Christmatcha Eve

December 2009

Christmatcha Eve Cake
Chocolate Matcha Swirl Cake

To offset my lack of Christmas spirit in the form of an ol’ tannenbaum, I made an edible formation of cupcakes with green boughs of matcha buttercream, golden stars of candied ginger and a fresh coating of coconut snow.  Fortunately, my tree was portable for there was a Christmas Eve festivity at Dana’s house in need of a dessert.

A Note About Matcha Powder From Our Friend Wikipedia

Matcha is made from shade-grown tea leaves also used to make gyokuro. The preparation of matcha starts several weeks before harvest, when the tea bushes are covered to prevent direct sunlight. This slows down growth, turns the leaves a darker shade of green and causes the production of amino acids that make the resulting tea sweeter. Only the finest tea buds are hand picked. After harvesting, if the leaves are rolled out before drying as usual, the result will be gyokuro (jade dew) tea. However, if the leaves are laid out flat to dry, they will crumble somewhat and become known as tencha (碾茶). Tencha can then be de-veined, de-stemmed, and stone ground to the fine, bright green, talc-like powder known as matcha.

*My best advice for buying matcha is to find an Asian grocery store and ask for assistance (unless the store is so authentic that assistance is an exchange of hand gestures, then…good luck!) because the green tea options are endless and difficult to distinguish.

Cake Ingredients

3/4 +  2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2  cup pure cane sugar
1/2  tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup organic brown rice syrup
8 tablespoon (1 stick) butter
3 large eggs
3 oz chocolate
2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoon Matcha tea powder
1 teaspoon baking powder

Matcha Buttercream Icing

1 stick butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon matcha powder
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For the Cupcakes

Melt the chocolate using a double boiler and add the unsweetened cocoa powder and ¼ cup coconut milk.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt and ginger into a large bowl.

Separate the eggs

Cream together sugar, brown rice syrup and butter.  Add the egg yolks one at a time and continue to mix until well combined.

Gradually add flour mixture to the wet ingredients.

Fold in the egg whites.

Divide the batter into two halves.

To the first batter add matcha tea powder and mix well.

To the second batter add the melted chocolate and mix well.

Grease mini cupcake pan

Pour half chocolate then half matcha into each mold, fill to about 3/4 full (the cake will expand as it bakes). With a thin chopstick make a swirling movement in the batter mixture. This will create a beautiful marble effect in the cupcake.

Bake in 350 F degree preheated oven for 30 minutes.

For the Icing

Mix matcha in with the coconut milk to make a paste.  Beat butter briefly, scrape bowl.  Add the sifted powdered sugar and matcha paste. Beat until smooth.

For the Garnish

Candied Ginger + Organic Coconut flakes

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