Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Green Tea Red Bean Roll

green tea
Green tea roll

The first time I ate green tea cake was in Singapore years ago, from a bakery called Sun Mou Lin. I remember I was hooked on it and couldn't get enough of the moist, light and subtly flavored cake. Green tea cakes came to KK after that, but until now none of the local bakeries do a good version. That is, until Lorrine of Ganache (she takes orders!) came along, and her green tea cake is my absolute favorite. Because green tea can be very subtle, it is not easy to make a good green tea cake. You can't add too much green tea powder to the cake or it'll taste slightly bitter and dry, giving your tongue a pulling, dehydrated kind of feeling. Apparently this dehydrating feel is the reason why people drink green tea: green tea draws out the oil from the food in your guts. I've been told many times by my friends in China and Hong Kong that the reason why Chinese people don't put on weight easily despite eating being their national hobby is because they drink lots of tea throughout the day. It is common to have a pot of tea brewing in Chinese homes, just like how coffee lovers have their coffee machines on 24/7. Old folks will say "Tea washes your guts" as they chomp on their 5th piece of stewed belly pork.

Green tea powder is called macha in Japanese. I made this cake using Japanese macha I had bought from Cold Storage in Singapore, and I am very disappointed with the results. The green tea flavor is almost nil and the cake looks more beige than green. I shouldn't be surprised though because I know macha should look greenish-yellow. Macha from cake ingredients shop give a stronger flavor and color, but the resulting cakes will still be light greenish-yellow, not green. I can safely bet that any green tea cake out there that looks greenish has loads of green coloring in it, so be warned.

Instead of making the usual green tea gateaux, I decided to use a semi hemispheric 'cassata' pan that I make my jellies in, an idea I saw in Alex Goh's book, Fruity Cakes, and from where I got the recipe for the sponge too although I had to adjust some of the ingredients. The sponge is light, but can be moister. I also added little chunks of kiwi fruit, just because I have it. Okay, it was really just to give the cake a bit of green color. I didn't mix the red beans with the whipped cream because I didn't want the beans to color the cream and so I added the beans in the center of the cake.

If you are tired of rich sinful cakes, try this light angelic green tea cake. And if you are sensitive to green tea like me, remember to not eat this cake at night. I couldn't sleep all night after eating this cake plus a few cups of fragrant green tea.

Green Tea Red Bean Roll

The Sponge
A: 4 large egg yolks
50 ml milk (or use diluted cream)
50 ml corn oil
85 g cake flour
1 1/2 T good macha powder
1/2 t double action baking powder

B: 4 large egg whites
1/8 t cream of tartar
80 g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 170 C, grease and line a 32 cm x 32 cm (13" x 13" ) baking tray*. Sift the flour, baking powder and macha powder together.

2. Using a hand whisk, mix all the A ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

3. Put the egg whites and cream of tartar into your electric mixer bowl and beat until the whites are foamy. Add all the sugar and beat until stiff peaks stage; do not beat beyond that or the whites will loose its holding strength.

4. Add about 1/3 of the beaten egg whites into 'A' batter to lighten it, then pour the 'A' batter into the remaining whites and quickly fold (I use my hand) to mix well.

5. Pour batter into the baking tray, level it and bake 25 minutes. Cool cake completely.

* or use a 23 cm (9") round cake tin. Cut the cake into 2 or 3 layers when cool and fill the layers.

Filling: fresh fruits (optional), 3/4 cup cooked red beans, 1 1/4 cups dairy cream (more if making a round gateaux), 1-2 T sugar

To assemble, cut the cake to fit a semi hemispheric pan and line the pan with the cake. Whisk the dairy cream with the caster sugar until stiff. Add some chopped fresh fruits and cooked red beans to the cream (or you can add the red beans after filling the cake with the cream) and fill the cake with the cream mixture. Cut another layer of cake to fit the top and cover the cake in the pan with that. Cover the cake with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.


NEE said...

aunty terri, you really spend your days making all these pretty things, cooking and baking. Wey and your hub are just so lucky.

Precious Pea said...

Terri!! Green Tea Roll with Azuki Bean is my all-time favourite!!!!

Vivien said...

wow, looks good, but green tea powder kinda expensive right?

Ah King and Moon said...

Yummy yumm yumm......Wish to have a bite, can we!??*grin* Self-baked cake definitely healthier and much nicer. We are just too lazy to bake.

zurin said...

LOoks good Terri! yes its the same thing with pandan cakes if theyre really green dont eat it...theyve used food colouring... esp local malay cakes that are so unbelievably bright green!

terri@adailyobsession said...

nee: i think greg is luckier:D

pp: high 5!

vivien: yes, in kk it costs RM9 per 100 g. i wonder if the green tea powder in organic food shops can be used for cooking, n if tt works out cheaper. have to check it out.

king&moon: give it a try!

zurin:yes yes, i wish ppl would realise tt all those coloring r bad n unnecessary n speak up so vendors will take note. i do complain n tel ppl i'm not buying this or tt incl noodles bc of the color, just so they give feedback to their suppliers.

Big Boys Oven said...

sure looks delicious, yum yum !

chumpman said...

The roll looks moist anf fluffy, drool ! I have always been fond of anything green tea flavored. Cakes, cookies, sweets, ice cream, etc. You are right, it's quite difficult to evaluate how much green tea powder to be added. My green tea pudding tastes slightly bitter and my green tea ice cream doesn't taste anything

Green Tea said...

Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

Green Tea Weight Loss

Robert F. Crocker said...

The Lye has been added to the green tea and is cooling in the kitchen sink. powder green tea perth

jowdjbrown said...

I can safely bet that any green tea cake out there that looks greenish has loads of green coloring in it, so be warned.powder green tea melbourne

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