Ivory Spring: a petite gateau

I feel like it has been a while since I brought out the wooden sake cups, well that, and I knew that I wanted to make something green in the spirit of St. Patty’s day, so that’s where the idea to make a matcha-misu (matcha-flavored tiramisu) came from. I had some really cool flavors of tiramisu from Café Bora in Korea Town, including this really vibrant ube one, and I just wanted to do my own spin on it with matcha, since not only is it naturally green, but using tea in place of coffee in a tiramisu-type of dessert makes sense and can be done super organically. I did remove the alcohol in my take on it, just because I wanted the dessert to be kid-friendly, but you’re more than welcomed to use a shot of a sweeter sake or something in the soaking liquid, if you want, just to carry that Japanese-theme home and have a boozy dessert, since St. Patrick’s Day is all about pinching people who don’t wear green, rainbows, clovers, gold, and getting hammered during pub crawls.

For my layers, I went with a matcha jaconde sponge, skyr namelaka, a matcha-yuzu soak, and a layered white chocolate-matcha chocolate square. Now depending on if you’ve read my previous recipes before, you might know what jaconde, skyr, and namelaka are. But assuming you haven’t, because if you actually read through all of my posts, I would be as impressed and flattered as I would be mildly concerned and freaked out, jaconde is an almond spongecake that is leavened with whipped eggs and meringue, like a chiffon cake meets a genoise meets a financier. I went with that cake specifically because with tiramisu, there are some recipes that call for amoretto, which is an almond-based liquor, so this was my nod to that. Skyr is an islandic yogurt and I really love the texture of it. It is creamy, dense, and rich. Namelaka is a Japanese-styled chocolate mousse, which uses a lot of whipped dairy and chocolate to achieve an airier consistency. By folding whipped skyr into the melted white chocolate, you have no only a namelaka cream, but with the tartness in skyr, a very balanced component, that is neither too sweet nor too tart.

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Makes 5 servings:
For the jaconde:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons almond meal
1 egg white
1 egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder

Whip the egg white with half of your sugar and salt until it reaches stiff peaks. Whip the egg with the rest of the sugar, the matcha powder, and slowly stream in the canola oil, whisking until the egg has doubled in volume. Sift the flour and almond meal together. Fold ingredients together and spread on a lined quarter sheet tray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 18 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into squares (for mine, I did about 2 inch by 2 inch since that was about the size of the sake cups).

For the namelaka:
8 oz skyr yogurt
1/4 cup white chocolate
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon yuzu juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk

Melt down the white chocolate over a double boiler. Whisk in the egg yolk and yuzu first, and then fold in the skyr, vanilla, and salt. Whisk off heat until the cream is light in color and transfer to a bowl. Refrigerate with cling wrap over it.

For the soak:
3 tablespoons matcha powder
3/4 cups warm water
2 tablespoons yuzu juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Whisk together until the matcha powder is fully dissolved into the liquid.

For the tempered chocolate squares:
1/2 cup white chocolate, in four parts
2 teaspoons matcha powder
a pinch of salt

Over a double boiler, melt down three parts of the white chocolate with your salt. Take off heat once melted, and pour in the rest, stirring until combined. Pour about 1/4th of the chocolate onto an acetate sheet, and either using a ridged scraper or a fork, scrape and spread the white chocolate over the acetate in a thin, crisscrossed layer. Allow that to cool down for about 2-3 minutes in the refrigerator. Take the rest of your chocolate and mix in the matcha powder. Pour that over the cooled down white chocolate on the acetate and spread thinly, allowing the matcha chocolate to get into every nook and cranny of the acetate. Allow that to cool in the refrigerator for 2-3 minutes, until the chocolate is partially set (you should be able to touch it without it sticking to you, but it should still feel a bit soft, like a cold piece of fudge). At that point, take out the disks, punch out first 2 inch by 2 inch squares, then 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch squares inside of those larger ones, and allow to finish setting in the refrigerator until they’re completely solid and removable from the acetate (4-5 more minutes).

To assemble:
Matcha powder

To layer, start with a square of cake, then soaking liquid, then namelaka. Repeat that again, then top with cake. Sift matcha powder onto the top layer, and pipe a small amount of the namelaka over that. Place the set tempered chocolate on top to cover up the namelaka and serve immediately.

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