The thought of layers upon layers of azuki cream filing won me over. So it was after work one evening that I took out my mixing bowls and hand mixer (I was too lazy to use my KitchenAid) and starting baking. Although the recipe looks complicated, it was really easy to put together. In fact I managed to bake the cake, plus the filing as well as assemble the entire cake in less than an hour an a half. One thing I must caution is that this recipe is enough for about 6 persons, without extra helping. And your guests are likely to ask for "more please" after tasting it. I'm already dreaming of endless possibilities with this recipe such as mango cream filing. Hmmm .... mangoes are now in season!
Matcha Genoise with Azuki Cream Filing
Recipe Adapted from Dessert First
2 eggs, room temperature
60g confectioners' sugar
63g ground almond or almond meal
1 1/2 tsp matcha powder
30g all purpose flour
2 egg whites, room temperature
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
28g caster sugar
30g unsalted butter, melted
Ingredients for Azuki Cream Filling:
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup of prepared azuki beans (can version should be easily available from Asian or Japanese grocery. The beans are already cooked and sweetened - do not use paste version)
Method for the Genoise:
1) Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a half sheet pan (about 12"x16") with a sheet of parchment paper or a Silpat.
2) Combine the eggs with the confectioners' sugar and ground almonds in a mixer and cream until it is light and about double in volume.
3) Add in the matcha powder and combine. You can add more or less depending on your taste, but donâ€'t add more than 1 ½ tsp or it might affect the cake'€™s texture.
4) Remove from the mixer. Sift the flour over the egg mixture.
5) Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl on a mixer at low speed until they start to froth. Then add the cream of tartar and increase mixer speed, whipping until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar and whip for a few seconds longer to incorporate.
6) Scoop about 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg mixture and fold in gently with a rubber spatula. Add the remaining egg whites and fold in until uniformly mixed. Pour the melted butter over the batter and fold in to incorporate.
7) Pour the batter into the half sheet pan and distribute it evenly with an offset spatula, making the layer as level and smooth as possible. Tap the bottom of the pan to get rid of some of the air bubbles. (I didn't do this very well which resulted in "holes" in my genoise)
8) Bake in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the cake is just firm and lightly brown but not completely brown â€“ this cake should not be overbaked.
9) Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the parchment. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
10)Place another sheet pan on top of the cake and flip it over, then carefully peel the parchment paper from the back of the cake. Then flip the cake back on it's right side over a clean piece of parchment.
1) Trim off the edges and slice the cake in along the short side into 4 equal-sized pieces
2) Whip the cream to soft peaks. Leave aside 1/4 of the cream for the topping. For the remaining cream, fold in the red beans gently with a rubber spatula until they are evenly distributed.
3) Taking one layer of the cake, frost the top with 1/4 of the azuki filing. Then lay the 2nd layer on top and continue with the rest until the last layer is in place. It's ok if some of the cream goes over the sides; just try to keep the layer even.
4) Top the last layer with the 1/4 plain cream.
5) Cover the cake and refrigerate overnight.
6) When you are ready to serve, trim off the sides of the cake to make them nice and even. Dust the top with some matcha powder.