Matcha and Black Sesame Rollcake

The year of 2018 is approaching its end in about one-week’s time. It has been an adventurous year for me, as I switched my career from being a meteorologist to a pastry chef trainee. After an internship at a French fine-dining restaurant, I realize that F & B job is indeed strenuous and physically demanding, standing and working for long hours in a hot kitchen. Working in such a hot environment makes me crave for tea, as it possesses cooling properties according to traditional Chinese medicine, for example matcha. 

Matcha powder is ground from specially grown green tea leaves. The best quality tea plants are grown in the Uji region of Japan. Have you ever wonder why matcha has such a vibrant green color? It is actually a result of artificial shading of the tea plants for several weeks just before harvest in order to stimulate the production of chlorophyll. Researchers found that matcha provides a boost of energy throughout the day. Unlike coffee, a unique caffeine in matcha enables slow release of energy and increases physical endurance. In medieval Japan, samurai warriors drank matcha to prepare for battle (“The Tea Book” by Linda Gaylard, 2015). So, I guess matcha is what I need to prepare myself for long hours of work in the kitchen. 

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By using culinary grade matcha powder, I made a matcha rollcake with black sesame mousseline cream. Matcha powder gives the cake a calming green hue. And that is why matcha powder is always used when I want to dye my cake or dough green. The filling for the matcha cake is a mousseline cream, flavoured with black sesame powder. Mousseline cream is basically a fluffy and smooth mixture of pastry cream and butter. To find out more on how to make pastry cream, check out my recipe here

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Ingredients (yield: 8-9 servings)

(A) Cake 

Egg yolks 4 no.
Sugar (I) 12g
Oil 18g
Milk 30g
Cake flour 45g
Matcha powder 10g
Egg white 4 no.
Sugar (II) 36g

(B) Black Sesame Mousseline Cream

Egg yolk 3 no.
Sugar 50g
Corn flour 20g
Milk 200g
Butter, cubed 100g
Black sesame, ground 50g

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 200 degree Celsius, and line a baking tray (10″ X 12″) with parchment paper.
  2. To prepare the cake: In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, oil and milk until well combined. Sift in cake flour and matcha powder. 
  3. In another clean mixing bowl, whip the egg white and sugar until medium to stiff peak.
  4. Gently fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture.
  5. Spread the cake batter on the baking tray to obtain even thickness.
  6. Bake at 200 degree Celsius for about 8 – 10 minutes, until cooked. Cool the cake completely on a wire rack before spreading the mousseline cream.
  7. To prepare the black sesame mousseline cream: First, we make the creme patissiere (pastry cream). In a mixing bowl, mix egg yolks, sugar and corn flour. In the meantime, heat up the milk until a gentle simmer.
  8. Pour half of the simmering milk into the egg yolk mixture, stirring continuously so as not to cook the eggs. Then, pour it back to combine with the other half of the milk in the saucepan.
  9. Cook and stir the mixture continuously until the cream thickens.
  10. Set aside and cool down the pastry cream completely.
  11. With the paddle running, gradually mix in the butter cubes with the pastry cream. Scrap the mixing bowl occasionally to ensure all the butter is well mixed.
  12. Add in the black sesame powder to the mousseline cream and mix well.
  13. To assemble: Spread an even layer of black sesame mousseline cream on the matcha sponge cake. Roll up the cake and tighten it. Let it chill and firm up in the fridge before cutting.

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