I have long been intrigued by desserts made using the delicate and beautifully green Matcha Tea powder. I tasted a matcha cake when I was in Australia earlier this year, and I loved how the tea flavour was infused into the cake, kind of like when you bake using lavender. THAT colour green is also divine, and so after wandering through the Asian section of Castroni (the International food store which I just happen to have conveniently across the road from my house) a few times… I finally took the plunge and bought a packet of Matcha! Now, I’d done my research and I learnt that most Japanese desserts that use matcha, also use Azuki (or Adjuki) beans as well. Apparently these two ingredients are often found together, and after tasting the tea & sweet red bean combination, I could understand why. (Azuki or adzuki beans are commonly sweetened before eating by boiling with sugar, and can also result in a red bean paste). I tested two recipes, the first being this one, a traditional Japanese cake roll recipe. The cake is very light and ‘spongey’ both in it’s appearance and touch. Filled with fresh whipped cream and an occasional scatter of azuki beans, it really is a very light dessert and not at all too sweet. This cake disappeared by the time evening fell, and for my second helping after dinner I enjoyed a slice with some strawberries…. Also very delish!
Don’t be put off by the small amounts with the ingredients. The cake batter is like a light meringue, and if you whip your egg whites and yolks well, you will be surprised by the volume of cake mixture that goes into the oven.
Matcha Tea Cake Roll
- PART A
- 10ml hot water
- 1/2 tablespoon (tblsp) matcha tea powder
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons (15g) vegetable oil
- 3/4 tablespoon caster sugar (10g)
- 2 tablespoons Self Raising Flour (15g)
- PART B
- 3 egg whites
- 1.5 tablespoons caster sugar (20g)
- 250ml fresh cream
- 1/2 teaspoon matcha tea powder
- azuki beans
- Grease and line with baking paper a rectangular baking tray or cake pan. (Allow baking paper to extend over either end of baking pan). I used a 28cm x 18cm baking dish. PREHEAT oven to 200°C.
- In a small bowl, add hot water to matcha tea powder, stir well until there are no lumps and then cover with plastic kitchen wrap until required to avoid the paste drying out).
- Whisk egg yolk and 1 tblsp sugar until pale and frothy.
- Add oil to yolks & continue mixing until well incorporated.
- Add matcha tea paste and mix well.
- Add sifted flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Mix all ingredients until all combined.
- In a separate clean and dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. Slowly add 1.5 tblsp sugar and continue whisking until you have glossy stiff peaks.
- Using a hand whisk, fold egg whites into yolk mixture in two batches. Continue mixing until both parts are combined.
- Pour cake batter into prepared cake pan. Bang cake pan onto work bench a couple of times to remove any trapped large air bubbles.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for about 15 minutes, until it is lightly golden brown and an inserted wooden skewer comes out clean. Pay close attention to cooking time and be careful not to let it burn!
- Holding overlapping baking paper, lift cake carefully onto a cake rack and allow to cool completely. Using a piece of clean baking paper, turn cake over and carefully remove old baking paper from cake. Flip cake again, ensuring clean baking paper is underneath cake.
- Whip cream until thickened. Add matcha tea and continue whipping until cream is stiff. Spread an even layer over cake, and then carefully scatter the azuki beans over cream.
- Utilising the baking paper to assist you, roll cake and place rolled cake in refrigerator for several hours before serving. (I left my cake ‘wrapped up’ with the baking paper while it was in the refrigerator). It’s best to leave it for at least 24 hours before cutting.
*Optional: Lightly dust matcha tea over cake roll before serving!