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Matcha tea and mascarpone tart

>> Sunday, March 14, 2010

Matcha mousse tart 4

The Spanish page HEMC was asking us to prepare a tea-based dessert this month. You already know I'm not a tea lover, at least not in drinking form. But it's never too late to find another method or presentation so that I can get to like this weed. I've been spotting recipes with matcha tea for a long time now in the blogosphere, where its qualities are praised everywhere. Really everywhere... So I decided for once to stop resisting it and join the matcha initiated gang...

Good matcha tea is incredibly expensive. Fortunately you don't need a lot of it to make a good dessert. So I proceeded to spend an obscene amount of money in a 100g bag of matcha tea... it's so hard being a foodie. In case you've never seen matcha, it's a powdered form of tea with a lovely green hue. You can infuse 1 or 2 teaspoons in a cup of very warm water, never boiling, then stir it thoroughly to break the lumps, till it's frothy. You don't need to filter it. The result is a suspiciously looking green suspension. The day my tea arrived I decided to be bold and give it a try. Unfortunately it didn't change my mind, not a bit. The infused tea looked a lot like slime from the bottom of a nearby pond. But I still had to try it in a dessert. Why do I always give tea another chance? Like if it was any old boyfriend...

I opted for a light mousse tart. I would use a sponge layer, then a mascarpone mousse layer and a second layer of matcha mousse. The concept and recipes come from this web and this web.

Matcha and mascarpone mousse tart
Matcha sponge from Nordljus:

  • 10g matcha tea
  • 50g flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 egg whites
  • 60g sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
  2. Weigh the flour and the tea, mix, sift and set aside.
  3. Mix the yolks with half the sugar and cream them till pale.
  4. Mix the whites with the rest of the sugar and whip them to a meringue.
  5. Delicately mix the yolks and whites. Once homogenized, add the flour and tea mixture, little by little and mixing gently.
  6. Pour the mixture on a removable ring mold (I put parchment paper on the base to prevent it from sticking to the bottom). Bake for 12 minutes or until done. With a 20cm mold the sponge is 2.5-3cm tall. When done, tip it out of the mold carefully and let cool on a wire rack.

Mascarpone mousse adapted from Eddy Van Damme:
  • 3 gelatine sheets
  • 180g whipping cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 60g water
  • 90g sugar
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  1. First place the gelatine sheets in a bowl filled with cold water.
  2. I make my custard in my Thermomix 21: put the egg yolks in the mixer with the water and sugar, fit the butterfly on place and mix at speed 1 1/2, around 8 minutes at 80ºC. I've got a roast-beef thermometer I use to check that the temperature has really reached 80ºC, as time can vary depending on the eggs size and fridge temperature. If you don't have a Thermomix, make the custard on a bain-marie, in a double boiler or in a bowl over boiling water, till the mixture reaches the right temperature. When done, rinse the gelatine sheets and add them to the bowl. Stir to dissolve and let cool.
  3. Whip the cream to soft peaks. According to the recipe you should never whip it to hard peaks.
  4. When the custard reaches ambient temperature, mix it with the mascarpone cheese. Mix it with a hand-mixer if necessary, to break the mascarpone lumps. Then add the whipped cream and mix gently.

Matcha tea mousse, adapted from Nordljus
  • 3 gelatine sheets
  • 100g milk
  • 10g matcha tea
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 egg white
  • 40g sugar
  • 100ml whipping cream
  1. Put the gelatine sheets in a bowl with cold water.
  2. Pour the milk in a pot, add the tea, stir to break the lumps and heat it, but do not bring it to a boil.
  3. Cream the egg yolk with half the sugar till pale. Then add the milk-tea mixture and heat the mixture to 85ºC to make a thin custard. Better measure the temperature, like in the previous mousse. Add the rinsed gelatine sheets to the warm custard, stir to dissolve and let cool.
  4. Whip the cream to soft peaks like in the mascarpone mousse, set aside.
  5. Then whip the egg white and the rest of the sugar to a meringe.
  6. When the custard is cold, mix the cream gently. Then mix the meringue carefully, not to deflate it.

To lay out the tart
This needs some previous planning. Once the sponge is ready and cold, I freezed it to cut it. The top surface was somewhat domed, as any decent sponge surface should be. Therefore it needs to be cut to a flatter surface. I thought it would be easier on a frozen sponge.

Matcha mousse tart 8

Once the sponge is ready, put it into a mold that fits snugly around it or use an adjustable cake ring like me. Fit the ring snugly around the sponge, laid on a shallow mold or dish, and pour the mascarpone mousse when it's ready. If you use a removable ring mold, butter and sugar the sides thoroughly and take this into account: you must bake the sponge in a mold that's slightly larger than the one you'll be using for the whole tart, as the sponge shrinks in diameter upon cooling. If you'd bake the sponge in the same mold you'd use for the tart, the mousse would cover the sides of the sponge and you wouldn't see it from the side in the final result. If you use a slightly larger mold, just trim the sponge to the final size. I hope I've made myself understandable...

Matcha mousse tart 5

Regarding the mascarpone mousse, the amount is somewhat larger than you need for a double mousse layer tart. So I used the surplus to fill these little shell molds for bonbons. Then you freeze the little shells to be able to unmold them easily. If you don't have this kind of mold, you can use fancy ice cube trays. Once the mousse is poured on the sponge, you have to wait for it to set before laying the second mousse layer. I put it in the fridge while making the tea mousse. By the time you're done with the tea mousse, the cheese mousse will be set enough. Take the tart out of the freezer and pour the tea mousse. My remark on this: the difference between both mousses is that the tea mousse includes meringue, which the mascarpone's hasn't. I didn't notice much difference between them regarding consistency and creaminess but the tea mousse was a lot more difficult to handle in order to smooth the surface, for example. Although the original recipe doesn't mention it, I believe the meringue has to be whipped only to soft peaks for the mousse to softly "flow" upon layering. The cheese mousse flowed perfectly, filling all the surface irregularities of the sponge and yielding a beautifully homogeneous surface, on top and sides. However the tea mousse would not "flow" and I had to use a spatula to smooth it. In spite of that, the surface was quite uneven and the sides where not properly filled. Next time I'll make it right!

Matcha mousse tart 1

Once the tea mousse is laid, return the tart to the freezer so that you can easily remove the ring or mold. I made the tart in advance and left it in the fridge overnight. You've got to take it out of the fridge at least 2 hours in advance. To improve the horrible surface, I said to myself: don't worry, just pipe a thin gelatine layer on top for a shiny smooth surface. And so I did, but then I returned the damn thing to the freezer... big mistake. For those of you who, like me, thought you could set the gelatine by freezing it, you're wrong. The gelatine crystallizes into an uneven and matt surface, just the opposite of what I intended. Ignorant. But I'm a woman-of-infinite-resource-and-sagacity. I had collected the sponge trimmings, which by now were completely dry and crumbly. So I thought I'd made them into a powder and sprinkle the surface to hide the horrible gelatine. Then I laid the cute little shells and sprinkled the green powder... I've made uglier tarts. My kids said I should have placed a mini SpongeBob in the middle... To cut a long story short, the green layer was very uneven on the tart side and the gelatine permeated at some points, you can see it in the photos. But practice makes perfect. And I've got to publish a failure every now and then. Not everything in my life is sheer success.

Matcha mousse tart 7

The tasting result: I must admit in this case the tea flavor was delicious. The tart was very soft, light and with a subtle tea flavor that didn't overwhelmed you. The same for the mascarpone flavor, which by the way makes a great combination with the tea. A real keeper, I will repeat it no doubt, as all the guests loved it. In spite of all its flaws.

Matcha mousse tart 6

31 comentarios:

Anonymous March 14, 2010 at 7:44 PM  

Wow is that ever gorgeous!!! And no doubt delicious with such subtle flavors. Wow again! I'm impressed with this beauty!

Tasty Trix March 14, 2010 at 8:31 PM  

This looks unbelievable. So light and pretty. Fortunately I LOVE tea and I love matcha ... so I have absolutely no hurdles to overcome in loving this creation of yours!

Anonymous March 14, 2010 at 11:50 PM  

Yum! I love green tea flavored desserts! And this cake is gorgeous!!

Divina Pe March 15, 2010 at 1:43 AM  

This cake is absolutely gorgeous. I love matcha too as a tea, also in ice creams and cakes.

penny aka jeroxie March 15, 2010 at 3:46 AM  

I am speechless! I am in AWE!

Gala March 15, 2010 at 12:48 PM  

If you wouldn't have mentioned all those flaws I wouldn't have noticed. This is an absolutely gorgeous cake.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) March 15, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

This is a stunning dessert!!!!!Don't you just love the availability of international ingredients.

Simones Kitchen March 15, 2010 at 10:38 PM  

I would make this for the colors alone if only I could find matcha somewhere. Like you I have been seeing recipes including matcha tea for quite some time now and I find it a very intriguing ingredient... but one I haven't been able to find... yet. I will keep searching!

Cleo Coyle March 15, 2010 at 10:46 PM  

This is really gorgeous. Great advice on working with the mascarpone mousse.


Anonymous March 16, 2010 at 5:20 AM  

My gosh. That looks so awesome. And sounds delicious!

singerinkitchen March 16, 2010 at 1:19 PM  

Wonderful looking dessert! I actually like Matcha alot! There are so many ways to use it now in desserts or main meals that I do not think it will go to waste on you! Congrats on making top 9 Miriam!

Mother Rimmy March 16, 2010 at 2:59 PM  

What a beautiful dessert! Incredible.

Unknown March 16, 2010 at 3:11 PM  

That is a gorgeous Tart.. and love the way you give a detailed description including the pitfalls.
Awesome job! I have always wanted to try matcha tea but didn't realise that it was so expensive...hmmmm

Joy March 17, 2010 at 2:11 AM  

That looks really good. I can't wait to try this.

Diana Bauman March 17, 2010 at 3:13 AM  

Congrats on Top 9 Miriam! I will have to look for this matcha tea. I really want to try this dessert as it looks gorgeous! Miriam, I'm so excited. I'll be in Spain this May! I wish you were in Andalucia as I would love to meet you! I'm just so excited to see my family again and give tons of kisses and eat tons of food!!! Have a great week :D

SashaInTheKitchen March 17, 2010 at 4:06 AM  

That mouse looks amazing!!!! I made a green tea (Matcha) tiramisu last weekend as well - I would love for you to check it out on my site. I love the flavor and color of matcha powder and your mousse is gorgeous.

Miranda March 18, 2010 at 7:21 PM  

This is a very lovely cake. Congrats on top 9. It is well deserved.

A Canadian Foodie March 19, 2010 at 12:29 AM  

This is gorgeous - sounds scrumptious - matcha tea is definitely in the limelight right now and this looks like the perfect way to showcase it - absolutely gorgeous. I am going to make this as one of the treats for my mother's 80th b-day party coming up.
Thank you!

Miriam March 19, 2010 at 5:44 PM  

Danielle: thanks!
Trix: yes, I really loved the lightness above all.
Arugulove: thanks!
Divina: I've got to try it in icecreams!
Penny: thank youuuuuu!
Gala: mmm, because the photos were not real close-ups... ;-)
Val: it's amazing, yes
Simone: well, I bought the matcha on the Internet.
Cleo: thanks!
Pink: thanks!
Noelle: thank you, Noelle!
MR: thanks!
Asha: the good news is that you really need tiny amounts for cooking.
Joy: thanks!
Diana: wooow!!! That'll be fantastic! I'm sure you'll have a grand time.
Sasha: in fact I wanted to make a charlotte cake type at first, like yours!
Miranda: thanks!
Valerie: wow, I'm honoured! I'm sure you'll make a beautiful cake, hope you all enjoy it!

Irmina Díaz-Frois Martín March 20, 2010 at 1:48 PM  

Expléndida tarta para este evento. Genial!!
Un beso.

Unknown March 21, 2010 at 4:34 AM  

Hi. Maybe this is a dumb question but maybe I skipped reaing a few lines. The gelatin layer at the top: did you sweeten it at all or was it plain jane jelly-water up there lie a skin of ice?

Miriam March 22, 2010 at 8:04 PM  

Irmina: gracias!
Hi Twyla, in fact I used an apple liqueur as the base for the gelatine layer.

Table Talk March 23, 2010 at 1:32 AM  

Love matcha powder, and in this light dessert it sounds fantastic!
Such vivid green color.

Kris Ngoei March 24, 2010 at 8:47 AM  

Love the cake - both the look and decoration. And if I got to taste it, maybe I will definitely include the taste too :-)

Anyway, I really love your photos and the top white chocolate decorate shells are simply elegant!

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Miriam March 24, 2010 at 11:16 AM  

TT: yes, it's so eye-catching, isn't it? Though I must admit my kids asked me if the green layers consisted of alien mucus...
BIP: thanks, Sawadee!

Talita April 4, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

How beautiful!! Love the color, the texture, everything! But I really don't know if I like matcha, cuz I never tried it.

Anonymous February 16, 2011 at 12:31 PM  

It looks really-really beautiful and yummy! I want to make this cake for my colleague, my only question is the size of the cake pan that you used!
How many cms is the diameter?
Thanks for your reply in advance!
Viki (from Hungary)

Miriam February 16, 2011 at 9:39 PM  

Hi Viki: the size of the pan was about 22 cm diameter. I hope you enjoy making the cake! It was truly delicious.

celia December 26, 2011 at 6:17 PM  

I baked this for christmas. It turned out fantastic and my family loved it, thanks for the recipe!
Here's a photo by the way :)

Anonymous March 21, 2012 at 4:02 AM  

Dear Miriam,

As gelatine sheets vary in size and strength, could you please tell me the size/weight of the gelatine sheets you used for this recipe? My gelatine sheets are very big in size, which makes me think they are not the same size as ones used by you in the mousse recipe as it calls for 3 sheets.

Many thanks in advance,

Miriam March 21, 2012 at 9:24 AM  

Hi Rachel! My gelatin sheets are 8cmx5cm, quite small (around 3"x2"). I hope that helps.


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