Genmatcha Pound Cake

Moist, buttery pound cake with a mild toastiness from the green tea powder! 

I love a good ol' pound cake. There's nothing like mixing a cake batter by hand- from creaming the butter and sugar with a whisk, adding in the eggs, vanilla, and then using a wooden spoon to stir in the dry ingredients. Once you're familiar with a basic pound cake method, you can go on to add whatever ingredients you like to make it your very own. And pound cakes are so easy to make you really don't need a stand mixer or hand held beaters to make them. You just need basic tools and good hands. 

The recipe I'm sharing with you today isn't the traditional pound cake recipe, where you would use equal amounts of butter, sugar, eggs and flour to create a dense, moist pound cake. The recipe I have here is from a Japanese cookbook- it yields a moist but not too dense pound cake, with a little bit of leavening to ensure you get enough rise in your cake. The original recipe used some matcha powder- I've swapped it out for genmatcha powder. Genmatcha is roasted brown rice green tea, which has a roasty, toasty flavour with a lot of depth and a slight bitterness from the green tea which I think pairs beautifully in a pound cake like this. Since genmatcha powder isn't quite commonly available, I've ground the genmatcha tea leaves by myself using a mortar and pestle (you could use a spice grinder or coffee grinder if you have one) and just pass it through the sieve to get rid of the large pieces. A couple of small lumps is perfectly fine, you just don't want to bite into a whole tea leaf when you're eating your pound cake, right? 

If you don't have genmatcha tea leaves or matcha powder, you could certainly swap it out with equal amounts of other teas you like- I think houjicha (roasted green tea) and walnuts would work beautiful here, but earl grey, chamomile, oolong and osmanthus would work beautifully too, I imagine. You might need to experiment with varying quantities of tea though, to suit your taste. And you could definetly leave out tea to put in whatever you fancy- vanilla, chocolate chip, citrus, berries etc. 

Oh and the trick to getting a beautiful crack on your pound cake? You help it crack. About 1/3 through its baking to use a knife to make a slit in the top of your cake, just deep enough to cut through the "skin" it has formed on top from baking. As the cake continues to bake, the cake batter from beneath will rise up to fill up and expand the slit so you get a beautiful rounded top. I feel this helps the cake to rise better too. I know some people don't like cracks on their pound cake, but this crack is just at the perfect place and I think it looks rustic, homey and comforting. 

Happy baking, and I hope to see what variations you make from this pound cake! :) 

Genmatcha Pound Cake 
Recipe adapted from Tokyo パン屋 | 东京面包屋
Makes 3 8x15cm cakes 

160g unsalted butter, room temperature 
160g sugar 
4g salt 
18g rum (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract 
4 eggs, room tmepersufre 
120g plain flour 
46g corn flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
6g genmatcha or matcha powder 

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line and grease 3 8x15cm loaf tins. 
Cream the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla, rum and salt, mix to combine. 
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, till incorporated and smooth. 
Sift in the flours, baking powder and genmatcha powder. Fold in gently till just combined. 
Divide evenly between the 3 loaf tins (about 250g batter in each). 
Bake for 12 minutes until lightly golden on top. Remove from the oven, using a sharp knife, make a long cut in the centre of the cake. 
Bake for another 20 minutes at 190 degrees Celsius, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean and the top is evenly golden. 

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