Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Matcha Marble Cake

Late last week I spent hours in bed feverishly battling with what I think was a 24-hour bug possibly afflicted upon me when I was (briefly) caring for my baby nephew. I hate to think someone as adorable as him could be harbouring such nasties in his cute little body but his mum assured me it was possible for she too has fallen ill from whatever the poor little guy is still suffering from.

Of course feeling under the weather affords you time in bed, spent by either sleeping the illness off or hungrily (and I do mean it in all literal sense) leafing through volumes of your favourite books looking for a prospective baking project. So after indulging in the latter and tagging a few exciting recipes I would likely try, I decided on making something completely ordinary instead. A marble cake. Simple, tried, tested and often delicious.

You understand that there are very few things in life that brings us comfort when we are ill, feeling a little half empty or sorry for ourselves. For me, a warm beverage (preferably made by somebody else) like a cup of tea (strong and with a splash of milk, no sugar) or coffee (1 part coffee, 2 parts soy, no sugar) accompanied by something like a slice of cake (something chocolatey but nothing fancy please) or a biscuit usually helps but it depends largely on how lousy I feel to begin with but I digress...

There is little anyone can or will object to when it comes to how perfectly swirls of bittersweet chocolate and aromatic vanilla blend into a moist buttery cake so the thought of adding another flavour was almost too wrong - afterall, why fix something that isn't broken, right? I succumbed to the great temptation nevertheless and decided to use some matcha (which is now officially amongst one of my favourite flavouring agents) recently procured at quite a dear price.

I think this "bold" step I decided to take was well worth it even if just for the aesthetics of the cake alone. I mean, wouldn't you agree the jade green, intense chocolate and creamy yellow colours really look good together? Of course, the smokey, grassy flavour of matcha pairs so well with chocolate too so although this cake lacked the perfect texture (I found it slightly crumbly), it did provide me the perfect comforting I was after.

340g flour
1tbs + 1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
120g butter
250g sugar
2 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
200g sour cream
80ml full cream milk
60g dark chocolate (at least 55%)
1tsp matcha powder
(makes a 20cm loaf)
pre-heat oven to 180C and adjust the rack to the center of the oven. Spray and line tin with baking paper.
sift dry ingredients onto a sheet of paper and set aside.
melt dark chocolate in double boiler or in a microwave oven, stirring occassionally until the chocolate melts taking care not to burn it.
cream butter and sugar using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a hand mixer until soft and creamy. Add eggs one at a time making sure each egg is well incorporated and scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the next. Add sour cream and vanilla.
fold the sifted dry ingredients and milk in thirds, alternating dry and wet ingredients taking care not to overmix.
divide batter equally between 3 bowls. Add cooled melted chocolate to one and stir to combine. Add matcha powder to another bowl.
fill the prepared tin with alternating spoonfuls of each batter. Using the tip of a knife, make 3 figure eights to create the marbling effect.
bake for 60-90 minutes or until tester inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes before removing the tin. Wrap the cake with cling film while it's still slightly warm.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey, I dont know where to put my comments in, too many things here that I like very very much. I wish that I have that passion about food as yours. Hey, may u teach me some. I really like them, your recipes.

Hope u are alway happy and enjoy your cooking life.

All the best.
Tuan Ngo