They say third time’s the charm right? Well I sure hope so because this is the third time I am writing this post. Blogger keeps deleting all the text once I save the post and it is driving me nuts.
Let’s get back to the main point of this blog post. It is a very important main point because it involves matcha. It seems like matcha is extremely trendy nowadays – matcha cafes and matcha-flavoured anything and everything are popping up everywhere. Not that I am complaining at all because matcha is my fav. Matcha ice cream? Give me eight scoops. Matcha mochi? Sorry, I just finished the entire container.
If you ever visit Vancouver in the spring, you will be either admiring the cherry blossoms or having the worst allergies because of the same cherry blossoms. I somehow manage to do both during the spring time. Victor and I wanted to take advantage of cherry blossom season in Vancouver and do a cherry blossom-themed cake shoot. We decided to make all the flavours in the cake be Asian-inspired as well, so I went with a black sesame cream cheese matcha chiffon cake to be adorn with the small pink blossoms.
We did this shoot a week before my birthday, so I could not resist placing a candle and some homemade gold star toppers on the cakes. A little behind the scenes fun fact for you: I placed the candle too close to one of the gold star toppers and the entire topper caught on fire. It was quite hilarious…and scary…but more on the hilarious side of things. (Evidence: scroll to the very bottom)
Besides the gold star toppers, I also had five cakes in three different sizes! It isn’t a real birthday celebration unless you have five individual cakes right?!
Matcha chiffon cake
- 220 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 225 g (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
- 225 g (1 and 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp (heaping tbsp) of matcha powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup milk
Black sesame cream cheese filling
- 1 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
- 225 g (1 cup) white sugar
- 1/2 cup ground black sesame
Matcha meringue kisses
- 2 egg whites
- 125 g (1 cup) icing sugar
- 1/2 tbsp matcha powder
The Cake Base
- Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Line the cake pan with parchment paper. My pan was 13 x 9 x 2. You can use whatever sized pan you like, you will just have to adjust for the baking temperature and your layer will be thinner/thicker than the ones pictured in the post.
- With a mixer, cream together the room temperature butter and sugar until it becomes pale yellow in colour. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until eggs are well incorporated. Add the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, sift matcha powder over the flour – you do not want large clumps of matcha in your cake! Add in the baking powder and salt. Mix well.
- Add the bowl of dry ingredients to the bowl of the wet ingredients. Slowly add in the half cup of milk (adjust the amount of milk based on the consistency of the batter).
- Bake cake for 40 – 45 minutes, checking the doneness of the cake at around 35 minutes. Let the cake cool completely before removing/cutting it.
- Once the cake has completely cooled, use a cake ring and cut out three even layers. If your sheet of cake is not large enough to cut three layers, you can cut out two nice cake layers and use the scraps to construct a bottom layer. Alternatively, you can make a two-layered cake and make mini cakes with the remainder of the cake. The possibilities are endless! I cut out two thick cake layers and cut those in half…making a four layer cake.
- To assemble, place a layer of cake down and smother on a generous portion of the cream cheesing filling. Alternate between the cake layer and cream cheese layers until you have a cake with desired cake and cream cheese layers.
- Decorate the cake however you like. I used a combination of matcha meringues, berries and flowers. Before I topped the cake with berries and flowers, I dusted a thin coat of matcha sugar on the top layer of the cake – I thought this made the cake look more presentable. To make the matcha sugar, just sift matcha powder over icing sugar and the amount of matcha depends on what colour you want the matcha sugar to be. You can skip this step if your top layer is a cream cheese layer (versus a naked cake layer).
Black sesame cream cheese
- In a bowl, beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, and ground black sesame. Beat until smooth, then gently fold in whipped cream with a spatula.
Optional: Meringue Pebbles (make these the night before):
- Preheat the oven to 200F and place a piece of parchment paper atop a baking sheet.
- In a glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy using an electric mixer. Sprinkle in the powdered sugar and matcha powder a little at a time, while continuing to whip at medium speed. When the mixture becomes stiff and shiny, stop mixing, and transfer the mixture to a pastry bag. Pipe the meringue out onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1.5 hours, turn off oven, and let meringues sit in the oven overnight if possible. Meringues should be dry to the touch and can be easily removed from baking sheet.