Japanese matcha powder is a wonder to mix into frostings, ice cream or cream for its Shrek-like colour and astringent taste. Here it pairs beautifully with chocolate for a showstopper dessert. I’ve cooked many chocolate cakes in my lifetime, but this one is the ultimate. My sister-in-law Amy divulged her family recipe to me and the cake has a springy moist texture and a pure cocoa flavour, but is not too rich.
Pour the boiling water into a measuring jug and add the cocoa. Whisk the mixture smooth and let cool while you measure out all the remaining ingredients.
Pour the remaining dry ingredients into the bowl of a standing electric mixer or use a large bowl and electric hand mixer.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla extract. When the cocoa mixture has cooled enough, whisk into the egg and milk mixture.
On a slow speed, add the liquid until combined. Beat for 1 minute on slow speed. Pour the mixture into the tins. It will seem very liquid, but will bake up very light.
To make the matcha frosting, in the bowl of the standing mixer, whisk the butter on slow speed for 6–7 minutes until pale and fluffy. It’s imperative that your butter is at room temperature to get a smooth, silky texture. Add the sifted icing sugar, 2 tablespoons at a time, keeping the speed slow. When finished, add the vanilla, sifted matcha and milk and keep beating until the mixture is very smooth. If it’s too thick, add another tablespoon of milk.
Place one cake on a serving platter. Spread a thick layer of frosting to sandwich the two or three cakes. Ice the sides first and then the top. If you want to get a perfect finish, try ‘crumbing’ the cake by first spreading a thin layer of frosting around the outside and top of the cake until everything is smoothed at the same level. Place in the fridge for 1 hour and the cake will set. Remove and then ice the cake with more frosting.
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