Matcha Glazed Vanilla Cake
I like little cakes because I find them less overwhelming than big cakes – they’re easier to take to places and easier to share. The matcha in the glaze can be adjusted to your palate – if you prefer it to be subtle, then reduce the amount of matcha powder (obviously the colour will not be as vibrant). A good quality matcha makes a difference in terms of flavour, so invest in the best quality that you can afford.
1.5 cups of plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup caster sugar
60g sour cream
25g extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 cup icing sugar, sifted
2-3 tbsp water
3-4 tsp good quality matcha powder (I use Zenwonder’s culinary Taishiro), sifted
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius (conventional oven) and lightly grease three non-stick 10cm round angel cake pans with butter.
Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl, making sure to hold the sifter about 5 cm from the top of the bowl to really aerate the mixture. Add the salt and then whisk everything together in the bowl, this incorporates more air into the dry ingredients.
Using a stand mixer, combine the sour cream, olive oil and sugar for 2-3 minutes, till the mixture is smooth. Add the vanilla extract and the egg and mix till well combined.
On a low speed, add one third of the flour mixture and mix till just combined before adding half the milk and mixing again. Keep alternating between flour and milk till everything is just incorporated, try to not over beat the mixture.
Pour the batter evenly between the three pans and place on the middle rack of the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. Rotate the cakes half way through baking to ensure even browning. Keep an eye on the cakes from about 20 minutes, they’re ready when the tops look golden and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Once the cakes are done, remove the pans from the oven and leave the cakes in the pans, inverted on a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.
To make the glaze, place the sifted icing sugar and 3 teaspoons of matcha powder in a small bowl and whisk together. To start with add 2 tablespoons of water and mix well to produce a smooth and pourable glaze. If it’s too thick, add an extra tablespoon of water or if it’s too thin, add extra sifted icing sugar. If you want a stronger green colour and deeper flavour, add extra teaspoons of sifted matcha and mix well.
To decorate, remove the cooled cakes from the pans and if the bases are slightly domed you can level them by slicing off the dome with a serrated knife. Place the cakes on a tray and pour the glaze over the top of each, allowing it to drizzle down the sides and then sprinkle cacao nibs on the tops of the cakes.