Green tea cakes have a light hue and the pleasant fragrance of fresh tea. They are slightly moist and not excessively sweet.
Matcha is a particular type of green tea, available in a finely powdered form. It first gained popularity in the Japanese tea ceremony. Now, it is quite commonly used as an ingredient in different variety of sweets and desserts. Researches suggest that it reduces the risk of developing heart diseases and also of certain types of cancer. On account of these benefits of this beverage, it’s popularity is no longer confined to Japan and has spread to different Western countries, including North America. Here, we shall discuss two popular recipes made by using it.
Chocolate and Matcha Green Tea Cakes
- Flour, (sifted) 1¼ cups
- Eggs, 3
- Butter, (melted) 8 tbsp.
- Fine Blond Sugar, ¾ cup
- Matcha Tea, 1½ tsp.
- Baking Powder, 1 tsp.
- Sifted Unsweetened Cocoa, 1½ tsp.
- Cold Whole Milk, 2 tbsp.
- Chocolate, (70% cocoa, melted) 3oz.
- A pinch of salt
Beat the eggs well to obtain a white frothy color. Melt the butter, pour it on the eggs and stir well. Mix baking powder and salt to the sifted flour. Add this mixture to the eggs and prepare the batter. Now, separate the batter into two halves. Add the molten chocolate and the cocoa which has been diluted in cold milk into one half of the batter. Mix the Matcha tea with the other half. Take 6 small size molds and grease them properly. Sprinkle some flour on the greasy surface. Now, in each of these molds pour some chocolate batter first followed by some Matcha tea batter. Put the molds inside a preheated oven and bake at 356°F for 30 minutes. Check for consistency and texture by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready.
Green Tea Opera Cake
This is the traditional method of making this cake. The uniqueness of this cake is the fact that it has four different components. These are: cake, syrup, buttercream, and glaze. You have to prepare each one of those components and then arrange them to form this cake.
- Egg Whites, 6
- All-purpose Flour, ½ cup
- Granulated Sugar, 2 tbsp.
- Unsalted Butter, 3 tbsp.
- Ground Blanched Almonds, 2 cups
- Icing Sugar, (sifted) 2 cups
- Eggs, 6
- Matcha Tea, 1 tsp.
First, prepare the meringue. For this, take a mixer bowl with a whisk attachment. Pour the egg whites into it and beat it well till the soft peaks appear. Then, add the granulated sugar into the beaten egg and continue to beat up the mixture to make the peaks stiff. Take another mixer bowl with a paddle attachment and break all the six eggs into it. Then add the grounded blanched almonds, two cups of icing sugar and the most important ingredient, Matcha. Beat the mixture at a medium speed for around 3 minutes to get a mixture that is voluminous and light. Now, add the all-purpose flour into the mixture and again beat up at low speed. Take care that it should not get over-mixed.
The next step is to fold the meringue gradually into the mixture and then adding the molten butter. To bake the opera cake you have to divide your oven into three segments by placing a rack in the upper and the lower section of your oven. Preheat the oven at a temperature of 428°F. Take two jelly-roll pans and line them with parchment papers. Apply some melted butter on it. Pour the batter into these pans. Keep one of them in the middle of the oven and the other one at the bottom. Bake till layers of the cake get a golden brown color. It may take about 5 to 10 minutes. Take the pans out of the oven and cover with wax paper. Then turn over the pans and remove the parchment paper. Allow it to cool down.
Preparation of Buttercream
Take a large sized egg and one egg yolk. Whisk them in a mixer bowl with a whisk attachment at a high speed in order to make it foamy. Take ¼ cup of water, a cup of granulated sugar and a teaspoon of Matcha tea powder in a saucepan and heat it at a medium temperature, so that the sugar gets dissolved. Keep heating the syrup till it reaches 225°F. You can check the temperature with the help of an instant-read thermometer. Then remove from heat and pour it into the mixer bowl that contains the whisked eggs. While pouring, make sure that your mixer is at a low speed. Run the mixer at a high speed until the eggs get a thick texture. Now, mash 7 oz. of softened unsalted butter in a bowl and add it to the mixer. Mix it well to get a shiny buttercream. Allow this to refrigerate so that it becomes firm.
Preparation of Syrup
Take ½ cup of water, ⅓ cup of granulated sugar and one or two tablespoons of vanilla in a saucepan. Boil the mixture. After a boil, remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool.
Preparation of Glaze
Take ½ cup of heavy cream and 4 oz. of coarsely chopped white chocolate and melt both of them. Beat the mixture until it becomes smooth and allow it to cool for 8-10 minutes.
Setting up the Opera Cake
This is a challenging task. The look of the cake entirely depends on how well you set it up. Cut it into four equal pieces. Take a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Keep one piece of the cake on the baking sheet and pour a few drops of the syrup over its surface. Then properly spread half of the buttercream on it. Place the second piece over the first one and add some syrup and then the white chocolate glaze. Follow the same procedure for the remaining two pieces that should be placed on the top of these two pieces. Refrigerate the entire arrangement for half an hour so that it sets properly. You can do some trimming on the sides to give it the required smooth finish.
For the first timers, the procedure of opera cake recipes may seem slightly lengthy, but I am sure when it is ready, you will get immense creative satisfaction. The color, the rich flavor of the buttercream and the glaze will motivate you to make it many times and that too quite frequently.