Matcha-chocolate checkerboard cake

With St. Patrick’s Day being just around the corner, I had to get in as many green desserts as possible. And by green, I mean naturally green. None of that artificial food coloring, Incredible Hulk-looking nonsense. Truthfully, St. Patrick’s Day baking has always been one of my least favorite holidays to bake for. It mostly stems from a traumatic incident in high school, where I made vegan cupcakes for a St. Patty’s Day party, and nobody ate them. In fact, everyone preferred the store-bought grocery store cupcakes with artificial green frosting to mine. Everyone in that classroom was convinced that vegan cupcakes were gross or treated them like they had vegetables in them or something. Rest assured, my vegan cakes are delicious, and they don’t have vegetables in them. And awkwardly, I say and preface my recipe with that statement and story, even though this one does contain animal products in it. Whoops. The main point I’m trying to hammer in here is don’t knock it until you try it, and I do love to use natural coloring in my desserts, which I actually did here with the matcha.

For my cake, it was another riff on a Lady M cake, this time, the matcha-chocolate checkerboard cake. I layered mine up with matcha and chocolate genoise cakes, a matcha mirror glaze, and a coconut pastry cream. I’m sure the actual version doesn’t have coconut in it, but I had a can of leftover coconut milk and I wasn’t about to just let that sit in my fridge, so I opted to use it. If you hate coconut, just use normal milk. It really won’t change much in the grand scheme of things. I just chose to use it to better bridge the matcha and chocolate together, since on their own, dark chocolate and matcha don’t necessarily get along that well. Or at least in my opinion – chocolate tends to overpower everything unless it is used sparingly, whereas matcha can be delicate if not used enough, or too bitter if used in excess, in which case, it competes with the bitterness of the chocolate. I topped it with a white chocolate and matcha mirror glaze, just to tie it all together, and since the cake I was attempting to replicate also had a similar glaze on top.

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For the matcha genoise base:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder
5 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons canola oil
a pinch of salt
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Whip eggs with sugar, salt, and vanilla until they reach ribbon stage. Sift the flour to remove lumps. Bloom the matcha in your melted butter and oil. Fold together everything. Pour onto a lined half sheet tray and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Cool completely before removing. Cut out 3 6-inch circles.

For the chocolate genoise base:
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
4 eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons canola oil
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip eggs with sugar, salt, and vanilla until they reach ribbon stage. Sift the flour to remove lumps. Bloom the cocoa powder in your melted butter and oil. Fold together everything. Pour onto a lined quarter sheet tray and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool completely before removing. Cut out 2 6-inch circles.

For the pastry cream:
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons gelatin powder + 1 tablespoon water
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup heavy cream, whipped stiff
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Melt gelatin powder and salt into your coconut milk on low heat. Whip egg yolks with cornstarch and sugar. Temper with the coconut milk, whisking on medium-low heat until thickened, about 3-4 minutes. Pass through a sieve and cool down completely. Fold in your whipped cream. Keep at room temperature for assembly.

For the mirror glaze:
2 cups white chocolate
1 stick unsalted butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 packets of gelatin powder + 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup matcha powder
a pinch of salt

Melt gelatin, matcha, heavy cream, butter, and salt together first. Take off heat and add in the white chocolate, allowing to sit for a minute before stirring to combine. Bring down to about 90 degrees F before attempting to use.

To assemble:
Cut out rings from 2 of your matcha and your 2 dark chocolate layers, making sure that they are about 1-inch apart in radius. Switch around those rings so that you have alternating matcha and chocolate rings (think the shape of a target). Start by spreading some of the pastry cream between your layers of cake. I did the regular matcha layer on the bottom, followed by a chocolate-first layer, then a matcha-first layer, continually alternating so that you get that checkerboard effect. Make sure that the exterior of the cake is covered in the rest of your pastry cream in an even layer, before transferring to the freezer for about 2-3 hours. Pour the mirror glaze over the frozen cake and allow to thaw before serving.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Georgia King says:

    So gorgeous!!! I NEED to try this!!! (:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Freddy says:

      Please do! And tell me how it goes 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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