Genmaicha Avalanche Cake

Compared to Matcha green tea, “genmaicha” is probably a more alien type of green tea for bakers. Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea mixed with roasted popped brown rice, hence its unique warm nutty flavour and rich aroma. At first glance, you might not be able to quickly distinct between matcha powder and genmaicha powder just by looking at their colour, but you can certainly tell the difference as genmaicha has a roasted nutty aroma. The brown rice kernels used for genmaicha are first soaked in water and then steamed, before being roasted to a burnt brownish colour. Subsequently, it will be mixed with green tea leaves, usually in equal proportions. Although genmaicha is considered a lower grade Japanese tea than Matcha, it is an exciting ingredient that has endless possibilities to work with. I believe my genmaicha avalanche cake is just the beginning of an exploratory journey to create myriad of genmaicha sweets and bakes in the future.

In order to create an avalanche cake successfully, the pivotal step is to have the right consistency for the whipped cream. In all honesty, I have failed quite a number of times just to get that precise moment, when I was whipping up the cream. Very often, the cream was over beaten and became too stiff. In this video, it wasn’t a magnificent success either, but at least the cream could flow down and eventually cover the sides of the cake beautifully, which overall I was quite satisfied with. So, if you encounter the same problem as I do with the whipped cream, do not be low-spirited, because regardless whether the avalanche effect is achieved, this cake will still taste fantastic. Just learn from experience and keep improving!

Ingredients: (one 6-inch round cake)

(A) Genmaicha sponge cake

  • Milk 30g
  • Vegetable oil 20g
  • Genmaicha powder 6g
  • Egg white 120g
  • Sugar 60g
  • Egg yolk 3 no.
  • Cake flour 55g

(B) Topping

  • Whipping cream 300g
  • Sugar 30g
  • Honey yuzu marmalade 2 Tbsp (optional)
  • Genmaicha powder, for dusting on top

Method:

  1. To make the sponge cake: Preheat the oven at 150 degree Celsius. Prepare a 6-inch round cake tin and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Mix together milk and vegetable oil until they become an emulsion. Add the milk-oil mixture to genmaicha powder in two additions. Mix and stir well in order to get a smooth genmaicha paste. Set aside for later use.
  3. In a clean and dry mixing bowl, whip egg white and sugar together to form a meringue with medium-stiff peak.
  4. Add egg yolks to the meringue and mix well.
  5. Add genmaicha paste that was prepared earlier, and mix well.
  6. Fold in sifted cake flour and mix until no dry flour is visible. Be careful not to overmix, otherwise the batter might deflate.
  7. Transfer cake batter to a cake tin. Tap cake tin on counter top a few times to remove large air bubbles.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 150 degree Celsius for about 40 – 50 minutes, or until the top of cake is firm and dry to touch, and a skewer inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.
  9. Once taken out from the oven, turn the cake upside down immediately and put on a cooling rack to let it cool down completely.
  10. When the cake has cooled down completely, remove it from cake tin.
  11. Wrap the top half of the sponge cake with an acetate tape, or parchment paper. Make sure that the brim of tape or paper comes up to about 4 – 5cm higher than the cake itself. Later we are going to fill the top with soft whipped cream.
  12. Use a cookie cutter to partially remove the center of cake, so that you can fill in with some honey yuzu marmalade. (This step is optional.)
  13. To make whipped cream topping: Whip cream and sugar by hand using a whisk. Stop whisking when the cream has thickened and still has a runny consistency.
  14. Pour whipped cream topping onto the cake. Dust with extra genmaicha powder.
  15. Now here comes the fun part. Remove the acetate tape/ parchment paper, and let the cream fall down rapidly like an avalanche. (Note: If the whipped cream does not flow down easily, the cream is too stiff) Enjoy.

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