Matcha, Dark Chocolate and Lavender Cake

Light and moist matcha Chiffon brushed with matcha syrup, whipped dark chocolate ganache, matcha white chocolate drizzle. 

It's been a hectic few days of baking. I guess I've enjoyed the moments, watching my cakes rise in the oven, weighing out batches of flour and sugar, cracking lots of eggs, and whirling cake batter in my trusty mixer. At the same time, its been kind of tiring, having to face baking fails like split and curdled Swiss meringue buttercream and sinking ogura cakes. I guess baking's all about trial and error, and I guess even those pros way up there make mistakes too. I've realised how much my real-life-baking-kitchen experience has helped me and shaped me to become a better person- someone who expects no less than the best from myself, and to learn that baking really can't be rushed- there aren't really lots of shortcuts to get to the same result with such good quality- but putting your heart and soul into whatever you do, and relishing every moment, always makes a difference. For me, my greatest weakness in the kitchen is feeling frantic and panicked when I try to rush things and don't give myself enough time- more often that not these lead to cuts and burns and overwhipped egg whites. Yet it is kind of ironic that my greatest strength is bouncing back up from failure and trying to be resourceful with whatever left I have. Sometimes, baking fails do happen to me and the only thing I can do is to keep calm and carry on and just be more careful next time. And that every failure is a lesson learnt, but never be let down by that because if you never try, you'll never know and you'll never push the limits to something better and greater that the sum of its parts. Baking has taught me, that things don't always turn out the way you want it to, but thats okay- we can always start again, on a fresh page. 

But enough rambling- here's a matcha dark chocolate cake for my niece's birthday. Okay I'm actually not that old enough to be an aunt, but my cousins are much older than me and well some little kids in family are always welcome :) I decorated this cake with some crushed freeze dried strawberries, dried lavender and dried osmanthus flowers I had lying around the house. Really love the colour contrast! Hopefully the sweetness of the white chocolate balances out with the touch of bittersweet ganache! 

Matcha, Dark Chocolate and Lavender Cake

Matcha Chiffon 
32g oil
35 g egg yolks + 25g sugar
50g egg whites + 67g sugar
75g cake flour
8g matcha
1/4 tsp baking powder
50ml water
1/4 tsp salt

Line a 6 inch cake pan with parchment, base only. Do not grease the sides, do not use a non-stick baking pan.
Whisk together oil, yolks + sugar. Sift in the flour, matcha, baking powder and salt, and stir in the water.
In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites + sugar (in 3 additions) till medium stiff-peaks. Fold in the whites in 3 additions. Bake in a preheated 170 degrees celsius oven, 30-40minutes. Invert to cool completely, before releasing from pan. Cut into 3 layers.

Whipped Dark Chocolate Ganache 
120g dark chocolate, chopped
200g whipping cream
1 tsp lavender buds

Warm the lavender buds + cream in a small saucepan. Once hot, turn off the heat and let steep for about 30minutes. Strain out the lavender and warm the cream, then pour over chopped chocolate, stir to combine. Let the ganache chill till cold before whipping till fluffy.

Matcha Drip
50g white chocolate
50g whipping cream
1 1/2 tsp matcha

Combine all the ingredients in a bain marie till melted. Cool till thickened.

Place a layer of matcha chiffon on a cake board. Brush with matcha syrup, top with ganache. Repeat for the other 2 layers. Frost the top and sides of the cake with ganache. Chill to firm up the surface of the ganache, before carefully dripping the matcha white chocolate ganache down the sides. Decorate with leftover whipped ganache and dried flowers.
Serve at room temp 

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