Sunday, 21 April 2013

Green Tea Layered Crème Pâtissière Chiffon Cake

I love green tea cake. I can still remember the bursting green tea flavour and cottony soft texture of the first time I tried a green tea sponge roll cake with a thin layer of cream and red bean paste. Ever since then I told myself that I must bake it some day.
Last week one of my supervisors turned 70 and knowing that he likes drinking green tea, there is no better choice than to bake him a green tea cake. But then, he has put me to the test of what type of cake I should bake and design for him. He prefers savoury and avoids sweets. The cakes I usually bake are sweet and usually have a big slab of cream on top. Although green tea cakes aren't sweet by itself but I was not going to settle down with a plain looking cake without any decoration.   
I searched high and low over the world wide web looking for the most suitable green tea cake. I even observed the designs of green tea cakes in shops but they were all packed with cream so it wasn't all that helpful. Somehow, my eyes were laid on the green tea chiffon cake. I've never made chiffon cake before and it got me worried because sponge cakes have never worked properly for me. I was literally able to predict that the percentage of success would be leaning towards a fail and on my first try, I got 2 flat pancake layers of chiffon cake. I started to panic because I only had one more day left to bake the actual cake and if this fails, I don't know what else I could do (borderline crying). I went online and did more research on troubleshooting issues with chiffon cakes here and here where on my second try I succeeded. Although the cake succeeded, I didn't add enough green tea powder. I would recommend double the amount of green tea powder instead of the 2 teaspoons that I've added. I also recommend going on Youtube to see how to fold egg whites properly in a chiffon cake if you're unsure how to do it properly as that is one of the very crucial steps.
Now to talk about the green tea crème patissiere which is the best part of the cake. Full of strong bitter-sweetness and made up for the inadequacy of green tea flavour in the chiffon cake. I can literally just scoop out the crème patissiere and eat it by itself as it is so good. The crème patissiere can be made a day in advance but it would be pretty cumbersome during the layering process once it is set. I had to defrost it in the microwave for 30 seconds or more and then run the spatula in boiling water before spreading it across the cake. Crème patissiere definitely does not look as clean when it comes to decorating cakes and so I covered the clumpy texture with extra green tea powder, tada!

Green Tea Layered Crème Pâtissière Chiffon Cake

Green Tea Chiffon Cake
(recipe adapted from Inspired Nest)
Part I
6 large egg yolks
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I use vanillin)
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup plain flour
4 teaspoons green tea powder
Part II
6 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup caster sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/155°C fan-forced. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and green tea powder in a bowl and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks, water, oil, vanilla and sugar together until combined. At low speed, add in the flour mixture and beat until the batter is smooth.
3. In another large mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed for approximately 1 minute. Reduce to medium speed and gradually add in the sugar. Continue beating until very stiff and shiny. Be careful not to overbeat the egg whites. Do the overturn test where the egg white mixture shouldn't fall out from the bowl.
4. Using a spatula fold in the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture until well combined.  
5. Bake in a 9-10 inch no non-stick cake tin for 55-65 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
6. Invert and cool in cake tin over a wire rack. When cool, loosen edges with a knife and remove from the cake tin.
- I used 2 different sized no non-stick cake tins (25 and 29cm in diameter and 5cm in height).
- Don't fill cake batter more than 1/3 full of the cake tin or else there'll be an overflow.
- Be gentle when removing the cake from the tin, because it sticks to the base the cake can rip easily.
Green Tea Crème Pâtissière
3 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
25g cornflour
1 teaspoon green tea powder
1/2 vanilla pod (I substituted with 1/2 teaspoon vanillin)
250ml whole milk
15g unsalted butter, cubed
1. In a large saucepan boil milk and vanilla over low-medium heat. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and green tea powder together.
2. Slowly add boiled milk to the egg mixture whilst whisking. Return mixture to the stove over low-medium heat and continue whisking until it gets thick in texture.
3. Add in the butter and whisk until melted and crème is smooth. Put a cling film over and leave to cool in the fridge for 30-60 minutes. It can also be left overnight.
Note: This amount was enough for the rectangular cake I cut out from the round layers. My cake was approximately 10cm x 20cm. So you might want to double the amount if you want to fill the entire cake.
1. Spread a layer of crème patissiere on top of the first layer of cake. Put slices of strawberries on top.
2. Top with the second layer of cake and add the remaining crème patissiere on top. Sprinkle with extra green tea powder on top (optional) and decorate with halved strawberries.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Rosie. Love your site and baking as well :)

  2. I'm not a tea drinker but I guess this cake is gonna mesmerize me to eat it. It looks delicious. I have noted down the ingredients, may be someday I'll try to make it on my own.

    Thank you for the sharing of recipe.

    Finn Felton
    Kopi Luwak

    1. No worries Finn. Hopefully you can enjoy the cake one day :)