I guess you could say this is a recipe revisited. This past January I discovered and made "Tiramisushi", the brain-child of Elizabeth Faulkner, pastry chef and author of the unconventional cookbook Demolition Desserts. At the time, everything on my "to bake" list became questionable next to Tiramisushi, which was penned at the top and underlined three times. I was in love with the concept of this dessert.
Since then I've been pondering the elegant and bite-sized composition. I couldn't help but feel that a Matcha green tea version would be beautiful and apropos. Granted, it loses the smart Asian/Italian fusion and equally cool name-play, but it did turn out rather pretty, and with a white chocolate buttercream center, delicious nonetheless.
Bright orange nonpareils make a perfect representation of fish roe. They are so tiny, and they have a strangely similar popping sensation between the teeth. I considered making some faux wasabi or ginger, but in the end I didn't want the matcha flavor to be lost under unnecessary "fluff".
Okay, so maybe one piece of fluff. A chocolate reflecting pool.
The chocolate sauce can be served alongside the sushi for dipping, just like soy sauce. Personally, I prefer them without any dressing at all.
The sponge cake is baked in a jelly roll pan then sliced down the middle to form two 13" long strips. They are then rolled up from the long side into a tea towel that has been generously sprinkled with powdered sugar. After they are cooled and filled with buttercream, they need to chill in the refrigerator until the frosting is solid. They'll slice easily, and if one of your rolls becomes a misshapen triangle, (like mine, above left) not to worry! After a few minutes at room temperature they will loosen up and you can squish them back into place.
Matcha Cake Sushi Rolls [click for printable recipe]
12-18 pieces/6-8 servings
Matcha sponge cake:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon Matcha tea
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking pan and line with parchment paper; grease the paper also. Prepare two thin tea towels, generously sprinkled with confectioners' sugar. Sift flour, Matcha, and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.
Whisk eggs and sugar together in a metal bowl. Set over a pot of simmering water on the stove and heat for a few minutes, whisking constantly until the mixture is thick and warm to the touch.
Pour egg mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer, add the salt and whisk with the whip attachment on high speed for a few minutes until the mixture has cooled and tripled in volume.
Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture with a rubber spatula, trying not to deflate the batter. Fold until green color has fully developed. Add the melted butter and fold again until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula. Bake for 8-10 minutes. When done, the center of the cake should bounce back when pressed with fingertip.
Remove from oven and immediately turn out onto a wire rack. Peel off the piece of parchment on the bottom of the cake. Quickly cut the cake lengthwise down the middle so you have two long skinny rectangles. Transfer each piece to a tea towel and roll into towel from longest side. Let cool completely. Remove from tea towels and let roulades rest on a surface lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar.
White chocolate buttercream:
4 oz. white chocolate
2 1/2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 stick of butter, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
In a medium sized bowl, melt chocolate and whipping cream together in the microwave at 30 second intervals, stirring well between heating. When smooth, add softened butter and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Using a hand mixer, combine the ingredients, gradually adding the remaining powdered sugar. Transfer to a piping bag or Ziplock (sandwich) bag.
Fill roulades with buttercream and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until icing is firm to the touch. Cut cakes evenly into 24 pieces. Garnish with orange or red nonpareils.
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 2/3 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine cocoa, sugar and water. Bring to a boil and let bubble for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to a jar and store in refrigerator. Heat before serving.