Following on from last week’s post and my quest to win some matcha tea for Matcha Madness, I am entering again with these green tea cupcakes. The inspiration for these came from these wonderful looking cupcakes at The Catty Life. I have attempted to emulate matcha as best I can using the Japanese tea I had mistaken for matcha powder last week. It is also CTs birthday tomorrow, so these double as his birthday cakes. Green tea brings back happy memories of his time in Japan, so these seem particularly apt.
- Melted 60g white chocolate (Green & Blacks).
- Ground 2 tsp Japanese tea then left to infuse in 2 tbsp boiling water.
- Creamed 50g unsalted butter with 125g vanilla sugar.
- Beat in a duck egg.
- Beat in chocolate.
- Sifted in 125g flour (50g wholemeal, 50g white, 25g buckwheat), 1 tsp baking powder and 1/8 tsp bicarb of soda.
- Stirred in 2 tbsp Greek Yogurt and the tea plus water.
- Spooned into 12 muffin cases and baked at 180C for 20 mins.
- Warmed 125ml double cream and stirred in 1 tsp Japanese green tea. Left to infuse for an hour.
- Strained cream then brought to boil and poured over 40g white chocolate.
- Stirred until combined then left to cool.
- Whipped mixture until thick enough to spread on top of the cupcakes.
- Topped off with Japanese sugar decorations.
This did not give the bright green that I was hoping for, but the shade was nevertheless distinctly green. The sponge was light and moist with a good crumb structure. It was delicious with a subtle hint of tea lingering on the palate. The flavour was echoed nicely by the ganache topping. Combined with the richness of the white chocolate, it was first class according to CT, who snaffled a pre-birthday taster.
For once, I am ignoring the queue of posts I have waiting to be written and am aiming to post this on the actual day I made the cake. This is because time is running out. Catty is running a Matcha Madness competition to win some Teapigs matcha powder and the closing date is fast approaching.
Using matcha in cakes is something of a new and rather strange concept to me. Green tea is something I drink very readily and I was more than pleased when CT brought home several packets of matcha, in both leaf and powder form, from a visit to Japan a couple of years ago. I had no thoughts of doing anything with it except to steep it in hot water, until I came across a post on matcha cupcakes at Kitchen Butterfly. As soon as I saw this, it went straight onto my list of things to bake, but my list is rather a long one and it didn’t quite make it to the top – until now.
I have been pondering over the last couple of weeks what, exactly, I was going to make. Cupcakes seemed like the obvious choice, but a combination of seeing so many wonderful marble cakes on Mainly Baking and then coming across this cake at Scandilicious made me think again. I of course needed to get chocolate into the equation somehow and a marble cake seemed like a good way of including it. Then my mother came along with some rhubarb from her garden – well I had to include that somehow. Hey, why not really push the boat out and go for three flavours rather than two! I’m calling this marble cake for want of a better name, but I wanted solid blocks of cake so they could be tasted as an entity in their own right, rather than swirled in true marble cake style. This seemed like an ideal opportunity to use one of the Japanese sugar decorations that I received as a gift from one of CT’s Japanese contacts.
This is what I did:
- Creamed 125g unsalted butter with 175g vanilla sugar.
- Beat in two duck eggs (large hens eggs can be substituted).
- Sifted in 200g flour (half wholemeal and half white) with 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp bicarb of soda and 1/4 tsp salt (Pink Himalayan).
- Stirred in 100g ground almonds, 125g Greek yogurt and 2 tbsp water.
- Divided mixture between 3 bowls.
- Stirred 1 stick finely chopped rhubarb into one bowl.
- Added 1 tbsp matcha powder to another bowl.
- Sifted in 2 tbsp cocoa to the last bowl and stirred.
- Dolloped out the mixture alternately around a 23cm cake thingie – 3×3 dollops to ensure the different flavours wouldn’t get too mixed up.
- Baked for 40 mins at 180C.
- Left to cool for 10 mins then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Creamed 30g unsalted butter with 100g sifted icing sugar.
- Stirred in 100g cream cheese.
- Beat in 1 tbsp of matcha powder – except I didn’t! This is where things started to go a bit pear shaped. I’d just finished off a packet of matcha powder in the cake so went to open my last remaining packet BUT it wasn’t powder, it was leaves. I ground it up as best I could in the coffee grinder, but the resulting “powder” was somewhat on the coarse side – hey ho, no choice but to use it.
- Placed a Japanese sugar four leafed clover on the top.
Well what a revelation – I am now sold on matcha cake. I have to admit I was, beforehand, rather dubious about how this would turn out, thinking it was just a gimmick. Now I’ve tasted it, I realise why so many have been raving about it for so long: it’s really delicious. In an act of heresy, I have to admit that I preferred the matcha element of the cake to the chocolate one. I love the colour too, it’s an amazing shade of green – colour that is natural and very good for you as well. Overall, the texture of the cake was moist and substantial without being heavy. It cut really well, holding its shape and leaving few crumbs. It’s like having three cakes in one – all would have been great cakes in their own right, but I loved having the combination of all those different flavours together – sometimes just a forkful of pure matcha, or rhubarb or chocolate and other times a combination of any of those three or all three – wonderful! Chocolate and matcha maybe a bit old hat as a flavour combination now, but I reckon I am amongst a very select few who have tried it with rhubarb. Although the matcha and chocolate worked really well together, my favourite combination was the rhubarb and matcha, the sharp fruitiness of the rhubarb piercing the savoury undertones of the matcha tea. Although the matcha cheese topping was not quite the uniform bright green I’d wanted, it didn’t take me long to get used to the speckled look. It was also a great flavour combination complementing every element of the cake most successfully. When CT tried it, he compared it to a game of paper, scissors, stone, with each flavour trumping the other in succession depending on the proportions in each mouthful. In my humble opinion, this is a roaring success and would make a great birthday cake for someone.
Now I’ve used up all of my matcha powder, I need some more. All being well, I’m hoping to have another bash at entering this competition by making some more matcha cake next week – in time for CT’s birthday.
- Melted 100g chopped raw cocoa butter in a bowl over hot water
- Added 1 tbsp coconut oil.
- When melted, mixed in 4 tbsp raw cocoa powder and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt.
- Beat in 3 tbsp raw agave syrup (this is where I may have gone wrong as the recipe I was meant to be following suggested if not blended really well the agave syrup would sink – hey ho, guess what happened!).
- Spooned 1/4 of mixture into some shell shaped moulds.
- Added 1 tsp of whizzed up dried rose petals to another 1/4 and spooned that into rose shaped moulds.
- Added 1 tbsp lucuma powder to the remaining mixture and spooned 1/4 into a mini silicone loaf tin.
- Added a drop or cinnamon essential oil to the last remaining 1/4 and poured that into a mini silicone loaf tin.
- Put them all into the fridge to set for a couple of hours.
Not having visited St Ives for at least four years, I thought it was about time we renewed our acquaintance. It was my birthday and “I’ll do what I want to” – that was my line of reasoning and I did have the day off work booked anyway. I dragged CT along with me and we boarded the train westwards. Parking in St Ives is a bit of a nightmare and taking the train is the most sensible option on all counts – it’s a lovely ride.
I blame Chele at the Chocolate Teapot for this one. I don’t think I would have thought of doing this in a million years – pineapple rings with cherries in the middle were the stuff of nightmares for me when I was a child. Well, I may be exaggerating a tad here, but pineapple upside down cake was not my favourite. However when I saw this, made with fresh pineapple, it got me interested. Then, whilst out shopping, I saw a half price pineapple which was just about perfectly ripe. What option did I have?
- Dissolved 200g demerara sugar in a pan with 1/2 cup water and boiled for a few minutes until syrupy and golden.
- Took off the heat and stirred in 75g unsalted butter.
- Poured caramel into a 23cm cake thingie.
- Faffed around with a pineapple trying to skin and chop it into small segments – which I eventually achieved.
- Placed segments on top of the caramel.
- Melted 100g 85% cocoa with 125g unsalted butter.
- Beat 4 duck eggs with 225g vanilla sugar (you could use 1 tsp vanilla extract instead) for ages until really pale and thick.
- Poured in chocolate mixture and stirred to combine.
- Sieved in 170g flour (150g wholemeal spelt and 20g coconut flour) and 2 tsp baking powder then folded into mixture until just combined.
- Spooned mixture over the pineapple and baked at 160C for 50 mins.
- Creamed 175g unsalted butter with 75g caster sugar
- Sifted in 20g cocoa, 60g polenta, 170g plain flour, a pinch of salt and the ground seeds from 6 cardamom pods.
- Formed this into a ball with my hands and rolled out to about 1/2 cm thick then cut into rounds.
- I wasn’t expecting this mixture to spread so placed the rounds quite closely together on a lined baking sheet. They spread, so I didn’t get perfect rounds!
- Baked at 180C for 8 mins.
- Left to cool slightly then transferred onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Dusted lightly with caster sugar
A while back I was given this bright and cheerful award not only by Lucie at Cooking at Marystow but also BrownieVille Girl. I was really pleased and touched to get this from two such lovely and prolific bloggers and would like to apologise for taking so long to mention it here on my blog.
Having read loads of brownie recipes recently on various blogs I had brownies on the brain – nothing new there of course. So finding a rather ancient jar of organic dulce de leche gathering dust in the back of the cupboard, I knew exactly which brownies I was going to make. I took the recipe from Celia’s wonderful blog Fig and Lime Cordial where the pictures looked most mouthwatering.
- Melted 125g unsalted butter in a large pan with 100g 70% dark chocolate and 200g dark brown sugar.
- Mixed in 30g cocoa and removed pan from heat.
- Beat in 3 duck eggs, one at a time.
- Stirred in 1 tsp vanilla extract and pinch of sea salt.
- Sieved in 140g wholemeal flour and stirred until all incorporated.
- Poured mixture into a 9″ cake thingy.
- Spooned blobs of dulce de leche (250g) over the brownie mixture and then ran a knife through the mixture a few times to create a swirl effect.