After being drawn into the craze of matcha desserts online, I bought a few bags of the stuff a while back, and although it is touted for its antioxidant powers and various health benefits, I’m not a huge matcha tea drinker. The extremely fine powder is difficult to dissolve so I’m always left with lumps of powder at the bottom of the cup…
So with the abundance of matcha powder sitting at home, I decided to make a matcha entremet: matcha genoise sponge, Canary melon, and matcha mousse.
I love experimenting with not-so-obvious flavour combinations, so I paired the matcha with melon. The melon that I used, and is always mistakenly labeled as Honeydew melon in the supermarkets, is in fact a Canary melon. It is the rugby shaped, yellow melon with a white-ish flesh. In this dessert, it adds a nice sweetness to balance the bitterness of the matcha.
This was my first attempt at a genoise sponge and you can’t go wrong with Pierre Herme’s recipe. It’s the perfect basic recipe. I just replaced some of the flour for matcha powder and reduced the sugar by a smidge. The texture of genoise is drier than most cakes since it is usually brushed with syrup. It is a good, sturdy base for stacked cakes and had just the right amount of sweetness, but since I sliced the sponge in half, one side had a messy jagged edge.
I had a little trouble with the mousse, involving curdled egg yolks, so I improvised with what I had, and the flavour turned out amazing. In many store-bought matcha mousse desserts, the green tea flavour is lost in all of the creaminess, but this mousse had a very strong matcha flavour.
Notes for my next attempt:
- Be aware of the texture of each layer – use firmer layers at the bottom, which will make cutting the entremet neater. I would not use melon slices next time, it made the cutting very messy! Possibly substitute with melon puree, syrup, mousse or jelly.
- Brush a syrup (matcha flavour) to soften the genoise sponge and enhance the matcha flavour.
- Use 3 gelatin leaves for a firmer mousse.
- Bake the sponge in individual layers so the edges are more defined.
Adapted from Pierre Herme’s Desserts. This makes double the amount needed for this recipe, so I baked and then froze the other half
- 56g unsalted butter
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar (I eyeballed it and used about 5/6th of a cup)
- 165g all purpose flour
- 8g matcha powder
- Line a 30cm square pan with parchment.
- Bring a pot of water to simmer. Melt butter and set aside. It should be warm when you need it
- Whisk egg and sugar together and place bowl over simmering water. Keep whisking until temperature reaches 130-140F/54-60c. About 4 minutes.
- Take off heat and whisk on high for 5-8 minutes until triple in volume, light and airy. It should form ribbons when lifted from the bowl
- Stir 2 tbsp of batter into the butter to prevent the butter from sinking in the batter.
- Sift flour into the egg batter and gently fold
- Then fold in the butter
- Bake at 350F/176C for 20 minutes until top is golden, springy and toothpick comes out clean.
- Transfer to wire rack to cool. Unmold after 5 minutes and cool completely
- Slice in sponge into two layers, then cut 3 equal rectangles – giving you 6 equal rectangles. Since we only need 3 layers, freeze the other 3 layers for another time.
- 300ml milk
- 100g sugar
- 2 gelatin leaves (next time I would use 3 leaves, see notes)
- 330ml double cream
- 10g matcha powder
- Soak the gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 minutes.
- Whip the double cream until stiff peaks form and place in the fridge.
- Heat the milk, matcha powder and sugar until boiling. Remove from heat.
- Squeeze out excess liquid from the gelatin leaves and place in the matcha mixture. Stir to dissolve, and let it cool completely until it is set.
- Whisk matcha mixture with the whipped cream.
Layer genoise sponge, then melon slices, then matcha mousse, and repeat. Top with last sponge and a layer of mousse. I used sifted matcha powder and white chocolate for decoration.