If this isn’t the most Asian thing I’ve done on here, I don’t know what is. (Well, apart from all the Asian-style bread that I’m so keen on making lately…) An entremet featuring the family favourite flavour (dat alliteration, I should ditch dentistry and become a poet instead), matcha, with guest stars azuki beans and chocolate.
After two days of semi-intense work, I had an off day yesterday where I was indulged in piggishness (at the best buffet in town, no less, which happens to have a dreamy dessert bar), and did practically nothing substantial other than start my first ever batch of sourdough starter, fingers crossed it doesn’t just turn into a big jar of moldy raisins.
As I haven’t made proper multi-component desserts in a while, I thought I would make something with matcha and azuki. Cliché and predictable, I know, but to me they’re a match made in dessert heaven and I can never have too much of it. I immediately turned to Foodagraphy. By Chelle. who seems to worship matcha even more than I do, and was captured by her matcha azuki entremet. So I went to work right away, and voilà, a few hours later was rewarded with one of the most matcha-y desserts one could envision. Just sweet enough and the slightly bitter matcha flavour perfectly balanced by the sweet azuki beans, with a chocolate undertone – I think I might’ve had a Ratatouille moment, as it reminded me of why I was drawn to homemade desserts in the first place.
p.s. sadly I do realise that my matcha cream looks a bit melty, that’s because I didn’t chill it long enough (at least 4 hrs ~ overnight is best). It does taste good though :L
For the chocolate sponge cake:
23g heavy cream
102g or 3 egg whites
45g castor sugar
23g cake flour
For the soaking syrup:
dash of liqueur (optional, I used strawberry)
For the ganache:
40g dark chocolate (~70%)
63g heavy cream
~1/2 cup of azuki bean paste, chunky or smooth
For the matcha mousse:
3g powdered gelatine
5g matcha powder
82g whole milk
63g heavy cream
For the matcha cream:
3g matcha powder
105g heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 170C/338F and prepare a lined baking sheet large enough to fit two 25.5 x 9.3cm rectangles. I find it easier to use the sheet upside down if it has rims when I’m removing the cake once it’s baked. To make the cake, first pour boiled heavy cream into chopped chocolate and stir to combine, then set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, whip the egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the sugar until you get stiff peaks. Fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture (cooled but not too firm to work with, if it’s firmed up just heat it for a few seconds and stir). Halfway through folding add in sifted flour, fold that in as well and continue incorporating the rest of the meringue. Spread the batter evenly onto the sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until the middle bounces back when gently pressed. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
While waiting for the cake to cool, you can make the syrup and ganache. Boil the water and sugar together, then add the alcohol if using, and set aside. Boil the cream and pour over the chopped chocolate, cover for a minute then stir to combine, cover and let cool to room temperature.
When the cake has cooled, cut two 25.5 x 9.3cm rectangles out of it (or other desired dimensions) and lay the first piece into a mousse ring. I use cardboard fence lined with clingfilm because I’m poor, it does the same job. Brush the first layer with syrup, and spread half of the cooled ganache onto it, then all of the azuki bean paste. Spread the remaining ganache onto the azuki paste, top with the second layer of cake and brush with more syrup. Cover and chill at least 2 hours till firm.
Only start preparing the mousse when the cake is almost done or is done chilling, as it will start setting as soon as it’s mixed. Sprinkle the gelatine onto cold water and let it bloom for 5 minutes. Meanwhile start boiling the milk. Whisk together the sugar and matcha, and slowly stream in the hot milk while whisking so that there are no lumps of matcha. Add in the bloomed gelatine while the matcha mixture is still hot, and whisk to combine. Whip the heavy cream to semi-stiff peaks, and bit by bit fold it into the room temperature matcha mixture. Pour the mousse from a height onto the cake, to eliminate air bubbles, you can also tap the pan. Refrigerate again for 2 hours for the mousse to set.
For the matcha cream, whisk together the matcha and sugar, and slowly add cream while whisking to avoid lumps. When all of the cream has been added, whip it to semi-stiff peaks. Pour it on top of the set mousse and chill at least 4 hours to overnight. Decorate however you wish, or leave as it is. I mixed a bit of smooth azuki bean paste with whipped cream and squirted it all over, because it’s my mission in life to pretend to be fancier than I really am.