‘Tis the season for matcha. Given the craze for this heavenly green powder, it’s no wonder that we are now seeing it in every avatar. It’s that ingredient that has successfully made its jump from a one-trick pony. You will now find matcha as refreshing ice cream, stacked in a beautifully arranged crepe cake, and as the colorful matcha tea cake. This cake combines the goodness of matcha with a sponge cake that is fit for any tea-time treat. The earthy matcha marries beautifully with a rich batter to give us something unique.
Matcha is also a natural choice for those looking for a green tea cake. It comes in a powdered form that can be easily incorporated with the cake batter. The vivid color of the matcha also works brilliantly here, giving the cake its unique grassy color. The flavor is another plus, giving the cake an earthy and mildly sweet taste. We should also, of course, take into account the health benefits of matcha. It has a high ECGC content, higher than most other green tea variants.
How to Make Matcha Cake?
For the green tea cake, you will need good quality matcha, which is not cheap. But it really pays to go for a pure or organic brand. You will avoid any unwanted colorants and contaminants. The high quality (and more expensive) variants will also give you a deeper and more natural green color. Pure matcha also has an earthy taste with a sweet aftertaste. The lower grade material has a slightly bitter aftertaste, something you want to avoid in a cake.
In making this cake, we have gone with the chiffon cake technique. The addition of whipped egg whites is not just a needlessly fancy technique, it is especially suited to a matcha cake. The vivid matcha can leave the cake a little dry and the whipped whites help us to avoid this, making sure that the cake stays moist. However, like any cake where whipped egg whites are used to help the rise, it will fall once the cake cools. This will leave you with an indentation at the top. But, worry not. The indentation can be covered up with the frosting.
For this cake, we have used a white chocolate frosting as the perfect accompaniment for the earthy matcha. The mellower, but luxuriously buttery white chocolate gives the cake an elegant finish which takes it above a mere tea cake. But if that’s not to your taste or if you want to experiment with something else, go ahead. Whipped cream and vanilla buttercream frosting will go equally well.
Matcha Cake Recipe
For the cake
For the frosting
- 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
- 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar sieved
- 5 oz white chocolate softened
- 3 tbsp whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line two 8" cake pans.
- Using a stand mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar. You can also do it manually by first beating the cake and once it becomes airy, adding the sugar. Beat again till the sugar is well mixed and it looks airy.
- Add the egg yolks to the butter and sugar. Mix and beat them till properly combined.
- Switch the stand mixer bowl or use a hand mixer to beat the egg whites in a separate bowl till soft peaks form. This should take 3-4 minutes. Keep it aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, cornflour, matcha powder, and baking powder.
- Add the flour mix to the butter and egg yolk. Mix it well and fold it in. Add the water to loosen the batter if it seems too thick and stiff.
- Now fold in the beaten egg whites. Since the cake batter is quite thick, add about 1/4 of the whipped egg whites and beat it together to loosen the cake batter. Add the rest of the egg whites and carefully fold in. Be careful in making sure that you don't knock out all the air.
- Divide the batter into the two cake pans and bake till a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Take them out and let them cool.
- As the cakes are cooling, prepare your icing. Beat the butter in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer till it is fluffy. Add the confectioner sugar at low speed till it is all mixed.
- Beat in the white chocolate, whipping cream, and the vanilla. Keep beating at medium speed till the frosting is light and fluffy.
- Place one cake on a pretty plate or stand. Spread about 1/3 of the frosting evenly over the top. Place the second cake on top and spread the frosting over the top and the sides of the cake. You can use a sieve to dust the top with matcha powder.
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