Monday, 28 April 2014

Matcha Azuki Cake with Azuki Cream and Ombre Matcha White Chocolate Hearts -- Birthday and wedding anniversary cakes

My neighbor loved my Matcha Azuki layered cake with Azuki cream so much that she wanted this flavor for her hubby's birthday! So I made this cake with more red bean cream as requested by her and made some green tea white chocolate hearts for decorating the cake, ombre style. A friend knew of it and would like me to make a small cake with the same flavor for her wedding anniversary. I ended up making two cakes for the weekend! My friend has kindly helped to take a nice photo of a slice of the cake.

As I am a newbie at frosting whole cakes and cake decorating, I decided to go for a simple but sweet design, therefore the ombre green tea hearts...just in case my frosting was uneven :p. I didn't dare to pipe the requested birthday message on the cake directly too just in case I make mistakes. I piped the message using dark compound chocolate on white chocolate base.

The hearts were made 2 days before I baked the cakes. No food coloring is added to create the different shades of hearts. Here's the recipe for the hearts from the darkest to the lightest shade:

Ingredients (makes 80 big hearts (2.5cm) and 80 small hearts (1.2cm)):

45g compound white chocolate
5g compound dark chocolate
2 tsp matcha powder

Any leftover from (A)
45g compound white chocolate
1 tsp matcha powder

Any leftover from (B)
40g compound white chocolate
1/4 tsp matcha powder

Any leftover from (C)
35-40g compound white chocolate

50g compound white chocolate

1. Place all ingredients in (A) in a small bowl and melt the chocolate using double boiling method. Keep stiring until all the chocolate is melted and the matcha powder is well incorporated.
2. Transfer the melted chocolate into a piping bag with a small round tip (I used ziplock bag fitted with wilton #3 tip) and pipe the hearts onto a tray lined with baking sheet. You may print a template or trace heart shaped cookie cutters onto paper to create the template, and place it under the baking sheet.
3. Repeat the steps with the rest of the shades of green. Allow the chocolates to dry completely before attempting to remove from the baking sheet. Store in airtight container in a cool dry place (not in the fridge) until you are ready to assemble the cake.

 Don't they look pretty on the trays :)

I didn't use up all the hearts for the cakes but I prefer to err on the side of having too much than too little. I made a 7" round cake and a 4" heart shaped cake, with 2 layers of Matcha and 2 layers of Azuki flavored cakes for each cake.

I adapted the cake recipe from my previous bake with slightly more egg whites added.


Azuki egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks (65g eggs)
10g caster sugar
23g Canola oil
35g Azuki bean paste, pressed through sieve to remove skins (I used canned ones)
10g water
28g cake flour
1/3 tsp vanilla essence
a few drops of liquid red food coloring

Meringue for Azuki batter
3 and 1/2 egg whites
37g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Matcha egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks
12g caster sugar
25g Canola oil
35g water
33g cake flour
5g Matcha powder (try to use a good brand for stronger flavor)
1/3 tsp vanilla essence

Meringue for Matcha batter
3 and 1/2 egg whites
42g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Red bean cream (double the recipe for larger cake)
200ml whipping cream
2 tbs icing sugar
1 tsp gelatin
1 tbs water
3 tbs of red bean paste, pressed through sieve and discard skins
3 tbs red bean paste with skins

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line the tins with baking sheet. I used two 7" round tins and two smaller tins (6" or less) for each flavor. This recipe can also be used for one 10 x 10" tray.
2. Prepare egg yolk batter by first whisking sugar and egg yolk together, followed by oil, water (and bean paste for Azuki flavor) and vanilla essence.
3. Add in sifted flour bit by bit (Matcha powder as well for the Matcha flavor). Continue whisking until no trace of flour is seen.
4. Add red coloring until desired shade is reached for Azuki batter.
5. Prepare meringue by beating egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks are formed. Gradually add sugar until stiff peaks are formed.
6. Add 1/3 of meringue into egg yolk batter and mix well. Gently but quickly fold in rest of meringue in 2 batches.
7. Pour batter into tins. Bang the tin on table to release air bubbles
8. Bake for 15-16min. Leave to cool completely with a baking sheet over the cake. Prepare each flavor of batter at separate times such that it goes straight into the oven after folding in the meringue so as not to deflate the egg whites.
9. Cut (if your final cake is of a different shape/size from your pan) and assemble the cake layers. If you are not assembling the cake immediately, keep the cakes tightly wrapped and refrigerated. Cold cakes also prevent the dairy cream from melting too fast during assembly,

The stacked up layers of cake look pretty too :)

 10. Prepare the red bean cream. Sprinkle 1 tsp of gelatin over 1 tbs of cool water and let it stand for a couple of minutes until the gelatin has absorbed the water. Heat for 20-30 seconds in microwave oven on medium high-high heat until gelatin dissolves. Take 1.5 tbs of whipping cream and warm it up in the microwave oven. Add the warm cream into the gelatin mixture, stir until well combined and set aside.
11. Use an electric mixer to whip cold whipping cream with icing sugar until firm peaks form. Be careful not to over-beat the cream or it will separate.Gradually add in the gelatin mixture and whip until well combined. Fold in the sieved red bean paste one tablespoon at a time until well combined. Chill the cream in the fridge for another 5-10 minutes if it is too soft and runny before frosting the cake.
12. Assemble the cake by placing a layer of Azuki cake on a cake board placed on a turntable. Apply a layer of red bean cream and sprinkle one (or two for large cake) tablespoon of red bean paste on top of the cream.

13. Place a Matcha cake on top and press down gently but firmly and let the cream bleed out from the sides. Repeat step 12 with alternating cake flavors.

14. Pour red bean cream on top of the assembled cake and use a large offset or straight edged spatula to spread the cream. This was really challenging for a first-timer like me! I had to place the cake and bowl of cream back in the fridge again for 10 minutes before reworking to make the surface of the cake as smooth as possible.

15. Line the sides of the cake with hearts in the following manner:

16. Continue decorating till your heart's content :).

I made the small cake before the large one and tried to use partially unsieved red bean paste in the cream. That's why the cakes look a little different. It's always so exciting to pack a finished product in a cake box with our logo :P.

The cakes were well received despite my amateur attempt! Feedback was cake texture is really nice and soft and overall very yummy :). My friend is considering recommending to her friends if I can handle it!  Really encouraged to continue trying.

With love,
Phay Shing

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