Matcha-almond sponge (multi) layer cake

This is not a green tea crepe cake.  It kind of looks like it, though, doesn't it, with all those thin layers of cake?
When things don't go according to plan: Fifteen layers of super thin matcha-almond sponge cake and cocoa whipped cream
It is, in reality, what happened when I tried to make a matcha/green tea almond sponge layer cake but the cake turned out so thin I ended up doubling the stacks and making a 15-layer concoction instead!  It still only measured maybe a little over 3-inches tall with all those layers, by the way.

If you'd like a good laugh, I was aiming for this.  Sprinkle Bakes had a post on matcha cakes recently and at the end of it, she listed a few other matcha dessert recipes. The one for matcha-almond sponge layers really appealed to me and I thought I could tackle it (ha!).  But let me step back for a minute...do you visit Sprinkle Bakes? Heather is (literally) an artist, and a very nice person to boot.  When I first started this blog 4 years ago, she was one of the original baking blogs I started reading and I was so impressed by her work that I emailed her to tell her so (I'd never done anything like that before).  She replied with a very sweet and encouraging email, and I have continued to admire her creations.  To be honest, her desserts are totally out of my league and I essentially just gawk at her work.  It looks like I need to revert back to gawking...
There was a moment when I was making this cake...when I realized how thin my cake was and when bits of it were sticking to the parchment paper...that I considered just scrapping the whole thing.  I only considered it for a second though because my general motto in the kitchen is to keep going and make the most of it when things go wrong.  I hate to waste - both effort and ingredients - so I try to avoid it and frankly, I find that most missteps still turn out rather tasty, as it did in this case.

So I kept at it and decided to double-stack my layers.  I only ended up with the 3 slices of cake you see here.  Had I trimmed my cake a little better, I might have been able to squeeze 4 slices out of it.  Maybe...
And you know that general advice about never trying out a new recipe if you're having someone over?  Well, it's a very good thing I had only invited my sister (and brother in law) over!  I think of her when I think of green tea desserts.  When things were looking rough, I warned her before her arrival that my project had turned out a lot more challenging than I imagined.  But luckily, I can say that these slices of cake disappeared from the table very quickly.  Everyone enjoyed it!  The matcha-almond cake itself is super moist; the matcha powder gives the cake a great hue but the flavor of green tea is mild.  The cocoa whipped cream I slathered between the layers adds creaminess and of course, a chocolate flavor, which I love.

All in all, this was an interesting experience!  I'm glad I still got to serve something and it was actually quite tasty.  I honestly don't think my sister would have been the wiser had I served this and told her it was supposed to be this way, a torte of sorts. My husband wished we had more of it and I did too but I'm just glad it worked out in its own way and nothing was wasted.  I can only laugh and say that I'm glad I just do this for fun!


When something doesn't go according to plan, we all think about what happened or what went wrong.  I'd like to partly blame this photo below.
I took this picture and proceeded to combine the egg whites with the rest of the batter.  It wasn't until the batter was on the baking sheet that I remembered I'd left some of the egg whites on the whisk attachment.  Precious egg whites that I needed every last drop of in this case!  I'm not saying those extra couple of tablespoons would have made a significant difference but I wish I hadn't lost any batter.

The recipe notes that the batter, which is spread into a sheet pan, will be THIN.  And mine certainly was.  You can see the baked sponge cake above.  Everything looked alright for the time being...
I even managed to successfully remove the cake from the parchment paper.  I had a few areas that stuck to the paper and clearly, it was super thin.  I went at it slowly and managed to remove the parchment paper without many rips.  
The situation got sticky (literally!) when I realized the sponge cake was sticking to the cooling rack I had set it on.  The ground almonds in the sponge batter makes the cake delicious and moist but I think it contributed to this particular stickiness.  In retrospect, I would have laid a piece of parchment paper on top of the cooling rack first.  So there followed another painstakingly slow process of removing the cake from the cooling rack and turning it around again.  After that, I cut the rectangular sponge cake into 4 equal pieces.  The filling (I decided to make it a cocoa whipped cream filling) should be spread between the layers.  
And finally, I come to the realization that my cake slices would just have been too short if I done it as intended - 4 layers of sponge with 3 layers of cream filling in between.  So I opted to slice my cake in half again, spread another layer of cocoa cream before stacking the other half on top of it.  That made a total of 15 layers...albeit very thin ones!
I sliced what I had into 3 portions and just dusted the tops with a little matcha powder.  The cake was honestly very tasty.  Our forks glided right through the super soft layers and every bite was creamy and moist.  It was a rough process getting to the tasting point but we got there.  

Looking back, maybe I should have baked my sponge cake in a 9x13, instead of a 12x16 baking sheet.  Regardless, I'm just happy we still had something to eat with our coffee that afternoon.  All's well that ends well!


Recipe:

Matcha-Almond Sponge Layer Cake with Cocoa Whipped Cream
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes

Given my eventful experience making this cake, I'll revert you directly to the original recipe from Sprinkle Bakes: here

Notes:
- The key takeaway is my sponge cake turned out extremely thin.  I ended up doubling the stacks, resulting in 15 thin layers.  I would consider baking the sponge in a smaller, 9x13 inch, baking pan instead of a sheet pan.

- I had trouble with the moist sponge cake sticking to the cooling rack.  To help with this, I would first set a large piece of parchment paper over the cooling rack before turning the cake out on top of it.  Then, remove the parchment attached to the cake, and then flip the cake over again right-side-up.

- I omitted the white chocolate matcha topping; I had always intended to.  I simply dusted the top with a touch of matcha powder.

For the filling I used:

Cocoa Whipped Cream Filling
Technique adapted from Alice Medrich

2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

Place cocoa powder, sugar, and vanilla extract into a large measuring cup.  Add enough cream to make a thick paste.  Add the rest of the heavy cream and stir/whisk together to combine.  Set mixture in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight (this creates a thicker, richer flavor).  Whip in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or use a handheld mixer) until it just reaches stiff peaks. 




34 comments:

  1. This is such a great idea! I had a matcha cake on a cruise ship once and always wanted to recreate it at home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure you'd recreate it better than I did. : )

      Delete
  2. That looks awesome!! Way to turn a bad turnout into a good one :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks - that is a lovely compliment. : )

      Delete
  3. Double it up to make 15 layers...that's too smart! They look fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - "smart" is a nice way of putting it. Thanks, Angie. Honestly does taste really moist and good. : )

      Delete
  4. I think this cake is gorgeous, Monica! I just made a crepe cake last week for the first time and my layers were definitely not this pretty hehe. I adore matcha desserts and love how you doubled up all the layers. They look perfect and the cocoa whipped cream filling sounds fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course, you are super kind and encouraging! Thanks for the virtual pat in the back, Kelly. : ) Now I don't feel so bad. I'm sure your crepe cake is to die for. I haven't attempted because I just don't have the skills or patience...but I know how delicious it is!

      Delete
  5. This is super gorgeous! Love all the photos and love matcha :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are too sweet - appreciate it, Medha!

      Delete
  6. Such a gorgeous layer cake! I love matcha and this looks flavorful and oh so light in texture. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was definitely light in texture, that's true. Thanks, Amy.

      Delete
  7. I really like green tea cake. Have you ever tried a matcha Swiss roll? I put that up this year and it was a bit of a hit with the family. If you really like green tea you might like it! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if I've had matcha swiss roll, specifically, but I know exactly the texture you're referring to. This is like a thin version of that. I like all kinds of swiss rolls so I'm sure it would go down easy. I need to check your version...thanks!

      Delete
  8. I think this is a delicious accident! This cake looks really gorgeous and delicious and I would have eat all of them myself ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a delicious accident. Nothing went to waste and for that, I am very happy. Thanks for the nice words, Jasline.

      Delete
  9. I hate it when baking projects turn out so far off from what I expected...especially when I'm having people over to sere them to!! But I think these look delicious and if anything, they offered some kind of portion control!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - I love that! Unintentional portion control - I should have said that! It's always a bit of a downer when things don't turn out as expected but it's good if I learn a little something and can have a good laugh afterwards. At least we still had something to eat. Good thing I had also made ice cream the day earlier.

      Delete
  10. awesome work of art....
    i always failed on layered cake, so i'm saving this recipe for my sister....
    Dedy@Dentist Chef

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can "fail" right along with each other! No problem. : )

      Delete
  11. Oh gosh, I have to remind myself every single time we have people coming over to make something I know works!! Because if I don't, I get so upset if it doesn't work out!! I love the way this cake came out even if not as originally planned! All those layers make it look really pretty! And it sure does sound tasty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't the urge to try something always there! I suppose it's because we want to save special recipes for an occasion and if it turns out well, it could be so good...but sometimes...it's a big risk! But thanks for the encouraging comment, Ashley. It did really turn out tasty...I just wish it'd been nice and thick and I could have had twice the portion! : )

      Delete
  12. Um, Monica, do you realize that you are ridiculously, unnecessarily hard on yourself?! These cakes are nothing short of AMAZING on so many levels. They are stunning (and impressive) to look at. Even you said they taste great. You were adventurous enough to try a recipe (from a culinary artist) requiring unusual ingredients and time consuming methods(i.e. "I created a 15- LAYER concoction" !). Finally, you created your own version that, though maybe not your original intent, is every bit as amazing as the Sprinkle Bakes dessert! ....and did I mention how beautiful the green cake on your green table cloth is?!! I am awed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awwww...Wendy! I feel like I must be fishing for compliments from you! You are too kind, and I'm very thankful for your encouragement. I do feel really happy about my "recovery"...I love when things still kind of turn out even if they didn't, you know? It did taste fantastic and I'm happy it still made it to the table and everyone ate it with joy. Thanks again, Wendy! xo

      Delete
  13. Hey Monica - I keep leaving comments (3?) but they are not showing up - maybe I have been sucked into the SPAM folder! Anyway - I love this creative, amazing recipe. Wendy is right - you made an amazing cake here and if the fork glides through the layers of deliciousness - then everyone must have been happy. I know I would! Beautiful dessert - hope you have a great week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tricia - I'm soo very sorry about your trouble with commenting!! I just checked and nothing in the spam folder so not sure what happened. I appreciate you trying a few times!
      This cake really was so soft and easy to eat...I'm glad I had some ice cream to bake it up since there were only 3 slices of these babies though! All's well that ends pretty well... You enjoy the week, too! It's going to go by fast!

      Delete
  14. Oh Monica, in my eyes, you are making very similar cake as Sprinkle Bakes!! It is so gorgeous!!! I have to pin... I wish I can eat it too! It's truly a work of art!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha - thank you, Nami. Somewhat similar...just half the portion and super thin layers. Could be worse. : ) Thanks so much for the kind words.

      Delete
  15. So beautiful! I am gawking too:-) You managed to not only fix them but turn them into something fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for that, Sonali. I am just glad not to waste the effort, ingredients, and time, you know? : )

      Delete
  16. Wow! What an adventure! I totally understand with the cakes; there are certainly times when I've tried making a cake but then it didn't turn out exactly as expected, so you just wing it and it actually turns out pretty well (just like yours!). The recipe looks amazing though (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes - just gotta wing it and try to piece it together sometimes. : ) It worked out in the end well enough for me. : )

      Delete
  17. Monica, I have been admiring this from when you very first posted it in May. It is simply stunning!! It looks like a dobos prepared by a professional - well done. Super inspirational!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Jo! I does look like a dobos - but accidentally! I guess that's okay, right? It tasted good, very good actually so all's well that ends well. : )

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...