So here we are again. Round five of Project Food Blog hosted by Foodbuzz.com. Can you believe it?! Halfway into the competition and still standing. As the only Brit left I’m slightly shocked, and also incredibly grateful. Thank you for voting for me, for all your wonderful comments and emails – I’m very appreciative, as is Nom Man, who was so happy he devoured the remaining chocolate truffles and promptly fell into a sugar coma. So he’ll be absent from this post, but he said to tell you that, ahem: “NOM MAN SAY HE LOVE YOU”. So. There you go.
For this round we were told to create our own version of pizza.
So I’m a little weird. A little?! I hear you ask; yeah, okay, I’m a lot weird, but one of the weirdest things about me is that whilst I am happy to eat pretty much anything on my plate, offal, chicken feet, fish eyeballs (yes, I have been there), I… well… I don’t like pizza. I don’t know what it is about pizza that I so dislike: it’s too… bread-y? Or greasy? Or just… bland? Maybe a combination of all three. I’ve had people who have tried to convince me otherwise, have made me deep-dish, thin-crust, Italian, Chicago – baby, I’ve tried ‘em all – and the only two I’ve vaguely liked were Otto Pizza’s cornmeal crust pizzas, and a thin-crust I made with David. But still, when given a choice, I’m not going to go for the pizza. Sorry. Maybe that makes me a little insane (a little more insane), but it just ain’t my thing.
All throughout my childhood my friends would want to go to Pizza Hut for special occasions, wolfing down slice after slice of the greasy stodge, and I would forlornly pick at my slice, feeling incredibly dissatisfied and sad. Is there anything more sad than a cold, greasy slice?
Photo credit: Daniela Ceresa
So when I discovered that this task was our take on pizza of all things, a little part of me inside twisted itself up into knots and got all panicky. How on EARTH was I, a pizza-HATER, going to make my version of pizza?!
Well, my friends, I decided to create a faux-pizza, if you will. I made a dessert pizza.
If you haven’t already realised I have a slight matcha green tea obsession then this’ll convince you: I made a matcha sweet pizza dough base, topped with a raspberry sauce, white chocolate shredded “cheese”, and dark chocolate and sweet mascarpone topping. The dough is actually more of a pastry dough than a pizza one, and the matcha green tea flavour comes through beautifully, not to mention (I think perhaps my favourite aspect) it makes the dough this beautiful green colour. My friend Daniela had come over for a scheduled baking afternoon and as she observed me manhandling my green dough said: “it looks like playdough”. Er, okay, so maybe it looks a little bizarre, but hey, I like bizarre. And who else could lay claim to making green pizza dough?! That’s right. I can.
Because of the way the “toppings” are spread you get different flavours with each bite, and, best of all, you have none of that greasy stodgy feeling; and did I mention how awesome it looks when you take it out of the oven and it looks like an actual PIZZA, only it’s not?! Yeah, baby.
Even better it genuinely tasted good. The base was crispy, the toppings all complimented each other, it was just good. And so maybe I had to create my own version to get there, but I finally found a pizza I’d be happy to call my own, and surely that’s a success in itself? And if there are other pizza-haters out there, don’t be shy, come forward: t’aint nowt to be ashamed of. Not anymore, at least. Enjoy.
1 cup plain flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
2 tbsps sugar
1 tbsp matcha green tea powder
4 tbsps butter, cut into smaller pieces
1 egg yolk
2 tsps matcha green tea, whisked into 3-4 tbsps boiling water
For the toppings:
Handful of raspberries, crushed and/or pureed
Handful of white chocolate, chopped finely
Handful of dark chocolate, chopped roughly
2 tbsps mascarpone cheese
1 tbsp icing sugar
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Sieve the flour, baking powder, sugar and matcha powder into a bowl.
3. Use a knife to cut the butter into the flour mixture, then, using your hands, rub it in. It’s easier to do this if a) your butter is quite cold (keep it in the fridge until ready to use) and b) your hands are cold and dry!
4. Add the egg yolk and as much of the liquid green tea into the dry mixture to form a manageable dough, about the consistency of pastry.
5. Pop the whole thing in a plastic bag and into the fridge for 15 mins or the freezer for 5-10 mins.
6. Lightly flour a baking tray, remove the dough from the fridge/freezer and, on a lightly floured surface roll it out to fit your baking tray. Trim the edges as necessary. Don’t worry if it’s a little cracked – use a little cold water to smooth the cracks out if you want, but you’re going to cover it in toppings so it’s okay.
7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20-25 mins until the pizza base is starting to brown at the edges.
8. Meanwhile, whisk the icing sugar and mascarpone cheese together.
9. Take the pizza base out of the oven and assemble: using the back of a spoon spread the smushed raspberry over the base, then sprinkle the white chocolate on top, and finally the dark chocolate pieces. Turn the oven function to grill (or equivalent) and place the pizza back into the oven for a few minutes. Keep an eye on it – you want your dark chocolate to begin to melt and your white chocolate to begin to brown a little, you don’t want it all to burn!
10. Take out of the oven and, using a teaspoon, place blobs of the mascarpone mixture on top. Cut into slices and serve immediately! Be careful of burning your mouth in your eagerness to get it in there!
So there you have it. Hope you enjoyed! I’ll let you know when you can vote and thank you so much again for being so very wonderful! Until next time, peace and love!