My mother doesn’t like overly sweet desserts. Like many Koreans her age, she grew up in an era where you didn’t eat sweets after a meal.
Rather, you ate freshly peeled and beautifully sliced pieces of fruit. I still have fond memories of enjoying slices of Asian pears with delicate little forks. My son enjoys eating his fruit this way, too. Besides serving a practical purpose (no sticky fingers!), it’s fun! 🙂
But for her birthday, I wanted to make a cake that she would like. So I looked around and found a few recipes for matcha cakes, which are a particular favorite of mine. Made with matcha (finely milled green tea powder), the green tea pastries are less sweet and dense than my other favorite — Black Out Cake with chocolate ganache. For lack of a better description, matcha cakes taste light and refreshing.
I’ll admit that the recipe I’m posting below is a hybrid of several that I found online. I wanted to make Kitchen Tigress‘ version, but it looked too labor intensive. i.e. I was too lazy to convert everything from the metric system that she utilizes to the, uh, cup and teaspoon method that I use.
But if you have a few minutes, check out her video on how to make a beautiful, bakery-worthy cake. I will be the first to admit that her creation looks way prettier than mine:
If you do end up following her directions, come back here and let me know how it turned out!
I found recipes for all kinds of frosting for the cake, including cream cheese and buttercream. I love the former and hate the latter. But both sounded gross for a green tea cake. I love the deceptively light taste of whipped cream frosting, so that’s what I decided on.
I had all the ingredients at home except for almond flour and, you guessed it, matcha. Both were more expensive than I had expected. I bought a 16-ounce bag of almond flour for $10. And 1.5 ounces of California matcha set me back $17 at a local health store. (I later scored a 2-ounce container of organic Japanese matcha for just $7 at an Asian grocery store!)
Anyhow, this is my adapted recipe for my Matcha Cake. My 7-year-old son didn’t care for it. I know this because he told me so. 😉
But, my husband and I loved it. And, more importantly, my mother really liked it and asked me to leave a couple pieces for her to snack on later in the week. And that, my friends, never happens.
4 egg whites, room temperature
¼ tsp cream of tartar
4 TBS granulated sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 tsp matcha powder
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp matcha powder (if you want a stronger taste, add a little more as you go)
1 TBS sugar or honey (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease two round cake pans and line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper, too!
Whip the four egg whites until it’s frothy. Add the cream of tartar and whip until it forms stiff peaks. Add the granulated sugar and whip. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the 4 whole eggs, powdered sugar and almond flour in a bowl until it’s pale yellow. Add the matcha powder and mix on low speed until combined. Sift the flour over the pale yellow egg mixture.
Fold half the egg whites mixture into the bowl with the pale yellow egg mixture. Then fold in the remaining egg whites.
Pour the batter into the cake pans. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean.
While you’re waiting for the cake to finish baking, whip the heavy cream until it has the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. But don’t whip it so much that it turns into butter. Got that? 😛 Mix in the matcha powder.
Once cake is cool, put whipped cream filling in between the two layers. Top the cake with the remaining cream. Chill for at least two hours before serving.
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