Powdered matcha tea gives these cakes beautiful earthy flavor and a grassy hue. Each cake is built on an English tea biscuit, which becomes soft and cake-like in the refrigerator.
I’ve been pleased to see all the attention matcha tea is getting lately from big-name food magazines and their online counterparts, but as someone who has been using it in sweets since 2010, I take issue when they call it a trend. Why can’t we call it the new must-have pantry staple, instead? I can’t imagine it ever falling out of favor. I always keep a little container of it in my cupboard right next to the espresso powder.
Matcha is indescribably green. This Japanese powdered tea has rich history with ceremonial purposes, but its less formal grade is also wonderful in confections. It is deliciously bitter, raw and grassy; usually an acquired taste, and not unlike coffee it can be tempered with cream and sugar. That’s why it’s perfect in these tea cakes, Chantilly is little more than cream and sugar.
Matcha powder comes in different grades. Culinary matcha is what I use most often in baked goods and sugary sweets, as it provides a beautiful taste and color but is more economical than the matcha used for tea ceremonies. You can find my favorite variety here.
A package of tea biscuits provides an easy base for these cakes (I used McVitie’s). The cream needs to stabilize in the refrigerator for an hour or more, and as the cakes stand the biscuits become tender and delectable.
I used 3″ pastry rings lined with acetate to make these mini treats. In the dessert realm, acetate is used to create plastic collars for molded desserts. If you don’t have acetate, you can freeze the cakes instead and then push them out of the pastry rings from the bottom (cookie-side) up.
See how easy the acetate makes unmolding? I purchased acetate from an online pastry supply store, and was surprised to get this pad I used in art school. So, if you have an art supply store close, you’re in business!
The cakes get one more cookie on top before a crown of whipped cream is piped on in a swirling heap.
If you’re a die-hard matcha fan like I am, then you’ll appreciate an extra sprinkle of the tea powder over the dessert. As a final flourish, I placed two matcha cream Pocky biscuits crossed on top of the cakes. The raspberries in this cake provide a little acidity and freshness. I made these a second time with blackberries, and they were just as delicious.
For more matcha desserts, check out this article on Huffpost Taste. I was so happy to be included in this roundup of beautiful, emerald treats! And for more of my favorite matcha desserts, follow the links below:
Matcha Chantilly Cakes
- six 3 inch pastry rings
- 12 round tea biscuits McVities
- 2 tablespoons matcha tea powder plus extra for dusting
- 3 tablespoons boiling hot water
- 3 tablespoons cool water
- .25 ounce 1 package powdered unflavored gelatin
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream divided
- 1 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar divided
- 1 1/2 pints fresh raspberries
- 12 matcha cream Pocky sticks
- Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place six 3-inch pastry rings on the paper and line them with acetate. Place a tea biscuit in the center of each ring, reserve the remaining 6 biscuits for later use.
- Sift the matcha tea powder into a small bowl; add the boiling hot water and stir until a smooth paste forms.
- Place the 3 tablespoons cool water in a separate small microwavable bowl. Evenly sprinkle the package of powdered gelatin over the surface and let it stand for 3 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the heavy whipping cream and 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on high speed until slightly thickened. Microwave the gelatin mixture for 10 seconds, or until liquid. Beat the cream again on high speed while gradually adding the liquid gelatin into the mixture. When the mixture holds soft peaks add in the matcha paste. Beat until the cream is consistently green and holds stiff peaks. Transfer the cream to a large piping bag and pipe it over the tea biscuits in the pastry rings. Just pipe enough into the rings to cover the cookie completely. Line the outside edge of the rings with raspberries, pointed end-up and so that the raspberries are touching the acetate. Pipe more matcha cream over the raspberries, filling the pastry rings to the top. Refrigerate the cream cakes until set, about 2 hours.
- Slide the pastry rings off the cakes and gently peel away the acetate. Top the cakes with the remaining tea biscuits. Return the cakes to the refrigerator.
- Combine the 1 cup remaining heavy cream and remaining 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Beat on high speed until the cream holds stiff peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star decorator tip. Pipe the cream in large swirls on top of the cakes. Garnish the cakes with a raspberry and two matcha cream Pocky sticks, placed crosswise beside the berry.
- If you love the deliciously bitter flavor of pure matcha powder, then sift a little over each cake before serving.
- Keep leftover cakes refrigerated.