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Sunday, November 23, 2008

A week of birthday cake

It's been a busy week.

And whilst birthdays don't seem to have quite the same appeal as when you're say, ten years old, the prospect of cake and a week of birthday dinners more than eases the psychological trauma.

Sushi with the travelling dinner party crowd (now christened Stomachs Eleven) was followed by the cutest chocolate mud cake from Michel's Patisserie. Sliced carefully into six pieces, its richness meant the mini portions were actually perfect in size after a colossal dinner.

Then there were homemade chocolate cupcakes by Geet, a moist and soft-textured recipe made with dark chocolate and buttermilk.

And for a combined birthday lunch with the newly-turned Master Four, there was Nigella Lawson's honey bee cake made by the talented Veruca Salt. A dearth of marzipan at the supermarket meant Veruca had to make her own. The bees were the hit of the day and the cake was soft and almost squidgy, aromatic with the scent and taste of honey.

I reprised the popular green tea and red bean sponge cake for the family crowd as well. This time I used a sponge cake recipe that was softer and lighter in texture than the Victoria sandwich cake. The sides of the cake was pressed with toasted flaked almonds, and garnished on top with strawberies and curls of white chocolate.

Light and fluffy green tea sponge cake with red bean

4 eggs
3/4 cup (165g) caster sugar
1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
1 tablespoon cornflour
2 teaspoons matcha powder
15g butter
1/3 cup (80ml) boilding water

375ml fresh cream
2 teaspoons matcha powder
250g red bean paste (preferably in a plastic packet)
80g toasted flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Beat eggs in a large bowl using an electric mixer until thick and fluffy, about five minutes. Slowly add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, beating well between each addition.

Sift the flour and cornflour together three times. Sift a fourth time into the egg mixture, then add the matcha powder. Use a rubber spatula or metal spoon to quickly and lightly fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

Combined the melted butter and boiling water in a cup, then pour down the side of the bowl into the batter. Gently mix through the batter, ensuring there is no puddle of water left unmixed at the bottom of the bowl.

Divide mixture evenly between two greased 20cm round cake pans and bake at 180C for about 25 minutes or until pale golden on top and the edges have pulled away from the sides of the pan. As soon they are removed from the oven, transfer to cooling racks lined with baking paper.

Beat the matcha powder with the cream until you reach the soft peak stage. Spread a third of the cream on the top of one sponge cake. Snip a small corner off your red bean paste packet and pipe the red bean into spirals on the cake. If you are using tinned red bean paste you may have to thin the paste with a light vegetable oil and transfer to a piping bag. The red bean spirals should be reasonably even (either thin spirals all the way around or fatter spirals with gaps in-between) but don't have to be too neat.

Place the other sponge cake on top then slather the top and sides with the rest of the green tea cream. Press the flaked almonds around the edges of the cake. Decorate the top of the cake with halved strawberries and fill the centre with curls of white chocolate.

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Green tea and red bean cake
Green tea marble cake
Green tea and almond cookies
5 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/23/2008 06:52:00 pm


  • At 11/23/2008 9:06 pm, Blogger PiCkLeS said…

    That cake looks awesome I might give it a go around x'mas where do you buy your red bean paste?

  • At 11/23/2008 10:40 pm, Blogger Maria@TheGourmetChallenge said…

    An entire week consisting of birthday cakes! I couldn't think of anything better.

    It's my birthday soon, hope I get two weeks worth of cakes!

    Those tiny bee's are ultra cute too!

  • At 11/24/2008 7:25 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You know I'm not a fan of green tea or red bean paste but your cake looked spectacular and even tasted good. I was very tempted to have another slice.

  • At 11/24/2008 8:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    i love green tea matcha!! greentea latte... green tea cake.. everything green tea! so im glad u made green tea cake! yum!hehehe.. :)

  • At 11/25/2008 11:04 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Pickles - I get my red bean paste at Thai Kee above Market City. It's also available at Dong Nam (corner Ultimo Road and Thomas Street) but most Asian grocery stores should stock it.

    Hi Maria - lol. Yep the best thing about birthdays is the promise of cake. Happy birthday to you and hope you get lots of cake as well!

    Hi Veruca Salt - Aww high praise indeed! Have I converted you? Your bee cake was very cool. I think yours turned out prettier than Nigella's :)

    Hi Kay - Hehe, glad you enjoyed the cake. You should get a tin of matcha powder and add it to everything :) You can easily make green tea ice cream that way!


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