Originally posted 14/10/2014
I’m back! After a bit of an absence from my wee blog due to moving and dieting, I’m now settling into life in London as a postgraduate English Linguistics student, and I’ve joined my university’s Baking Society which has made the cake making urges return tenfold! I attended their welcome meeting last week and had a jolly old time meeting fellow baking enthusiasts and sampling some scrumptious homemade goodies. The theme for the night was ‘try something new’ so I thought this’d be the perfect excuse to try out the matcha green tea powder my other half very kindly brought me back from California after I said I’d like to use some in my cooking. Fortunately the oven in my new flat is wonderful and these cakes turned out beautifully – despite turning the sponge a lurid swampy colour, the green tea powder gives them a lovely subtly fragrant twang which works well with white or milk chocolate icing. I’m proud to say they were the first tin of cakes to disappear!
I’ve since found out that matcha green tea powder is extremely expensive to buy here in the UK (I’ve seen prices from £20 to £50!!) so they may not be the most practical cupcakes to try. However, you could add the contents of regular green tea bags instead and still get the flavour, just without the distinctive eye-catching green sponge.
Like a moron I forgot to photograph the insides of the cakes but the sponge came out very green! I ran out of white chocolate icing for the last two cakes and was in a hurry so I slathered them in Nutella – they were also delicious!
INGREDIENTS – makes approx. 12-14
For the cakes:
- 115g/6 oz self-raising flour
- 115g/6 oz caster/granulated sugar
- 115g/6 oz butter/margarine
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp matcha green tea powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing (measurements very approximate, sorry!):
- 140g/5 oz white chocolate
- 3 tbsp butter (unsalted if preferred)
- 3 tbsp icing sugar
- Splash of milk
- A few pinches of matcha green tea powder
- 12 wafer daisies (optional)
For the cakes:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (or 160 fan) and line a baking tray with 12 paper cases.
- Whisk the butter/margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale then whisk in the eggs.
- Fold in the flour, green tea powder and vanilla extract until a batter of a soft dropping consistency has formed.
- Drop the mixture into the cake cases using a teaspoon until they’re each about three quarters full.
- Pop in the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
- When baked, place on a wire rack and leave to cool. At this stage the cakes can be frozen for decorating at a later date if you wish.
For the icing:
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water or place in the microwave and heat in blasts of about 30-40 seconds (or 1 minute if using cooking chocolate – this tends to be more forgiving) until smooth.
- Add the butter, icing sugar and milk and beat until the mixture is a spreadable consistency. If it’s too runny add more icing sugar and if it’s too stiff add more milk.
- Spread onto the cakes using a palette knife – make sure you work quickly as this icing tends to stiffen rapidly!
- Sprinkle a little matcha green tea powder onto the top of each cake and add a wafer daisy as a pretty finishing touch if you wish. Voila!
Edit: You can see the sponge’s vivid green colour a bit better in this photo of another batch I made for Halloween (along with some chocolate bat ear cupcakes!), with red ‘blood’ icing and sweetie fangs: