There is something about matcha that always evokes the sense of elegance and girliness, at least to me. Well, good quality matcha can be exorbitantly expensive, so that is probably my justification of the elegant element in it. The girliness part is based on my personal experience: many of my girlfriends love it, but I have never known a single guy who is crazy about it.
For a girlfriend who loves matcha, I was planning to make a birthday cake for her. I did my research, and I was intrigued by the look of matcha vertical swiss roll by Singapore Shiok!. The step-by-step instructions are clear, but I was not sure if I would be able to reproduce the exact same thing. Still, the image of the cake kept lingering on my mind with a clear consequence: I have to give it a try.
I bought Maeda-En Shiki matcha, and I was satisfied with its bright green color. With all ingredients ready, I started with the sponge cake first. Singapore Shiok! mentions that separating the eggs in this case does not actually results in superior texture, so I just took her suggestion to throw the whole eggs altogether. I also made the cake using 6-egg recipe, which yielded one rectangular pan and a single round layer pan. When I was ready to roll the cake, it started to crack though. So, I changed my plan immediately to stack the layers.
The matcha cream cheese frosting was a keeper. Just for your information, I am not a frosting/icing person because it is usually too sweet for me. But this one was exceptionally yummy. Also, the omnipresence of matcha (in the cake, frosting, and between the layers) may feel overwhelming, but the overall taste is just right. The layered matcha sponge cake did not end up as a birthday cake because the look was not that impressive, but many who tasted it returned with the request of second serving.
Matcha Sponge Cake
Recipe from Singapore Shiok!
Yields 1 tray of 10 in x 13 in rectangular pan
80 g (3/4 cup) all purpose flour
8 grams (3 tsp) matcha
80 g (1/2 cup) fine sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp light vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp clear pandan flavor (optional)
- Preheat oven at 190 C (375 F). Grease and line the rectangular baking tray.
- Sift together the flour and matcha three times. Set aside.
- Combine eggs, sugar and cream of tartar in mixing bowl. Whisk on medium-high speed for about 8 minutes using the balloon whisk attachment or until mixture is very pale and mousselike and ribbons of the mixture hold their shape on the surface of the mixture in the bowl, when dropped from the whisk.
- Fold the flour and matcha mixture into the egg mixture in three lots, using the detached balloon whisk or a hand held balloon whisk. Do this lightly and quickly until well incorporated.
Combine the milk, oil, vanilla and pandan flavor in a cup and pour this mixture down the side of the bowl. Fold in with the whisk as above.
- Pour the batter onto the tray and level it using a spatula. Tap the tray on table or counter top to release large air bubbles and place pans in oven. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes. After 12 minutes, check center of each cake with a fine skewer. If done, remove from oven.
Matcha Cream Cheese Frosting
50 g icing sugar
- 25 g white chocolate, melted
1/2 tbsp matcha
25 g butter, softened
20 g milk powder
- 150 g cream cheese
Sift the icing sugar and matcha together. Set aside.
Combine butter and milk powder and beat until well mixed and creamy.
- Add cream cheese and white chocolate and beat until smooth and fluffy (around 1 minute). Beat in the sugar and matcha mixture on low speed. Stop as soon as the frosting has an even green color.
- Transfer frosting to a container, cover, and chill until needed.
- matcha powder
- Peel the baking paper off from the cake. Using a serrated knife, trim off the edges. Divide the sponge cake lengthwise into three equal-size strips .
- Spread the frosting into each layer and dust the top lightly with matcha powder
- Stack the layers and chill the cake until it is ready to serve.