Wednesday 26 April 2017

Matchasaurus Cakes with PureChimp

   Ahhh, matcha. I'm addicted - I have been for a couple of years - and I have at least one cup every day. I love it. I also love cake. In Japan - because they are oh so clever - they combine the two. The issue is that the West has tried to pick this up, and there's two ways we've gone about it: take a standard cake recipe and swap some of the flour for matcha, or take a standard cake recipe and swap the vanilla or cocoa powder for matcha. Neither of these make true matcha cakes.
   Matcha is not the same as flour - it absorbs more water but less fat than flour, resulting in a greasy cake. And if you swap out the flavouring for matcha, it's being compromised by two other ingredients in the cake. Salt is added to cakes to round off the sweetness - it's not there to be tasted, it's there to finish it. But matcha does that itself, which means your cake needs no salt. Matcha is also a delicate taste, and baking powder can completely eliminate it, which means if you've removed vanilla and used matcha instead, it's not going to taste like much.
   So how do you go about making a true matcha cake while maintaining the spongy texture and the delicate taste of the green tea?
   By using a more traditional recipe.
   And you have to make sure you use good quality matcha, and that you've stored it properly - ie in an air-tight container, in the fridge. Light, heat and oxygen can very quickly compromise the quality and taste of matcha powder, so correct storage is essential. In this case, I used Purechimp - I bounce about from brand to brand, trying different matchas, and Purechimp are among the top brands I've tried, and as they're currently having a sale and free shipping, you can get 20g of matcha for just £3.95! Perfect if you're keen to try but not sure you'll like it.

   I've used this recipe a few times, and as I was given a dinosaur cake mould for Christmas that I had yet to use, I decided to whip it out for this, especially since I'm still excited about these recent discoveries that could serve to shake up dinosaur classifications! So here are some matchasaurs!

10g sugar & 45g sugar, separated
3 egg yolks & 3 egg whites, separated
30ml oil
5g matcha powder
40g cake flour (or all-purpose flour and cornstarch; 2 tbsp cornstarch for every level cup of flour)
pinch cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to 160 C/325 F/gas mark 3 and line an 8 inch cake tin with parchment paper

2. Prepare green tea - add the matcha to 20ml boiling water and mix until smooth. Add 30ml of room temperature water and mix again, then set aside to cool.

3. In another bowl, mix the 10g of sugar with the egg yolks until the sugar has dissolved, then add the oil and whisk until just combined.

4. Add the green tea to the egg yolk mix and whisk thoroughly, so the colour is even.

5. Sift in the self raising flour and mix until almost combined - small lumps will remain, so don't over-beat!

6. In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites with a clean whisk until frothy, then add the cream of tartar and whisk until it forms a thick foam. Gradually whisk in the 45g of sugar, and continue until it forms firm peaks.

7. Now mix the yolk mixture until smooth, and add half of the egg white mixture and mix until almost even. Add the remaining egg whites and repeat. Now, using a spatula, begin to fold the mixture until totally even.

8. Spoon the mixture into your dino moulds or cake tin, and bake for half an hour for dinos, or 50-60 minutes for a cake, or until a tooth pick or knife comes out clean.

*Don't remove from moulds or tin until cool*


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