Green tea cake

This is a grown up cake, both in the making and the eating. The slight bitterness of green tea can be an acquired taste and the sponge is close to a genoise, with all the careful whisking that requires. The result is a delicate cake with a sticky sweetness that comes from green tea syrup drizzled over the top.

The recipe is out of the Wagamama cookbook. To start you need two big mixing bowls, at least one of which is heatproof. In one big bowl, sieve together 4oz (110g) plain flour and 1/2 tsp baking powder. The recipe also calls for an optional 1/2oz (10g) of matcha, green tea powder. I’ve made it both with and without matcha and, while it does bolster the tea flavour and gives the cake a nice speckle, if you can’t find it, or balk at the cost, then the cake will be fine without it. Crack four eggs into the heatproof bowl and add 4oz (110g)  caster sugar. Melt 3oz (75g) of butter in another, little, bowl.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Place the bowl with the eggs and sugar over a pan with an inch of barely simmering water and whisk with an electric hand whisk for 3-4 minutes until the sugar and eggs have created a thick, light, mousse. Take the bowl off the heat and sieve in the dry ingredients. Trickle the melted butter down the side of the bowl. Fold everything together using a metal spoon, making sure to scrape right down to the bottom of the bowl. Tip the mixture into a lined and buttered cake tin and bake for  35 minutes at 180C.

While the cake is in the oven make the syrup. Make a very strong brew using two green tea bags and 150ml of boiling water. Add this to a pan with 5oz (150g) caster sugar and heat over a low heat until all the sugar is dissolved. Once the liquid is clear, turn up the heat and boil hard for five minutes.

When the cake is out of the oven, poke loads of holes in it and very slowly drizzle the syrup over so that sinks down through the cake. Let the cake cool in the tin before carefully releasing it. If you want a photo, try and remember to take it before you’ve eaten half the cake.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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