Matcha jade layer cake

The idea of this dessert came from wanting to create a layer cake that was visually reminiscent of a garden. I wound up with a dessert that had the gradient of a jade stone, which is still not bad, so pleasant surprises, you know? When it comes to using matcha, getting it to the right temperature is important so that you can not only activate the tea, but also extract as much of that green color as possible. I prefer using lukewarm water for that reason, because if you scald the matcha, it goes brown, and if you underheat it, it will just go lumpy and will yield a dark green color in the few undistributed specks in whatever it is you are making.

For the dessert, I have a matcha chiffon cake as the base, with a green apple gelee, matcha cheesecake mousse, matcha-yuzu mirror glaze, and white chocolate-matcha disks and vines. I absolutely hate using white chocolate, because it is cloyingly sweet. To counteract that, I made sure to not sweeten my cheesecake mixture at all, only seasoning it with vanilla and matcha, and I’m using yuzu in the glaze to cut all of the sweetness out of the chocolate I am using in there.

For the chiffon cake:
2 egg yolks
4 egg whites
3 tablespoons canola oil
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder
3 tablespoon lukewarm water
1 teaspoon milk powder
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar; split into 4 parts

In a bowl, whip 3 parts of the sugar with the egg whites and baking powder until they reach stiff peaks. In another bowl, whip the canola oil and milk powder with egg yolks, followed by the sugar, until the eggs reach ribbon stage. Sift the flour. Combine the matcha into the water, stirring until it is fully incorporated into the liquid. Fold everything together. Pour onto a lined sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 22 minutes. Once baked, turn off the oven and leave the door open, allowing the cake another 5 minutes of resting in there before removing so that it will not collapse.

For the cheesecake mousse:
1 egg yolk
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup heavy cream; whipped stiff
1 3/4 teaspoons gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon mizuame
2 tablespoons matcha powder

In a pot, heat up the water, mizuame, matcha, and gelatin. Temper in the egg yolk and whip over heat for 3 minutes. Strain into the cream cheese mixture and whip until smooth. Finish by folding in the cream.

For the green apple gelee
1 granny smith apple; peeled, cored, and diced
1 tablespoon mizuame
3 tablespoons agar agar
1/2 cup water

Combine mizuame, agar agar, and water. Bring to a simmer. Place finely diced apples into a deep 5 inch ring mold. Pour the reduced mizuame liquid over the apples, and freeze until the liquid is fully set.

For the glazes:
1/2 cup white chocolate
3 tablespoons condensed milk
2 tablespoons gelatin powder + 3 tablespoons yuzu juice
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon mizuame
a pinch of salt
2 teaspoons matcha powder*

Melt down the gelatin, mizuame, and salt into the water. Add in the chocolate, and finally, the condensed milk, off heat, and stir until cohesive. Repeat this same exact recipe again, but heating the matcha powder in the water, for the matcha glaze. Mix the two glazes together before assembling, but make sure to keep them both at 90 degrees F once combined, or else they will not maintain that marbled gradient.

For white chocolate disks:
White chocolate
Matcha powder (1 teaspoon per 1/2 cup of white chocolate)

Bring white chocolate up to 100 degrees F on a double boiler. Take off heat, and stir in more white chocolate (about 1/4th of the already melted amount) until that melts into the mixture as well. Bring down the temperature of the white chocolate to about 85 degrees F and pour about half of it onto an acetate sheet. Color the remainder with matcha powder, and pour that on as well. Press on another acetate sheet and spread out the chocolate to about 1/8th an inch thick. Allow the white chocolate to set for about 8 minutes before removing one of the acetate sheets and pressing in the ring molds to create the disks and flower cut outs. Reserve the remaining pieces of chocolate.

For the vines:
Residual chocolate
Ice cubes
Water

Combine cold water with ice cubes and keep cold. Melt down the remaining chocolate and transfer to a piping bag. Snip off the tip of the bag and pour the chocolate over the ice cubes. Allow the ice cubes to melt down slightly so that you can carefully pull away the vines without breaking them too much.

For assembly:
Pour 1/3rd of the cheesecake mixture into the bottom of a lined 6 inch ring mold. Freeze completely. Place the apple gelee on top of that mixture, and pour in the rest of the mixture. Press in a 5 inch cutout of the cake and allow the cake to freeze until completely solid (3-4 hours).

Remove from the mold and glaze with the mirror glazes, followed by decorating with the white chocolate pieces. Allow the cake to thaw completely before serving.

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