A pretty layered cake from Malaysia resembling topographic map, with matcha (Japanese green tea powder) and cocoa powder.
Since I have a huge stock of matcha, I decided to bake another matcha cake. Today I have a pretty looking topo map cake to share. The layers from the cake evokes the look of a topographic map, hence the name. Obviously I use matcha to create the green layers, but you can also use pandan paste if that is what you have. Also don’t be afraid to play around and come up with other color combo of your choice.
Choose a Good Quality Matcha
I cannot stress enough the importance of choosing a good quality matcha if you want your finished baked goods to have that vibrant green. You can still use good quality culinary grade matcha, and only splurge on ceremonial grade for drinking purpose. Also, unless you drink or use matcha regularly, I don’t advise buying a big package. Once you open a package of matcha, it starts to degrade and slowly oxidize, which leads to the dull color, even when you start with a good quality matcha. For beginners, it is best to start with a smaller package and see how soon you consume the whole package before deciding on getting a bigger one for your next purchase.
You Need a Double Portion?
This recipe yields a tiny 8 inch x 4 inch cake. And although it rises quite high in the oven, the cake deflates a bit and the finished cake is only about 2 inch high. For me, this small size cake is enough, and it also means I can bake another cake another day. If you want a bigger portion, feel free to double everything, but bake it in an 8 inch square cake pan. The baking temperature and time for double portion is exactly the same.
A Lighter Fluffier Alternative
I love the texture of the cake from this recipe, which is a bit dense and reminds me of a good pound cake. But if you prefer a lighter fluffier cake, you can use cake flour insted of all-purpose flour. Also, you need to double the amount of milk to 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) instead of 2 tablespoons. Keep everythig else the same and you will get a lighter fluffier cake. Enjoy!
Topo Map Matcha Cake
- Egg yolk batter
- 1 stick (8 tablespoon/113 gram/4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 tablespoon (50 gram / 1.75 oz) sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 100 gram/3.5 oz (~ 7/8 cup) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 tablespoon matcha
- Egg white/meringue batter
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tablespoon (25 gram / 0.8 oz) sugar
- ~ 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder, for dusting
- Preheat oven to 170 Celsius (340 Fahrenheit). Line an 8 inch x 4 inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Egg yolk batter: In a mixing bowl, beat butter and the 4 tablespoons sugar until pale and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until well mixed.
- Whisk together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Also, stir the milk with vanilla.
- Alternatingly, add flour mixture and milk mixture to the butter mixture, half at a time, beat until well mixed.
- Divide batter into two, add matcha to one of the two batter, leaving the other plain.
- Egg white/meringue batter: In a new bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy, then gradually add the 2 tablespoons sugar and continue whisking until stiff peak. Divide this into two, fold one part into the plain batter, and another part into the matcha batter.
- Create the layers: Spoon half of the plain batter to the prepared pan, gently level the batter, then dust a thin layer of cocoa powder on top. Spoon half of the matcha batter on top and gently level the batter, and dust again with cocoa powder. Repeat with remaining plain batter, a dusting of cocoa powder, and finally the remaining matcha batter.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove the cake from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.