Matcha Chocolate Roll – We Should Cocoa 6


Having been inspired by the combination of tea and chocolate a year or so ago, I haven’t done nearly as much baking with these ingredients as I’d like to have done. With tea and chocolate as this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge, it’s time to try a few things. At least I’m hoping it will be a few things, but time will tell.

The inspiration for this matcha chocolate roll came in a round about way from Dan Lepard and his latest bake Hemp & Ginger Cake. I haven’t used hemp flour for a long time in baking and had, in fact, forgotten all about it. It has a lovely green colour, not nearly as bright as matcha, but still very distinctive. That got me thinking about doing some sort of hemp cake with matcha icing to contrast the two shades of green. I was really pleased with the one cake I actually managed to make using matcha before my supply ran out. Thanks to vitalife, I now have a small amount to play with again – if I don’t drink it all as tea first that is.

Matcha Chocolate Roll

As it happened, I was unable to get hold of any hemp flour, but I decided to go with Dan’s suggestion of some sort of Swiss roll and came up with this matcha chocolate roll which I hoped would be a good showcase for the matcha and chocolate colour combo. My attempts at rolling up the sponge have been less than successful in the past, so I thought I’d follow Lorraine Pascale’s advice and add a bit of water to the sponge mix. 

This is what I did:

  • Whisked 2 duck eggs with 2oz castor sugar for a few minutes until the mixture was thick, pale and had hugely increased in volume.
  • Poured 1 tbsp of lemon verbena tea down the side of the bowl – but didn’t mix in at this stage.
  • Placed 1 tbsp cocoa powder in the scales, then put in enough flour to bring the weight up to 2oz (using half wholemeal spelt & half white).
  • Sifted this into the egg mixture with a pinch of salt.
  • Folded in flour and tea as carefully as possible so as not to loose too much of the air that had already been whisked in.
  • Poured in to a lined 20cm x 29cm swiss roll tin and spread the mixture to the edges of the tin.
  • Baked at 180C for 10 minutes.
  • Turned this out onto a sheet of greasproof paper scattered with caster sugar.
  • Peeled off the baking paper and rolled up whilst warm.
  • Left to cool.
  • Creamed 50g unsalted butter with 100g sifted icing sugar
  • Beat in 2 tsp of matcha powder
  • Mixed in 1 tbsp milk and beat until a smooth consistency achieved.
  • Unrolled the sponge and spread the buttercream over the surface.
  • Rolled up the sponge for the final time.

Despite Lorraine’s advice, I still managed to break and crack the sponge when trying to roll it. However, this matcha chocolate roll has still been my most successful Swiss roll attempt so far (see choc & blackcurrant and choc & chestnut) and I was pleased with it. It got the thumbs up from my mother as well.

I love the vibrant green against the dark chocolate and it tasted pretty damn good too. This matcha is not as strong as the one that CT brought back from Japan, so the matcha taste in this is more subtle than I was expecting. A slice, I found, went very nicely with a cup of matcha tea. CT thought it had a firm texture, was not too sweet and the taste of tea persisted pleasantly on the palate. Neither of us could taste the lemon verbena tea, but it was delicious and disappeared rather quickly.


  1. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    17th February 2011

    never had matcha but I always like the look of it – great in this swiss roll – and I admire your rolling as I have not had much success rolling (though I have only tried roulades which are similar)

  2. Leave a Reply

    Brownieville Girl
    17th February 2011

    Looks really appeitzing – I just love the bright green with the chocolate brown.

    Like Johanna I haven’t tried matcha yet – I’ll be keeping any eye out for some from now on!

    P.S. I think you did a great job rolling it up.

  3. Leave a Reply

    17th February 2011

    This looks fantastic, very eye catching and mouth wateringly lovely.

  4. Leave a Reply

    17th February 2011

    I love the colour contrast! The swiss roll looks wonderful.

  5. Leave a Reply

    17th February 2011

    This is something that I wouldn’t normally go for, however, your wonderful description definitely whets my appetite! A very attractive dessert indeed.

  6. Leave a Reply

    18th February 2011

    Wow, love the look of that swiss roll! I’ve never managed to make one successfully so am comletely in awe of you. I love the colour contrast too. Never tried matcha either – is it completely different in flavour from normal tea? I’m not much of a tea fan to be honest!

  7. Leave a Reply

    19th February 2011

    The colour of the filling is insane! How gorgeous! I have some instant matcha powder that I use for both drinks and cooking, although it makes my teeth green.

  8. Leave a Reply

    19th February 2011

    What a stunning contrast of colours, Choc! I can’t get over how bright the green is!

  9. Leave a Reply

    20th February 2011

    Love the colours of this bake. Looks so elegant.

  10. Leave a Reply

    20th February 2011

    Fab! Love the idea and the colours are great. When we were kids ‘toothpaste’ cake was a standard birthday cake, choc cake w mint flavoured green icing. Yours is a much more sophisticated version in colour, tone and taste!

  11. Leave a Reply

    20th February 2011

    Johanna – this is the first time I’ve tried make a roll with flour. The secret, apparently, is to put in a bit of water, but that doesn’t sound quite right for a flourless one.

    BVG – thank you. matcha is well worth a try if you can find it. It has quite a distinctive flavour, but you can make it fairly dilute and still get a good green colour.

    Kath – thank you. Trouble with the mouth watering bit, is that it didn’t last very long!

    Suelle – there aren’t many natural colours that give such a bright colour, so it’s good to find one that is vibrant and tastes good too.

    Dom – I’ve let you down again – it was polished off here with remarkable rapidity.

    Hazel – because you don’t like tea?

    Gillian – please do.

    C – it’s amazing what a camera can hide 😉 Matcha has a very distinct flavour which is quite different from normal tea – I like it but do have it rather weak.

    FoodyCat – hadn’t noticed the green teeth before. Shall be racing off to a mirror next time I have it.

    Celia – it’s hard to believe until you try it yourself.

    Ocean Breezes – thanks and thanks for the good wishes too.

    Chele – elegance is not something I manage very often, so always pleased to get that particular compliment.

    Oxslip – love the idea of a toothpaste cake. I used to use green colouring too, but now I’m not keen on food colourings unless they are real foodstuffs so am particularly delighted when such colours can be found.

  12. Leave a Reply

    Baking Addict
    21st February 2011

    wow looks great! I’ve never made a swiss roll before but I’ll be pleased if it turns out as beautifully as yours. Looks like we had a similar idea for the challenge – chocolate and green tea. It’s still in the oven so hopefully I’ll blog about it before the deadline.

  13. Leave a Reply

    foodie and the chef
    22nd February 2011

    What a fun-looking treat – this is divine 😀

  14. Leave a Reply

    22nd February 2011

    Baking Addict – thank you. I was quite pleased with this roll, but still a way to go on that rolling. Do hope you have time to blog about your bake – am looking forward to seeing what you’ve made.

    Foodie & Chef – thank you for your kind comment.

  15. Leave a Reply

    25th February 2011

    I love this challenge! I’ll definitely come back to check out the next ‘issue’ of We should cocoa and maybe take part too!!

  16. Leave a Reply

    7th February 2013

    This looks delicious, and I’ve been meaning to learn to make swiss rolls…

    • Leave a Reply

      7th February 2013

      Thanks Rachel. Swiss rolls are my nemesis. I haven’t made one that’s been entirely successful yet, but I will try again – and no doubt again :-S

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