supergolden bakes

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Matcha and Strawberry Layer Cake with Mascarpone Filling

Matcha and Strawberry Layer Cake with Mascarpone Filling

My beloved childhood friend Ellie and her family were staying with us the past four days. We hadn't seen each other in over 2 years and yet it feels as if we see each other all the time – except her 10 year old daughter is suddenly almost as tall as I am (which, granted, is not all that tall). Typically, I was busier that I have been in months and we didn't get much of a chance to hang out – and what's worse, I didn't once bake for them. The shame! Mind you, Ellie is a pretty remarkable baker herself and we made up in cocktail drinking what we missed out in baked goods. Had they visited a couple of weeks ago, we would have had a chance to share this Matcha and Strawberry Layer Cake... here's hoping it won't be so long till we see each other again! 

Matcha and Strawberry Layer Cake with Mascarpone Filling

I don't often cook with matcha powder but I feel drawn to it every spring. Not only because it tints cakes and frosting the most delightful shade of pastel green, but also because it pairs particularly well with strawberries. This recipe (adapted from All Cakes Considered*) uses whipping cream instead of butter resulting in a very light, fluffy sponge cake. It also takes the colour of the matcha particularly well but you could leave it out if you prefer and only use it in the frosting. This three ingredient frosting is totally addictive by the way – I may have eaten a few spoonfuls straight out of the bowl...

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Matcha and Strawberry Layer Cake with Mascarpone Filling 
Matcha pairs so well with strawberries. This whipped cream sponge cake looks spectacular and tastes absolutely delicious. 

Makes 3x15cm (6in) layers or 2x20cm (8in) layers

For the cake
230g | 7.4oz plain (all purpose) flour + 1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
240ml | 6.7fl oz | 1 cup whipping cream
200g | 7oz caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp matcha powder
1 tsp vanilla paste 
¼ tsp salt
small punnet strawberries to fill and decorate

Mascarpone filling
200g | 7oz full-fat mascarpone
200g | 7oz icing sugar
150ml | 5fl oz double cream
2 tsp vanilla extract

Matcha frosting
200ml | 6.7fl oz cold double cream
200g | 7oz icing sugar
1 tsp matcha powder

1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and grease your cake tins with butter. Line the bottoms with baking paper, grease and dust with flour, shaking out any excess. 
2. Place the eggs in a bowl and use an electric hand whisk to whip them until light and frothy. Set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer, whisk the whipping cream until it holds soft peaks.
4. Add the whisked eggs and whisk together for 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and keep whisking until well incorporated.
5. Sift the flour, cornflour, baking powder, matcha powder and salt into the batter. Use a large spatula to fold the dry ingredients, scraping along the sides and bottom of the bowl until the batter is smooth.
6. Divide among the prepared tins and bake 20-25 minutes, until the cakes are springy to the touch and coming away from the sides of the tins. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then carefully remove from the tins. Cool completely before filling and frosting.
7. To make the filling, put the mascarpone, icing sugar, double cream and vanilla extract in the bowl of your stand mixer. Start mixing on low speed to combine, then increase the speed to highest setting until you have firm peaks. Do not over mix.
8. Pipe a generous layer of mascarpone over the bottom cake layer and then scatter with a few sliced strawberries (optional). Repeat with the second layer, top with the third and add a thin layer of mascarpone over the entire cake as a crumb coat. Chill in the fridge while you prepare the frosting.
9. To make the matcha frosting, put the double cream in the bowl of your stand mixer. Sift in the icing sugar and matcha powder. Start whisking on slow speed to combine, then increase to highest speed until you have firm peaks.
10. Use a palette knife to smooth the matcha frosting over the entire cake. Drag the knife upwards to create little rustic finish on the cake and then top with fresh strawberries and edible flowers (optional). Best eaten soon after decorating.
    Matcha and Strawberry Layer Cake with Mascarpone Filling

    Wednesday, 18 May 2016

    Veggie Burger with Avocado and Sriracha Dressing on Hawaiian Bread Rolls

    Veggie Burger with Avocado and Sriracha Dressing on Hawaiian Bread Rolls

    I am a committed omnivore – I will eat mostly everything, with the exception of ocra which I have hated since I was a child. I did flirt with vegetarianism in my college days, on and off for about 4 years. A lot, if not all, of the credit for this flirtation has to be given to my flatmate Ulla who was, and is, a proper vegetarian. These days I live with an unapologetic meat lover, so I generally try to eat meat-free lunches during the week. My husband is of the opinion that a meal without meat or fish is a side dish. And he doesn't believe soup (vegetarian or not) is proper food at all. Sigh.

    But he may end up being a minority. Research shows that over the past 25 years the number of vegetarians has doubled in the UK and it is predicted that as many as one in four Brits will be veggie in another 25 years time. Currently, more than half of the population are actively trying to reduce their meat intake for health, budgetary, as well as ethical reasons. It seems that Linda McCartney was well ahead of the game as the company she created is celebrating its 25 anniversary. Take a look at the video below created in celebration of this landmark (you might recognise a few famous faces...)

    I must say that I don't often rely on ready-made meals but I appreciated having Linda's Vegetarian Pulled Pork-Style Burgers and Aromatic Thai Sweet Potato Vegcakes in the freezer this week as I have been plagued by deadlines and have literally no time cook and very little time to eat. The Pulled Pork-Style Burgers are surprisingly meaty – (possibly) enough to convert even my husband. They tasted so good in my new favourite burger bun - Hawaiian Bread Rolls. The slight sweetness of the bread roll was a great counterpart to the smoky saltiness of the burger. I added avocado and a little creamy Sriracha dressing (sour cream mixed with Sriracha and a little light mayo) and served with sweet potato fries for a very satisfying dinner.

    This post is sponsored by Linda McCartney’s Meat Free Challenge. Check out the website for more information about their full range and Meat free Mondays.

    Veggie Burger with Avocado and Sriracha Dressing on Hawaiian Bread Rolls

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    Hawaiian Bread Rolls
    Slightly sweet, really buttery, perfectly fluffy and totally irresistible! Make in a stand mixer or bread machine.

    Makes 9 rolls

    410g | 14.5oz strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
    100ml | 3.3oz milk
    80ml | 2.7floz pineapple juice
    115g | 4.1oz unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed
    2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    55g | 2oz sugar
    2 level tsp fast action yeast (suitable for bread makers)
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp ground ginger (optional)
    1 egg beaten with a splash of milk
    2-3 tbsp poppy seeds

    1. Put the flour, sugar, salt, yeast and ground ginger in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix briefly to combine using the dough hook.
    2. Heat the butter and milk in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and heat for a further 30 seconds or until butter is mostly melted. Add the pineapple juice and eggs and stir together.
    3. Add to the mixing bowl and beat together on slow speed for four minutes and a little faster for a another four minutes. The dough will be sticky but resist the urge to add more flour.
    4. Cover the mixing bowl with a clean towel and let the dough rise 1.30-2h or until nearly double.
    5. Dust your worktop with a little flour and tip the dough onto it. Gently press down to deflate.
    6. Roll your dough into a log (dusting with a little flour if sticky) and divide into 9 equal pieces (could only squeeze 8 into my baking dish). Flatten each piece into a disk and then fold the edges in towards the centre. Flip over seam side down and place the palms of your hands around the roll. Use your hands to shape each roll it into a smooth ball.
    7. Place the rolls on a large tray lined with baking paper or round greased baking dish as shown. The should be spaced slightly apart. Cover loosely with greased cling film and leave them to prove for 40 minutes until puffy.
    8. Preheat the oven to 190C (375F). Brush the rolls with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes until golden. Cover with foil if they are colouring too quickly. Cool before cutting.