Let’s be clear. Cooking generally makes Mr. Alpenglow’s heart flutter with joy. Baking makes his palms sweat. The warning attached to a recipe for Matcha Green Tea Sponge Cake (“Caution: this is not an easy recipe”) should have been a deterrent. Indeed, after an eternity of whisking eggs and sugar by hand over hot water, none of the required peaks were anywhere in sight. This was preceded by a string of shameful rookie mistakes: first, adding one too many cups of flour to the mix; second, combining the sugar and flour before whisking the sugar into the eggs; third, sloppy double boiler technique yielding scrambled eggs. After 45 minutes in the oven, the center of the cake remained wet and jiggly. “LOL,” it mocked. Baked for 30 minutes more, it resembled a moss-covered brick. Mr. Alpenglow looked over his shoulder and could just barely make out the words, “Caution.” Defeated but not broken, another recipe stood forward: Steamed Matcha Cake. One of the least sexy of all cooking methods (boiling takes the prize), this little steamed cake promised precious little but delivered transcendence.
STEAMED MATCHA (GREEN TEA) CAKE with MILK GELATO
recipe by Angie for 5-6 small cakes:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp high-quality matcha
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 1/2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
Prepare a large steamer with an inch or two of water. Leave the heat off until you are just about ready to steam. Line small ramekins with cupcake cases or use an unlined but lightly-oiled silicone mold(s). In a medium bowl, combine flour, matcha and baking powder. Whisk until the flour turns a uniform green color. In a smaller bowl, combine egg, milk, sugar and oil. Mix well. Gradually pour this mixture into the flour mixture, mixing slowly until smooth. Carefully spoon batter into cupcake liners/silicone molds, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Turn up the heat to prepare your steamer. Once water comes to a rolling boil, place cups in steamer and steam on high for 8 minutes. Remove the steamed cakes and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve with ice cream (vanilla and sweet cream work best).