This Matcha Chiffon Cake is a variant of a cake I had already proposed in two versions: flavored with orange and lemon and ginger. As you can imagine I love this kind of cake for its unparalleled softness and sweetness, which goes well with the acidity of citrus fruits or with the vegetal and sweet flavor of matcha tea.
But what is matcha? It is a Japanese green tea very valuable and rich in healthy properties. It appears as a very fine and fragrant powder with an intense green color. From matcha tea you can prepare a beverage connected to the ancient rite of tea ceremony (“cha no yu“).
Matcha is not prepared as a normal tea by infusion, in fact, the powder is mixed with hot water (which must not reach boiling point in order not to ruin the taste of tea but have to remain around 80-85° C) with a small bamboo whisk called chasen. If you don’t have a traditional Japanese whisk, you can use as well a small metal whisk. Normally, it is used about 1 teaspoon and a half of matcha tea powder for every 100 ml of water.
Despite its countless merits – as a matter of fact matcha is rich in antioxidants, it is antibacterial, energizing and disinfecting, in short it is a panacea for all kind of illness – the taste and consistency of matcha tea may not meet everyone’s taste. It has a vegetal taste, in fact, that I would compare to that of seaweed and, since the powder is dissolved in water, the density of the drink is also unusual for those who have always drunk normal tea. But if not everyone can appreciate the taste of matcha, I challenge anyone not to devour at least two slices of this cake.
The best way to prepare the matcha chiffon cake is with the proper chiffon and angel food cake mold: that is, with a high rimmed aluminum mold, with a detachable bottom and with feet, so that you can place the cake upside down at the end of baking and let it cool without drooping. If you don’t have a chiffon mold, use regular cake molds, but with this amount of dough, you may need two 24 cm molds.
INGREDIENTS for a chiffon cake mold of 25 cm in diameter and 11 cm in height
- 250 g of cake flour (low protein flour)
- 50 g of rice flour
- 300 g of granulated sugar
- 16 g of vanilla yeast for cakes
- 6 eggs (medium size)
- 200 ml of water
- 2 teaspoons of matcha green tea
- 120 ml of corn oil
- 25 g fresh ginger (optional)
- 8 g of cream of tartar
- green food coloring gel (optional)
- Prepare the matcha tea: heat 200 ml of water to 80-85 °C. Check the temperature with a food thermometer: the water should not be boiling because it would ruin the taste of matcha tea and make it bitter.
- With the help of a small strainer, sieve the two teaspoons of matcha green tea in a bowl and pour the water (which, as said above, must be around 80° C). Stir the tea with a small whisk or with the special bamboo whisk (“chasen“) and let it cool down.
- Meanwhile, sift the flours, sugar and vanilla yeast into a bowl. Mix the powders with a hand whisk and add a pinch of salt.
- Separate the yolks from the egg whites (the eggs need to be at room temperature to whip well).
- Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer or with electric hand mixer and, when foam begins to form, add the cream of tartar, continue to whip until stiff.
- In another large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the oil, warmed matcha tea and fresh peeled and grated ginger.
- When the egg whites are whipped, add the dry ingredient mix (flours and sugar) to the yolk mixture and mix with a hand whisk.
- Add half of the egg whites and gently incorporate them with the whisk, using top-to-bottom motions. Add the other half of the egg whites.
- If you want to get a brighter green color, add a few drops of green gel food coloring, otherwise leave the mixture as it is (the final color will be a moss green).
- Pour the mixture into the unbuttered chiffon mold. If you are using a regular cake mold instead, butter and flour it.
- Bake in a static oven (I placed the mold at half height) at 160 °C for 55-60 minutes. Do the toothpick test to make sure the cake is cooked inside, the toothpick should come out slightly moist but not dirty with dough.
- Remove from the oven, turn the mold upside down (if using the chiffon cake mold with feet) and let the cake cool. Once cool, gently peel it off the mold using a knife.
- You can dust the matcha chiffon cake with confectionary sugar or just leave it plain and serve it with a matcha latte.
- To prepare the matcha latte: sift 1 ½ teaspoons of matcha tea into a bowl and pour 100 ml of water at 80 °C over it. Stir with a whisk.
- Heat about 150 ml of fresh whole milk and froth with an immersion blender. Pour the tea into a glass and add the milk.