Sunday, July 31, 2005

Matcha and Chocolate Cake

I've been wanting to make a dessert with matcha for a long time. Everything was a little experimental this first time, and there are a number of things to be done differently if I make this cake again; but since this month's IMBB hosted by à la cuisine! features Tea and the deadline is today, I decided to submit it anyway. This is my first entry to IMBB.

For the cake layer, I used Alice Medrich's Hot Milk Sponge Cake recipe with some matcha mixed in the flour. The amount I used imparted color more than taste which was OK. Next, I whipped up some cream with matcha to frost in between the layers. Thinking back, maybe I should have left it at that, but since I wanted to introduce a second flavor, I decided to go chocolate. I threw in a handful of shelled pistachios with the chocolate frosting for crunch, and topped the whole thing with a chocolate glaze. Had I not run out of whipped cream and cake at this point, I would have used more of them and definitely less of the glaze. But as things were, the glaze was the only thing available to level the top of the cake, and it turned out too thick. Oh well, what're you gonna do?

When I tasted the cake, I found the matcha taste quite dominant (in spite of all that chocolate); but Yurdaer who takes his tea very dark, said it was just right. Zeynep and Mehmet also approved of the taste. So without further ado, here is the recipe:

  • 13"x18" prepared Hot Milk Sponge Cake layer with 1 tsp of matcha powder to replace 1 tsp of cake flour in the recipe
  • 1 1/2 c heavy cream (divided)
  • 2 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tbs plus 1 tsp sugar
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • Handful of whole, shelled pistachios
  • 6 tbs sugar syrup (recipe can be found here)
  • Bittersweet chocolate glaze (recipe below)
  • Ground pistachios to decorate
Cut a 2" lengthwise strip from the cake layer and line the inside circumference of a 9" springform pan. Now cut a round cake layer to fit the bottom of the springform pan. When the sides and bottom are snugly covered, sprinkle with sugar syrup. (Since I had some ready made syrup in the refrigerator, that's what I used this time, but I am planning to experiment with infusing the syrup with green tea as well.)

Mix sugar with 2 tsp matcha powder in a bowl. Slowly add in the cream and beat until you reach spreadable thickness. Spread about half of this in the lined springform. Now fashion a second round cake layer from the leftover cake to go over the cream layer. (You won't have enough cake to cut a whole circle; just improvise here.) Place it on top of the matcha cream and sprinkle with syrup.

Melt the chocolate. Pour the whipping cream slowly on the melted chocolate and stir to incorporate completely. Spread it on top of the second cake layer. Scatter whole pistachios over chocolate. Now, carefully spread the remaining matcha cream on the chocolate and pistachios. Level with the back of a spoon and make sure that the gaps in between the pistachios are filled with cream. Refrigerate until the cream layer is firm. Meanwhile, prepare and cool the Bittersweet Chocolate glaze. Glaze the top and decorate the sides with ground pistachios.

Chocolate Glaze
  • 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into tiny pieces
  • 6 tbs butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tbs corn syrup
Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and carefully heat on low flame, stirring continuously until the chocolate dissolves and you get a smooth glaze. Take off the heat, and wait until it cools down to 90-95F before you use.