Saturday, July 5, 2014
matcha pyramid cake.
Holla! How's everybody been? I've finally been granted a few days free from exams (free from worrying about exams as well) so after I finished my last paper, I went home and did the most logical thing - sleep. Then bake. I bet you were expecting baking to be my top priority, believe me I was betting on that too, but math just drained me of so much energy I was close to crawling the last stretch of pavement leading back home.
Over the past few weeks when I didn't get to bake at all, I had so much creative energy stored up inside of me bubbling so furiously that it was about to explode that I just couldn't even fathom baking anything from all my recipe books except for one titled Bake It Like You Mean It. I think I wrote about it before; it is my go-to book whenever I have a little more time, a little more energy and a whole lot of crazy. Almost all the recipes there are over. the. top. Perfect for my baking-starved soul.
I browsed through the book quickly and decided on a recipe called Chocolate Pyramid. Imagine layers of chocolate cake shortening in length, glued firmly together with a luscious chocolate buttercream and stacked up until it forms a mountainous shape. The entire top of the cake is enveloped in a dark shiny glaze and for the finishing touch, a dusting of cocoa powder. And every one of those components I changed to make my own matcha version of the cake.
I was all game to follow the recipe initially until I realised that the cake required almond paste which I didn't have. I had to change the cake recipe, so why not change everything else? Instead of the chocolate cake I baked a matcha almond cake, in place of the chocolate buttercream I made a salted honey buttercream and I changed the chocolate glaze to a matcha white chocolate ganache. My very own chocolate-pyramid-inspired cake.
I didn't really have a hard time assembling the cake although it was my first time making one in such a shape, but the slicing on a diagonal really had me worried. I was never good at slicing cakes length-wise in the first place and this cake was all out to expose my weakness. The cut ended up a bit crooked but after covering up all the defects with buttercream nobody would notice. I hope.
This is definitely one of those conversation-starter show-stopper cakes. The moment you slice into it with a serrated knife and gently nudge away the corner piece, your breath would be taken away by pattern that lies beneath. When I saw the insides, the first thought that came to me was that all that hard work slicing the layers was one hundred percent worth it.
Like what I did, you don't have to follow my recipe here and choose your own flavours of cake and buttercream and mould it into a pyramid. I think this is a great design and I can't wait to make more variants of the pyramid cake!
Matcha Pyramid Cake
For the matcha almond cake:
1 cup + 2 tbsp cake flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
2 tbsp matcha powder
3/4 stick unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1/2 cup milk
3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan with parchment paper.
Whisk the milk, egg whites and extracts together.
Mix the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and matcha powder in the bowl of a mixer on low speed. Add the cubes of butter and continue beating on low speed until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.
Add all but 1/4 cup of the milk mixture and beat on medium speed for about 1 minute. Add the remaining milk mixture and beat until incorporated.
Pour batter into pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Cool completely.
For the salted honey buttercream:
6 tbsp butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp honey
large pinch of salt
Cream the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add the honey and salt and beat until combined.
For the matcha white chocolate ganache:
100g white chocolate, chopped
100g heavy cream
1 tbsp matcha powder
Place the matcha power and white chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
Bring the heavy cream to a simmer in a small saucepan and pour over the white chocolate mixture. Let the mixture stand for about 2 minutes then stir until smooth. Refrigerate until slightly thickened.
Assemble the cake: Slice the cooled cake into four equal rectangles. Trim away any uneven edges. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of a rectangle and top with another piece of cake. Repeat until all the rectangles are used up (don't use all the buttercream) then place the cake in the freezer for about 1 hour or until very firm.
Slice the cake on the diagonal and rotate one of the triangles to form a pyramid. Spread the remaining buttercream on the sides of the triangles that are to be joined together. If you have any excess, frost the rest of the cake. Refrigerate until the buttercream is firm.
Glaze the entire cake in the ganache and refrigerate the cake again for it to solidify.