This delicate cake was perhaps the most delicious ever…but it didn’t last long, as many guests enjoyed several slices apiece! Somehow both satisfyingly rich and suprisingly light, this tea cake is made with such nutrient-dense ingredients that you can feel fine about going back for seconds. But maybe not thirds….
Matcha is made with only the most tender top buds of Japanese green tea, which are shade-dried and stone-ground into a bright green powder. The vibrant hue comes from high levels of chlorophyll, amino acids, and antioxidants.
I used a very finely powdered white rice flour, to provide a light, elegant texture, and a sweet taste. Brown rice flour would be ideal; just try to find some that is finely ground and smooth.
3 cups finely ground rice flour
1 cup freshly grated mature coconut meat, or dried coconut soaked in water or coconut milk until rehydrated
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups finely ground jaggery (coconut sugar)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cup soya milk
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp matcha powder
Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 180 C/ Gas Mark 4
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then blend in the wet ingredients. Beat the batter well, until smooth. Grease two small (7″) cake pans with coconut oil and divide the batter evenly between them. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Let cool for one hour.
Meanwhile, prepare your icing!
1 block firm tofu
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
1 1/4 cup jaggery, finely ground to a powder
1 Tbsp matcha
It is possible to grind coarser coconut sugar into a fine powder, or at least finer granules, using a high-powered blender or spice mill. Combine this fine sugar with all the other ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. You may need to stop the blender, scrape the sides with a spatula, and blend again to ensure that the mixture is smooth and homogenous. Place the icing in a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.
When the cake has cooled, run a butter knife along the edge of the pan, place a plate over it, and swiftly but gently turn it upside down. Your cakes should come out easily and cleanly. Allow them to sit until cool to the touch; they are then ready to be iced.
Choose one cake for the bottom and use a spatula to ice only its top with tofu cream icing about 1 centimeter thick. Carefully place the other cake on top and use the remaining icing to frost the whole cake. Sprinkle the cake with coconut and matcha, slice it carefully with a sharp knife (dip the knife in water to cut most cleanly), and serve with tea!
Variation: Rather than make a layer cake, you can use this recipe to make one larger single cake. Simply choose a larger cake pan! You may have to adjust cooking times if your layer of batter is thicker; just keep an eye on the cake and test for doneness using a toothpick. Voila!