Saturday, May 17, 2008

More Matcha

My freshman year of college I was fortunate to be placed with a roommate who has now become a very good friend. We found that we had a major trait in common even though our native languages used entirely different characters in their alphabets. That trait was not being from Texas, and your shared sense of alienation along with a love for sushi has gotten us far. I wish I could say that I have taught her equally what she has taught me, but the weights seem very unbalanced. My Japanese vocabulary has expanded beyond "Konichiwa," and I have come to appreciate the taste of many new things, including matcha tea.

Aw, matcha.

I'll take this fine green tea powder whisked into a frothy tea or as an ingredient in any baked good. Recently my again-roommate, Meiko, made a batch of cookies from our favorite new recipe that turned out a cheerful springtime green. Around the same time I came across La Tartine Gourmande's loaf cake of marbled white chocolate and matcha, so the two of us scheduled a study break in the midst of our final week of classes to bake. I brought the white chocolate my mom had sent from Washington, and she brought the matcha powder she had brought from Japan.

I had never made a marble cake before, so I did a bit of research on the best way to acheive a successful marble pattern. After learning about spooning and swirling, layering and swirling, etc. we ended up just diving in and found that the batter was so thick that spooning and swirling worked the best (it still came out prettier on top than on the inside, but I liked having large enough bites of the different flavors to taste them on their own too).

The flavor combination in this cake is brilliant. However, I would do things a little differently next time. We used a 9'x5' loaf pan and the batter barely filled half of it. Granted, it rose in the oven, but then I pulled it out too early because the knife appeared to come out clean and the top was nicely browned. Next time I certainly wouldn't want the edges to get any more done, and yet a gooey batter of this sort doesn't work like it does for brownies. So, I would propose trying a shallower pan to even out the baking without going into the land of dry crumbs, or I would adjusting the ingredients to make a more wet batter.

I am getting more and more excited for my trip to Japan and the chance to drink (and eat) more matcha. I still have to pinch myself to believe it is happening, and yet my departure is less than two months away!

Here is the recipe:

White Chocolate and Matcha Tea Marbled Cake.



Anonymous said...

Wow green marble cake looks like a fun way to eat cake/loaf. I am keen on trying new flavours and foods and it is so cool that you are able to combine the matcha into a marble cake. Also I must say the photos of your food are very lovely :)

Kevin said...

Matcha and white chocolate are one of my favorite flavour combos! That cake looks really good!

Kate / Kajal said...

i love matcha in desserts , cakes and ice creams ...but in tea.. i 'm not sure. Still prefer the good ole green tea...with the green tea leaves.
Matcha and W.Choc are lovely together.

Rachael said...

love it, Lael! Oh, wait till you see our new kitchen--for a change I will sit on the counter and talk to you while you do the cooking. I can't wait to see you!! Sweet conversations...sweeter then anything you can bake. love you, Lael!

Lael said...

Helen (a.k.a. not so "anonymous"): thanks so much for commenting on this little blog of mine. please keep coming back! ps. I'm so glad we're friends :)

Kevin: where have I been while so many others have been enjoying this ingenius flavor combination? obviously out of the loop.

Kajal: I agree that matcha really does do something special in desserts that the tea alone doesn't make, I bet it's the sugar.

Mom: I am definitely looking forward to that big new kitchen! love you too.

Dhanggit said...

i love matcha in my desserts too. they are perfect with almost anything; chocolate, raspberries,citrus. I just love them. Oh God i miss Tokyo :-( "sabishii"