Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to me (and Itadakimasu)

It seems fitting that my first post here on Itadakimasu should feature my birthday cake, and photos of said cake taken with my birthday camera (thanks, Mom and Dad!)

So here it is: Matcha Chiffon with whipped cream and raspberries.

I've been craving matcha chiffon cake for a while now - since last summer, actually, when I was most recently in Japan. While it's not exactly a traditional Japanese sweet, it's always been one of my favourites, and I thought my birthday would be a good excuse to borrow my neighbour's tube pan and get to work on re-creating it.

And while eating it in our Portland apartment is not exactly the same as eating it at the Dotoro cafe overlooking Ginza san-chome, I can't really complain.

The recipe is a modified version of the classic Joy of Cooking Chiffon Cake recipe, and goes as follows.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl, pour 3/4 cup slightly-less-than-boiling water over about a teaspoon of matcha (green tea powder). Stir to combine, and let cool. This is not at all the proper way to make drinking matcha, but will do as a substitute for water in the cake recipe, to bring out the tea flavour.

Sift together twice:
2 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup matcha (green tea powder)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In another bowl, combine:

5 egg yolks
matcha infusion (see above - should be about 3/4 cup liquid)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Stir egg yolk/matcha mixture into the flour/matcha mixture. You will have a fairly unappetizing batter, at this point, but I promise, it gets better.

In another large bowl, beat until stiff peaks form:
8 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar.

Using the spatulate item of your choice (I use a nifty silicone spatula/spoon thing I got from work), fold one quarter of the egg whites into the matcha batter, and then fold in the rest of the egg whites. They don't need to be fully combined - you'll still see streaks of white.

Kind of like that, but less blurry in real life.

Scrape the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan and spread evenly. Bake for 55-65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, and the top springs back when lightly pressed. My oven runs a little hot, so the cake was done after about 50 minutes.

When the cake is done, let it rest upside down over a bottle, or perched on four glasses - you know, usual faintly bizarre chiffon cake treatment - until cool, at least one and a half hours. When cool, run a thin-bladed knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it, and let it drop onto a serving platter or plate.

Frost with lightly sweetened whipped cream, and dust with matcha.

Matt was a fan of the raspberries on top of the cake, as well, and I found that they really made the green pop (and taste great, to boot!)

The finished product:


Michael said...

Hey Shan, way to go. A good start at a new project. Look forward to more...And I want a slice of that cake.

Lisa said...

Congrats on your bee-yoo-tee-ful new blog, Shannon! That cake DOES look nice. (Good thing I actually read the post before tactfully emailing you that your pictures came out green.) How have I gone this far in life without ever hearing of matcha?

Mona said...

Beautiful looking cake and good directions! I know it tasted yummy! Can't wait for your next concoction.

Matt said...

It was amazing!!!

Dr.Gray said...

Wow thats a lot of matcha. Was the taste overpowering or just really flavorful?