My mum didn’t get to eat the lychee rose strawberry cake I made for her birthday in late May due to Covid (she got to eat the strawberries and basket though) so we had another date when we planned a family get-together and nice meal at a Japanese buffet. Since I had forgotten to put the chiffon cake daises I made the last time on the cake, I decided to make a daisy themed cake with Japanese flavors this time round!
Matcha swiss roll with homemade sugar-free azuki bean paste, matcha diplomat cream, agar-based vanilla panna cotta and yuzu curd jelly!
I was afraid that adding the yuzu element to the traditional matcha-azuki bean combo would be risky but it paid off as a refreshing sour citrus touch to otherwise earthy flavours! Hubby my best food critic said the flavors were well-balanced so I was really happy about that. I only realised I had a smaller flower cookie cutter after I made the cake. Otherwise I would have preferred a smaller flower in the middle of the roll cake for an easier time of rolling. Mum is diabetic so I made this cake with that in mind, replacing caster sugar with sugar-free options where it doesn’t compromise taste or structure too much.
This post may be long for a seemingly simple looking roll cake due to the many elements in here. I think each slice of cake can qualify as an entremet 😆.
Sugar-free red bean paste
This portion is more than you need. Extras can be portioned into 50g portions (if you wish) and frozen for longer storage.
250g small dried azuki beans
170g erythritol (replace with caster sugar if you wish)
1/2 tsp salt
I made this ahead of time and froze it, defrost only when I was ready to make the red bean jelly to assemble with the sponge.
Freshly made red bean paste!
Sugar-free red bean jelly
You may not use all depending on how thick a layer you spread on the sheet cake. Prepare this when you are ready to assemble with the sponge. I prefer making a jelly layer rather than using the paste directly as it sticks to the sponge and cream instead of crumbles when you slice the cake.
150g homemade azuki bean paste
2 gelatin sheets (or 4g powdered gelatin)
Ice cold water for blooming gelatin (Use 15g if using powdered gelatin)
1. If you have frozen the bean paste, reheat until warm in microwave oven or stove top.
2. Bloom gelatin in ice water by soaking for 10min. Squeeze out excess water and gently melt in microwave oven using medium power for 10 seconds or double-boiler.
3. Stir gelatin into warm azuki bean paste until well combined before use.
Vanilla panna cotta flowers
Panna cotta is usually made with gelatin but I needed it to be firm enough to cut into shapes so I used agar instead. I used a lot less sugar as the azuki bean paste is sweet. Heavy cream also has a natural sweet milky taste even without sugar added. I used a 7 inch round silicone pan to set my panna cotta but you may use any mould. This is also more than you may need. Enjoy the extras as milk pudding on its own!
10g agar powder
600g heavy cream
20g erythritol (may replace with caster sugar)
10g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Bloom agar powder by mixing with cold or room temperature water in a saucepan for 10min.
2. Add sugar(s) and bring to a boil while whisking frequently. Simmer while whisking for another minute.
3. Remove from heat. Whisk in heavy cream and vanilla.
4. Pour into mold and set in fridge for at least 2 hours before cutting out shapes with flower cookie cutter (preferably 3-3.5cm) and jumbo straw/ regular straw (in the middle of flower). Store the jelly cutouts in airtight container until you are ready with the yuzu curd jelly.
Yuzu curd jelly
100g 100% yuzu juice concentrate
3 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
50g erythritol (may replace with caster sugar)
100g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature and cut into small cubes
2 gelatin sheets, bloomed (see azuki bean jelly on how to use gelatin)
1. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in heatproof bowl until smooth. Add yuzu juice snd whisk together.
2. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water without base of bowl touching water. Whisk and cook the mixture until it reaches 80C. Be careful not to heat too fast or too hot or it will start to scramble.
3. Add in butter a cube at a time, mixing well with spatula after each addition.
4. Melt bloomed gelatin in microwave if the curd has cooled down a lot by now. If not you may simply add the bloomed gelatin into the warm curd and mix well.
5. Transfer yuzu curd jelly into piping bag with a small hole cut. Remove panna cotta flower cutouts from fridge and fill the cavities with yuzu curd jelly.
Freshly filled flowers! If you have excess, these are great to enjoy on its own as well!
6. Refrigerate the flowers until ready to assemble with sponge.
Matcha diplomat cream
I used whip topping, a non dairy cream which is pre-sweetened so I reduced the amount of sugar in the pastry cream portion. Feel free to use more sugar according to your taste preference or if you are using full dairy whipping cream. I didn’t use only dairy whipping cream because Singapore is really warm and I didn’t want the cream to melt too fast. I used a combination of non dairy and double cream (45% fat dairy cream) to achieve a balance of good stability and taste.
1 egg yolk
10g caster sugar
A pinch of salt
5g matcha powder (or according to taste)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8g unsalted butter, softened
50g cold whisk topping
20g cold double cream
1. Sift together cornstarch and matcha powder.
2. Whisk together egg yolk, sugar, salt, cornstarch and matcha powder until smooth in a heatproof bowl. Set aside.
3. Heat milk and vanilla extract in saucepan until steaming hot but not boiling. Pour in a thin stream into egg yolk mixture while whisking egg yolk mix continuously. Pour everything back into saucepan.
4. Cook custard over medium-low heat while whisking continuously. Once it starts to thicken, remove from heat and whisk until smooth. Put back on heat and continue whisking and cooking until it thickens further for another 2min.
5. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Transfer into a tray or bowl and press cling film on the surface of pastry cream. Refrigerate for at least 1h or overnight.
6. When ready to assemble with sponge, whip cold whip topping until stiff peaks form. Fold in cold double cream. There is no need to whip up the double cream as its consistency is like softened butter. Remove matcha pastry cream from fridge and use spatula to loosen it up by briefly beating it. Fold in whipped cream in three additions until smooth and homogeneous. Transfer into large piping bag with a hole cut to use.
Matcha chiffon sponge cake
Ingredients (makes one 10 x 12″ sheet cake):
Egg yolk batter
3 egg yolks
38g vegetable oil
9g matcha powder
33g hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
54g cake flour
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
36g caster sugar
18g erythritol (may replace with caster sugar or omit if you like the cake slightly bitter)
1. Preheat oven to 170C. Line baking tray with teflon sheet or parchment paper.
2. Prepare matcha paste. Dissolve matcha powder in hot water and sieve through fine sieve. Add milk and mix well. Check that overall weight is 42g. Add or remove liquid as necessary.
3. Make egg yolk batter. Whisk together egg yolks until pale. Add oil and salt and whisk until smooth. Gradually sift in half of flour and whisk until smooth. Add matcha paste and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Gradually sift in remaining half of flour and whisk until no trace of flour is seen.
4. Make meringue. In a clean metal bowl, whip egg whites with cream of tartar until firm peaks or just reach stiff peaks, gradually adding in sugar once egg whites are foamy. Use medium speed to whip up the meringue slowly for smaller air bubbles and finer cake texture.
5. Gentle but quickly fold meringue into egg yolk batter in three additions. Pour into prepared tray and smooth out the top with a spatula or bench scraper.
6. Bake for 12-15 min or until skewer comes out clean. Immediately flip the cake onto fresh sheet of parchment paper. Roll the sponge to cool completely. While cake is cooling, get ready all the elements in the filling.
Freshly baked matcha chiffon sponge
1. Unroll matcha sponge cake and spread a thin (or thick if you like!) layer of azuki bean jelly with spatula.
2. Pipe a layer of matcha diplomat cream in the middle.
3. Place the flower jellies in a row on top of the diplomat cream. My flower jellies were a little large and heavy so it sank to the azuki bean layer when placed on top of the diplomat cream 😅. So cut smaller flowers (like 3-3.5cm) if you can.
4. Pipe diplomat cream to cover the jellies. Use small spatula to smooth out the cream.
5. With the help of parchment paper, roll the cake up. Refrigerate for at least 4hours before slicing the ends off.
Chiffon cake daisies
Ingredients (makes one 10×12″ and one 7×7″ thin sheet cakes):
Egg yolk batter
2 egg yolks
20g vegetable oil
38g cake flour
white and yellow gel food coloring
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
20g caster sugar
14g erythritol (may replace with caster sugar)
Follow matcha sponge method but divide the egg yolk batter and meringue into ratio of 5:2 by weight for white: yellow. Bake yellow cake in smaller pan. Spread as thin a layer of batter as possible and bake for only 8-9 min or until done. Adjust baking conditions according to your oven. Cut out the daisies with fondant cutters for the white part and straw/ piping tip for the yellow circles. Glue the daisies on with melted bloomed gelatin or cake glue. Do note that surfaces of chiffon cakes may dry out with storage in fridge so you may wish to brush with syrup (dissolve 5g sugar in 20g hot water) before storing.
My mum wanted an edible number for her age on the cake so I baked some sables last minute since I had some frozen dough in store.
This was another labor of love. Hope you can give it a try if you love matcha!
with lots of love,