My mother’s birthday coincides with the first day of spring. I decided to bake her a cake, because I now live in the same city as she does! At first I was going to make a lemon layer cake, but then I figured I should make something unavailable at bakeries. I ended up making a matcha mousse cake.
For the cake I modified Alice Medrich’s recipe for Hot Milk Sponge Cake. It’s from her book Cocolat, which unfortunately is out of print. I’d love a copy of it, but it costs about $80! Anyway, I managed to find the recipe online (I found it here, and you should click on that link just to see the beautiful cake). The filling is a matcha mousse from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Cake Bible.
Read on for the recipe!
Alice Medrich’s Hot Milk Sponge Cake
1/4 cup whole milk
2 Tbs butter, cut into little chunks
3/4 cup sifted cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
To make the matcha version, replace a teaspoon of the cake flour with matcha powder.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line the bottom of a jelly roll pan (about 17×12″) with parchment paper. Cut it so the paper hangs over the ends a bit. Heat the milk with the butter in a small saucepan until the butter melts. Lower the heat to low and keep it hot, but don’t let it simmer (I actually did this step later because I was paranoid it was going to simmer).
Sift the flour with the baking powder twice then return to sifter. Set aside.
In a large, heatproof bowl (I used the bowl for my Kitchen Aid mixer), combine the sugar, eggs, and egg yolks. Place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water and whisk until the egg mixture is warm. Remove from heat and beat at high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume. It will have the consistency of thick whipped cream. Sift in one-third of the flour mixture and gently fold it in by hand with a large spatula. Sift in another third, fold in, then add the final third and fold in. Pour the hot milk mixture into the batter and fold in. Make sure you fold in thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 10 minutes or until the cake is browned and springy to the touch.
Remove from oven. Run a small knife down the sides of the pan to separate the cake from the pan. Grab the overhanging parchment paper and remove the cake from the pan. Lay out a large dishtowel and flip the cake onto the towel. Peel away the parchment paper. Roll the cake up along with the towel and cool on a cooling rack until ready to fill.
Matcha Mousse Cream
2 tsp matcha powder
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Place the matcha and sugar in a chilled mixing bowl and whisk together. Slowly whisk in the cream and beat mixture until soft peaks form. Use immediately.
What I did was unroll the cake, spread the mixture on the cake, then roll the baby back up. I cut off the ends to make them pretty, then I dusted the cake with a mixture of powdered sugar and matcha. I think next time I will make a matcha sugar syrup to brush onto the cake before filling.