Steve Hodge fell in love with matcha on a trip to Japan. From the earthy, bitter complexity of the tea to how it’s produced and enjoyed to the tea drinking ceremony itself, which is apparently like no other—it all left a lasting impression on the driving force behind West Vancouver’s beloved Temper Chocolate & Pastry.

“So I created this dessert,” he says, “and every time I eat it, I think of my amazing culinary trip to Japan, and I have so much respect and enjoyment for their culture and pastry style and flavours.”

The key, he says, is to use a high-quality pure matcha. “Ceremonial matcha is the best.”

In addition to crafting his own desserts, the classically trained pastry chef is now cohosting the new Food Network Canada series Project Bakeover, which premieres this week and aims to reinvigorate struggling bakeries on the brink of collapse. “I have been in their shoes, and the industry is hard.” Now more than ever, he says, it’s important to support small, local businesses.

Steve Hodge’s Matcha Yuzu Cake

Ingredients

For the yuzu crémeux:

2 tablespoons gelatin powder (2 packages, 7 grams each)

3/4 cup yuzu purée

6 egg yolks

3 whole eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup butter

For the matcha mousse:

1 tablespoon gelatin

1 cup 36 per cent cream (whipping cream)

1 cup milk

4 egg yolks

1/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons matcha powder

1 1/2 cups 36 per cent cream (whipping cream), whipped to soft peaks

Enough vanilla cake or packaged ladyfingers to cover bottom of the dish (4-6 ladyfingers), cut to ¼-inch slices

1/8 cup white chocolate, melted

For garnish:

Cocoa powder or fresh fruit

Image courtesy of Temper Chocolate & Pastry.

Method

For the yuzu crémeux:

Bloom gelatin (mix gelatin powder with 1/8 cup cold water until dissolved). Combine yuzu purée, egg yolks, eggs, and sugar in a large heat-proof bowl, whisking. Cook over bain-marie until temperature reaches 82°C (180°F).

Remove from heat, cool slightly, then whisk in bloomed gelatin. Cool mixture to 40°C (104°F).  Add butter in pieces and emulsify with hand blender until smooth.

For the matcha mousse:

Bloom gelatin (mix gelatin powder with 1/8 cup cold water until dissolved).

Bring cream to a boil. Add milk, bring to a boil.

In large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs. Temper mixture with hot milk mixture. Return to heat, whisking continuously until temperature reaches 82°C (180°F).

Allow to cool. Whisk in gelatin and strain through fine sieve. Cool to 32°C (90°F).

In a separate container, whisk and then emulsify matcha powder into 1/4 of whipped cream. Fold into remaining whipped cream.

To assemble:

Line 8-inch-square dish or removable-bottom cake pan with plastic wrap.

Arrange ¼-inch slices of ladyfingers or sponge cake to cover the bottom of the dish. Brush cake with melted white chocolate.

Spread yuzu crémeux over cake. Refrigerate 10 minutes.

Evenly spread matcha mousse over top. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove from pan by lifting plastic wrap or removing pan sides and placing on serving dish. Dust with cocoa powder or decorate with fresh fruit.


Project Bakeover premieres February 4 on Food Network Canada. Try more recipes.

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