Matcha red bean gateau

Mum’s birthday was a few days back and I wanted to make a unique cake for her, something that is not easily available in cake shops and does not involve chocolate.

Chocolate is one of the most versatile ingredients in baking, so not using it was such a chore! Thankfully I suddenly remembered the classic japanese combination of Matcha and red bean, light enough for my mum’s palate and a welcome relief to the usual fruit/ chocolate cakes.

Everyone’s been asking me about why my layer of red bean paste appears purple instead of red. I sieved my anko paste to obtain a smooth paste and besides the red skin of the seed, the insides are purplish red. I seriously have no idea how to make the paste red because this is already my second time and I still got the same results! My conclusion is that either the commercial ones add a lot of coloring or it is something to do with my technique. If you know why this is happening, please enlighten me 😀

It’s my first time piping a cake so pardon the lousy piping skills x.x I promise to do a better job next time! The matcha sponge cake turned out very soft and light melding well with the lovely matcha chantilly creme and anko filling. The cake is not cloyingly sweet or heavy at all. However, I would have prefer stronger notes of matcha in the cake as well as the creme. I made the mistake of buying green tea powder with sugar inside ( the ingredients did not state sugar!), so the bitterness was masked. A tip on how to make good chantilly is to use high quality cream. I used the french president’s full fat whipping cream in this case and the results were an ethereal light and silky cream that I simply adored! In fact, it really reminded me of the smooth coconut mousse kki used for kinabaru. I bet they use high quality french cream as well 😉

In the recipe below, i’ll be doubling the amount of matcha I used for the original.

Matcha Sponge Cake

15 grams sifted cake flour

12 grams cornstarch (corn flour)

2 large eggs

0.5 large egg yolk

50 grams plus 7 grams granulated white sugar

2 tablespoons green tea powder

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven.   Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 17 inch (43 cm) x 12 inch (30 cm) baking pan, line it with parchment paper, and then butter and flour the parchment paper (or spray with non stick vegetable/flour spray). 

While eggs are still cold separate two of the eggs, placing the yolks in one large mixing bowl and the whites in another bowl.  To the two yolks, add the additional yolk, and the two remaining eggs.  Cover the two bowls with plastic wrap and allow the eggs to come to room temperature before using (about 30 minutes).

Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the sifted cake flour, cornstarch and green tea powder. 

Once the eggs are at room temperature, place the egg yolks, along with 50g of granulated white sugar, in your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment.  Beat on high speed for five minutes, or until thick, pale yellow, and fluffy.  (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.)  

Sift half the flour mixture over the egg yolk mixture and fold in gently with a rubber spatula, just until the flour is incorporated.  Sift the remaining flour mixture into the batter and fold in.

In a clean mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form.  Sprinkle in the remaining 7g of granulated white sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold a little of the whites into the batter to lighten it, and then add the rest of the whites folding just until incorporated.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, evenly spreading the cake batter with an offset spatula or knife.

Bake for about 7 minutes or until golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean and the cake, when lightly pressed, will spring back.

Green tea crème Chantilly

100ml whipping cream

2 tablespoons of caster sugar

2 tablespoon of green tea powder

Whip everything together using an electric mixer at high speed but stop once the cream becomes stiff! Overwhipping will produce a coagulated mixture of whipped cream instead. Fold the green tea powder into the mixture ( try to do this in as little strokes as possible)

Anko Filling

I did not follow the measurements of a particular recipe, only the steps. I varied the amount of sugar and salt added according to taste.

Put lots of water in deep pot. Soak azuki beans in the water overnight. Heat the beans on high heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and simmer beans for about 10 minutes. Drain the beans. Put the azuki beans in the pot again and add about four cups of water. Heat the azuki and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer the azuki beans for about one hour, or until softened. Drain the liquid from the pot. Add sugar and salt in the beans. Stir and simmer beans until thickened. Stop the heat and cool the anko.

To Assemble

Make the sponge cake and anko filling a day before hand. Spread the anko filling on the sponge cake and cover the plate withcling wrap before refrigerating. about 3 hours before eating, prepare the cream and spread it onto your cake. Decorate as desired (:

Recipes were adapted from various internet sources such as joyofbaking, epicurous and japanesefood