I think this cake is my spirit animal.
I can’t stop thinking about it! Seriously, it is so lovely with so many of my favorite flavors and yet it resists the urge to be ombre or monochromatic as so many other of my favorites have been.
In the past few months, I had seen several cakes online–usually smaller cakes–that had one single chocolate covered strawberry that seemed to be dripping chocolate down the sides of the cake. Usually the strawberry was covered with dark chocolate, but when I saw that I thought 1) if one strawberry is good, a bunch must be better, and 2) why not use white chocolate and then add matcha to bring out the color and flavor of the red strawberries?
So I did.
For the base of the cake, I used my favorite Miette Hot Milk Cake Recipe, but I added Matcha Powder to half of the batter and spooned the batter into my prepared cake pans in spoonfuls to get a nice mix of green and white/vanilla and matcha throughout the cake. Because why be boring when you could be surprising and interesting?
For the outside of the cake I just made an incredibly simple buttercream—though you could probably use an Italian Meringue if you were feeling fancy—and I flavored it with vanilla paste and powdered freeze dried strawberries.
If you haven’t used freeze dried strawberries (or any other fruit) you are severely missing out. Not only is the flavor super condensed, but it adds natural coloring and also because it is dry you don’t have to compensate for the extra liquid that adding a fruit puree calls for. I tend to use either the freeze dried raspberries or strawberries, but I have also seen freeze dried mangos, peaches and blueberries at my local grocery store. (Well it used to be local…now I’m in France and couldn’t tell you for the life of me where to find them here… >_<).
In order to make it easier to work with the strawberries that I wanted to be covered in chocolate, I dipped them and set them aside about 30 minutes before completing the top of the cake—giving them plenty of time to harden. Otherwise, if you dip them as you put them on the cake, you will be dealing with a lot of dripping, sagging, smearing chocolate as you try to pile them on top of each other. Maybe that is the look you are going for, and if it is, by all means do that. But if you want a sort of casual pile of strawberries with a controlled drip of chocolate, make sure to dip the strawberries ahead of time.
I also dusted a bit of matcha on some of the strawberries and a bit of freeze dried strawberry powder on some of the other ones, for flavor and also to interrupt some of the solid patches of color. You could probably also use edible glitter powder if you are looking for an alternative and added sparkle.
This would probably all make more sense if you saw it instead of just hearing me blab about it, so check out my video below to see the techniques I used:
Since the matcha is striated throughout the cake it is not overwhelming, and the strawberry in the frosting adds a fantastic, almost tart punch of flavor, while the strawberries on top keep the entire cake fresh and fun. (Also it is always good to be able to justify the amount of cake you eat by saying that you are also eating fruit with it 😉 ).
Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Matcha Cake
Marbled Matcha Vanilla Cake
(Based of the Hot Milk Cake Recipe from the Miette Cookbook)
1 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
~2 tablespoons Matcha, or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 6×3″ baking pans and dust with flour. Set aside.
2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. In a small sauce pan over medium heat combine the butter and milk and stir until it is melted and heated through. Pour into a heatproof bowl and set aside.
4. In the top of a double boiler whisk the sugar and eggs. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the temperature is about 110 degrees F, about 10 minutes.
5. Pour the egg mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, and has cooled close to room temperature–about 10 minutes.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Pour in the milk mixture and whisk on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add in the vanilla paste.
7. Separate the batter into two bowls, adding the matcha to one of the bowls and stirring to combine thoroughly.
8. Divide the batter between prepared pans one to three spoonfuls at a time, alternating the regular batter and the matcha batter, and bake until the cakes are golden brown and cooked through, about 30-35 mintues.
8. Cool for about 20 minutes in the pans before turning out the cakes and allowing them to cool completely before wrapping the cakes in plastic wrap and refrigerating until ready to use.
Strawberry Buttercream Ingredients:
1/2 cup freeze dried strawberries
1.5 cups butter, room temperature
~6 cups powdered sugar
vanilla paste to taste
1) In a food processor or blender, pulse the freeze dried raspberries until they form a fine powder. Strain into a bowl to remove the seeds (strawberries have a surprisingly large amount of seeds and while they are totally edible they don’t allow for a completely smooth buttercream).
2) Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for about 5 minutes, until fluffy. Add in half of the powdered sugar and beat to combine.
3) Add in about half of the strawberry powder and beat for a minute or two. Taste the frosting, feel the texture and look at the color–continue adding powdered sugar (or possibly whole milk) until you have reached your desired consistency.
To Finish the Cake:
Dip some of your strawberries in melted white chocolate, and let them rest on parchment paper while you stack the rest of the cake. When the cake has received its final coat of frosting, let it sit in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to firm up, then drizzle melted white chocolate along the edges of the cake and smooth out across the top with an offset spatula. Stack the dipped strawberries with un-dipped strawberries on top of the white chocolate. Dust with freeze dried strawberry powder or matcha powder if desired.
Thanks for reading! Come back soon for more adventures in and out of the kitchen! ^_^