Made by hands, expressed from the heart.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Dragon Green Tea Cake.


I have been a fan of a cake called Castella since I tasted from the Asian market. It is a sponge cake very popular in Japan that was brought by the Portuguese in the 16th century.
I really wanted to make a green tea flavored Castella, and I found a great recipe on Japanese Cooking 101. The only thing I realized is that there is no green tea in the recipe, so I adapted and added some green tea powder.
But searching for recipes, I found a beautiful decorated cake on Snapguide, and I really wanted to make a decoration too.
So I sort of combined these 2 awesome recipes to make what I wanted.
To make the decoration, I mixed the ingredients that Snapguide gave:
1 large egg white
30 grams of sugar
40 grams of flour
20 grams of unsalted butter(room temperature)

Mix everything well and place in a piping bag, with a round piping tip. Then start piping on parchment paper, placed on the bottom of your baking pan.
I used my dragon illustration to decorate, and wrote my last name in Japanese.
The pan with the decorated paper is placed on the refrigerator, while you make the cake.

Heat oven to 350 F I had all the ingredients out:
7 eggs (separated)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup warm milk
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 cup cake flour (sifted)
2 tbp green tea powder

Whisk egg whites to a meringue consistency, add sugar gradually, then egg yolks.
Add warm milk mixed with the honey slowly, and last gently fold flour and green tea.
It becomes a thick and fluffy batter.
Pour slowly on top of your drawing, in the cake pan with parchment paper.
I used a rectangular pan 12X8in, and baked for 35 minutes or until is golden brown on top(it might be 40 depending on the oven).

One of the tips that Japanese cooking 101 gives, is to remove from the oven and "drop the pan from a height of about 5 inches, to release air and avoid collapsing". So I believed it and did it.
Then let it cool on top of another piece of parchment paper, upside down.
Remove the paper after completely cooled.
I previously ruined a cake by pulling when it was hot, AND placing directly on top of a cooling rack (without parchment paper). Take a look.

But this time I was patient and waited to cool off.
Something else that I realized just after pulling the paper, is that the drawing (and the writing), comes out in mirror image.
So I hope that my name that I wrote before, does not become a bad word on its opposite way.

But it tastes very good, anyway.