Thursday, February 21, 2013

Matcha Roll Cake with White Chocolate Cheese Cream

I am from Japan, but personally do not like matcha flavoured sweets.  For me, they are a bit too bitter.

The only matcha flavoured sweet I love is Starbucks Japan's matcha frappuccino.  I know similar matcha flavoured frappuccino is available in America, but, trust me, the one their Japan branches serve to customers is 100 times tastier!  Sooooo...yummy!  If you are a great matcha fan and have a chance to visit Japan, you must try it! 

Having said that however, even if you are a matcha freak, traveling to Japan to taste the frappuccino is not a cheap option.  So why don't you try making the matcha roll cake using my recipe?

I created this recipe inspired by the flavour of Starbucks Japan's matcha frappuccino.  My husband who is British (from the county of tea!) hates any forms of tea, but even he enjoyed this roll cake very much.

I added matcha to the batter of the sponge, but it has none of the strong bitterness of green tea and a very mild flavour.  The filling is sweetened with white chocolate without adding sugar at all and its texture is heavier than whipped cream, but lighter than butter cream.  It is a very delicately delicious roll cake.

Ingredients for 2 rolls
2 tablespoons unsalted butter + extra for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons milk (I used 1% low fat milk)
2.8 oz (80g) cake flour
5 teaspoon cooking matcha*
pinch of salt
4 eggs
4.2 oz (120g) raw cane sugar

6.4 oz (180g) mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1.4 oz (40g) white chocolate, melt in microwave at 1000W for 40 seconds

some matcha and powdered sugar for dusting

Note: I usually use metric scales, especially when baking.  I converted the metric figures of my recipe into avoirdupois, but if your scales have a convertible function to metric, I strongly recommend to use the metric figures that I included in the above recipe.

* Cooking matcha is available at Japanese stores, but I actually bought it at the Oriental corner of American supermarkets (QFC).  I will attach a picture of the cooking matcha that I used at the end of this post.

Combine the butter and milk in a microwavable dish and heat in a microwave at 1000W for 30 - 40 seconds to melt.  Stir well and leave in a warm place to avoid setting.

Grease an 11 x 16 inch oven tray with the butter and line with parchment paper.  Make sure that each end of the long side has a couple of inches paper hanging over the end of the tray (useful for removing the sponge from the tray when it is baked). 

Sieve the flour, matcha powder and salt together.  Set aside.

With an high speed electric beater, beat the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until it becomes thick and pale (it really takes ages, maybe 6 - 7 minutes!), then reduce the speed to low and beat a further 1 to 2 minutes to make the mixture smoother.

Carefully fold the shifted flour mixture into the bowl.

Add the melted butter mixture and fold together making sure not to break the batter's fluffy bubbles.

Spread the batter into the lined tray and smooth the surface.  Gently drop the tray a couple of times on the kitchen surface to remove the air from the batter and spread it out more evenly.

Bake in a preheated oven at 400F for 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of sponge comes out clean.

Lift the sides of paper to remove the sponge from the tray to a wire rack, cover it with a large enough parchment paper to prevent it from drying and cool it completely.

To make the filling, place the cheese and cream in a mixing bowl and lightly beat with a whisk until they are incorporated but still a little runny.  Do not over whisk the filling as it will becomes thicker when you add the melted chocolate.

Add the melted chocolate into the cheese mixture and beat until it becomes fully spreadable cream.

Invert the sponge and gently remove the parchment paper that the sponge was cooked with.  Invert the sponge one more time to the parchment paper that you used for the cover (now brown side up) and spread the filling all over the sponge (note that you should be spreading the filling on the "cooked" side of the sponge!).

Starting at one of the long sides, gently roll up the sponge and use the parchment paper to wrap it and hold it in place.  Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before slicing. 

Trim off the each end of roll cake and divide it half and half.  A trick for slicing beautifully is to warm up your knife in hot water, dry with a paper towel, and slice whilst the knife is still hot.  Make sure you clean the knife every single slice!  Dust one piece with the matcha powder and the other with the powdered sugar.

I bought this can of cooking matcha
at my local QFC's Oriental food corner.

If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!

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