Tea-rific dessert idea

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - TASTE - ED HALMAGYI fast-ed.com.au

SINCE tea was first brought from China in the 9th Cen­tury, Ja­pa­nese monks and no­bles have cul­ti­vated a med­i­ta­tive prac­tice cen­tred around its con­tem­pla­tion.

Known as Chado, or the Way of Tea, this highly rit­u­alised cer­e­mony splices to­gether philo­soph­i­cal ideas of in­ner spir­i­tu­al­ity with a hum­ble ac­cep­tance of the ephemer­al­ity of life.

The tea used for this cer­e­mony is a re­fined form of green tea called matcha. Known for its pro­nounced aroma and deeply savoury flavours, matcha is the re­sult of a highly spe­cialised form of tea pro­duc­tion.

Un­like tra­di­tional tea plants that are grown in full sun­light, in the weeks ahead of har­vest matcha bushes are cov­ered with hes­sian cloths to re­move sun­light. This causes the plant to gen­er­ate vastly in­creased amounts of chloro­phyll, turn­ing the leaves a deep shade of green. This in turn causes a rad­i­cal change in the flavour pro­file.

Once picked, the tea can be pro­cessed in a range of ways: as whole dried leaves (sen­cha); as com­pressed blocks (ten­cha); or as a finely ground pow­der (matcha). That pow­der is con­sid­ered to be most highly val­ued of all.

But matcha is more than sim­ply the ba­sis for a cup of tea, it is also a su­perb in­gre­di­ent for a range of savoury and sweet recipes. From dough­nuts to but­ter cakes, ice cream to eclairs, matcha has be­come one of the idio­syn­cratic flavours of our age. To use it in bak­ing, it is sim­ply a mat­ter of dis­solv­ing the pow­der in liq­uid be­fore fold­ing it in gen­tly.

MATCHA AND RASP­BERRY ROULADE serves / 10 In­gre­di­ents

20g matcha pow­der

3 tbsp but­ter­milk

2 tsp vanilla ex­tract

5 eggs

160g caster sugar

½ tsp cream of tar­tar

50g plain flour

100g white choco­late, chopped 1 cup thick­ened cream ¼ cup sour cream

½ cup ic­ing sugar

1 pun­net rasp­ber­ries, halved Ic­ing sugar, toasted al­monds and rasp­ber­ries, to serve

Method

Pre­heat oven to 180C. Mix the matcha pow­der, but­ter­milk and half the vanilla in a small bowl un­til smooth, then set aside. Place 2 eggs and 3 egg yolks (re­serv­ing the whites) in the bowl of an elec­tric mixer with half the caster sugar and beat with the whisk at­tach­ment on high speed for 10 min­utes.

Whip the whites and cream of tar­tar to soft peaks, then add the re­main­ing caster sugar 2 tsp at a time, whip­ping un­til stiff peaks form. Stir the matcha paste into the egg mix­ture, fold in the flour gen­tly, then fold in the meringue. Spread on a lined 45cm x 30cm Swiss roll pan and bake for 13-15 min­utes, un­til the cake springs back when touched. Re­move the bak­ing pa­per, then roll up in a kitchen towel and al­low to cool.

Melt the white choco­late and half the cream in a mi­crowave, then set aside to cool. Place in the bowl of a stand mixer with the re­main­ing cream, sour cream, ic­ing sugar and re­main­ing vanilla. Whip to stiff peaks. Un­roll the cake. Spread the cream mix­ture on top, scat­ter with rasp­ber­ries, then roll up. Slice and dust with ic­ing sugar and scat­ter with al­monds and rasp­ber­ries.

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