabilizing the anthocyanin in kuromame. (Abthocyanin is the pigment that makes kuromame black.) Someone wrote that iron pot may help, but it may not release as many iron ions as rusty nails do.

I'm not really sure if "rust" itself plays any role in keeping the black color of the beans, or rusty nails just indicate that they are made of real iron (not stainless steel) without any coating, thus able to release many ions.

Psychedelic! Yeah, that's what it is! LOL

Thanks. The green color in the photo turned out a bit different from what it really was, but still I think the matcha did a good job.

Hope you have a chance to try this out and enjoy slicing the cake. It's so much fun -- just like slicing a marble cake.

Anonymous said...

Hello Obachan,
Thank you for responding about kuromame and rusty nails vs. cast iron pots it was very interesting. Thanks also for directing me to your previous Oshogatsu no osechi ryori. They were all beautifully arranged and delicious I'm sure. Osechi at my house is very non-traditional. Being Sansei everything is modified (Americanized) and much is store bought. I have a very good reasonably priced washoku to sushi chef (Sensei) in my neighborhood, plus my cousin and sisters are excellent cooks.

Again, thank you so much for your blogspot. It is my very favorite. You amaze and inspire me with your creativity and energy.

I'm going back to you very first entries to read everything and catch up!

obachan said...

Oh, you're lucky to have a washoku sensei in your neighborhood. I envy you. :)