Matcha is stone-ground, fine powder of specially grown and processed Japanese green tea. The green tea plants for matcha are shade-grown for about three weeks before harvest, and the stems and veins are removed in processing. Many of you are familiar with green tea ice-cream offered at Japanese restaurants or ‘green tea lattes’ at Starbucks. Matcha is now being used internationally in all kinds of drinks, desserts (i.e. bavaroise) and even as seasoning (i.e. for tempura).
In this recipe, matcha is added to the batter to give its distinct flavor and color to the sponge cake for a roulade. For the filling, delicious anko/Japanese sweetened red-bean paste is added to the whipped cream, which also gives the natural light purple’y hue, and further, added whole red-beans/azuki for additional delight. Not only is this dessert uniquely tasty, but also in its colors. It will be a special surprise for ones you want to impress.
Matcha, anko and azuki beans are commonly found in your local Japanese or Asian markets.
Matcha Roulade Cake • 抹茶 ロールケーキ
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
For the sponge cake
• 45 g / 1/3 cup flour, unbleached, all purpose
• 1 Tbsp matcha (Japanese powdered green tea)
• 4 large eggs, at room temperature, whites and yolks separated
• 90 g / 1/3 cup+2 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided
For the filling
• 120 ~ 240 ml/ ½ ~ 1 cup heavy whipped cream
• 1 ~ 2 tsp granulated sugar
• 100 ~ 200 g/ 1/3~ 2/3 cup anko (Japanese sweetened red-bean paste)
• 50 g/ 2 ~ 3 Tbsp azuki (Japanese prepared red-beans)
• 1 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar for dusting (optional)
◊ If your baking pan happens to be larger than the amount of this recipe, or if it is not deep enough, make a baking pan out of parchment paper, as shown in the photos. Size of baking pan needed is about 25cm x 38cm x 3 cm (10″ x 15″ x 1.2″), not larger. Line the baking pan with parchment paper and spray parchment paper with non-stick spray.
◊ Whisk together flour and matcha and sift them 2 ~3 times or until mixed well.
◊ Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 175°C/350°F.
◊ In a stand mixer, beat egg whites with half of the sugar until peak forms.
◊ In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks with other half of the sugar until pale and creamy. Sprinkling flour a little at a time over the beaten egg yolks, gently fold with a silicone spatula, scraping the sides of the bowl until mixed. Fold the meringue into the yolk mixture in three parts, trying not to destroy the meringue as much as possible.
◊ Pour the cake batter into the lined baking pan. Using offset spatula, spread the batter evenly in the pan. Tap the baking pan onto the counter many times, until no more bubbles surface. Smooth the top with offset spatula. Bake for 16 ~ 18 minutes.
◊ When sponge cake is baked, remove from oven and tap a few times on the counter to prevent shrinkage. Remove the sponge cake with the parchment paper and place it on a flat surface. Cover with kitchen towel to prevent from drying while cooling.
◊ Place beater’s mixing bowl and whisk attachment(s) in the freezer/refrigerator for 15 minutes. Then place the whipping cream and sugar in the bowl and beat until it holds stiff and peaks. Add anko and using whisker, blend them well. (I used 120 ml of cream with 1 tsp sugar, and added 100 gram anko. If more filling is desired, double the amount I used.) Place the bowl in the refrigerator until ready to use.
◊ When cake has cooled, release papers on the side of the cake. Place another parchment paper on top to cover the cake and flip it over. Gently remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake (cake is about 12mm/½” thick). Using a serrated knife, cut off the top edge with diagonal cut (see photo below). This will close the cake with smooth, finer seam.
◊ Spread the cream mixture over the sponge cake. Coat a little thicker at bottom edge where the rolling is started, and will be the center of the roll. Sprinkle azuki beans all over. Making small folds, start rolling the cake. Utilizing the parchment paper under, use to help roll without direct pressure of touch on the sponge cake. Place the seam side on the bottom. Wrap the cake with the parchment paper and then air tight with plastic wrap. Let cake cool in the refrigerator, best overnight.
◊ When ready to serve, sprinkle on some confectioner’s sugar, using a fine strainer. Cut cake with sharp knife in sawing motion. Wipe knife with damp cloth after each cut.
~ どうぞめしあがれ • Douzo Meshiagare ~
So, what’s cooking in your kitchen?
 If these products are not available at your local stores (Japanese or Asian markets), here are options and check for the best prices available at amazon.com (if delivery service available to your locality).