31 May 2016

Syreenisokeri - Lilac-infused sugar

It's lovely when all the trees are flowering and it's summer again. The days seem so long with endless daylight here. Lilacs are blooming everywhere, their almost intoxicating smell wafting in air... I don't recall Tampere having this many lilacs, so at least once Helsinki is better ;)

It was totally awesome when I realized that one can CAN the early summer into a jar by making lilac-infused sugar. Just go for a lovely stroll outside and pick some lilacs. Quickly wash the branches and drain them. Nip the small flowers from the branch and dry the rest of the moisture with kitchen paper. Leave to dry for a day on the kitchen paper. Fill a glass jar with alternating layers of sugar and lilacs and leave to infuse for at least a week or two, though it can be stored much longer.

You can use it with any food where sugar is needed, but it suits best when sprinkled as a garnish, for instance on berries, fruit or pancakes.

1 May 2016

抹茶ロールケーキ ・ Matcha Roll Cake

Happy First of May!  I'm visiting my parents and the weather here in Tampere is nice and sunny (usually the First of May weather is cold and rainy...). Yesterday we were celebrating my friend's new book (congrats, Johanna!!!) and today we are planning on seeing Teekkarikaste (that water is freezing... been there done that :D).

My baking pans are larger than in the original recipe so I made the roll cake with 5 eggs instead of four. I think my eggs might have been smaller as I feel the sheet cake ended up a litte too thin still. But for once I managed to get a nice surface to it. It's rolled so that the bottom part of the sheet cake ends up on the surface of the roll. The more brown "peel" stays on the baking paper so you should get a nice green roll. I don't know if we have here kraft paper for baking. Baking paper tries to be too "non-stick", so if you have kraft paper I would use that.

I wonder why my cakes end up always much browner. I used a convection oven, dropped the temperature by 20 degrees, cut the baking time almost half and still... 

The sheet cake should be rolled around itself once cooled enough to touch it: use a kitchen towel to help to roll it into a loose roll: that way it won't crack when you're filling it. You can skip the gelatine if you are serving the cake soon after it's filled. If you're planning to taking it with you, for instance, to a vappu picnic or making it a day ahead, the gelatine helps stabilize the cream.

抹茶ロールケーキ ・ Matcha Roll Cake

(makes a 30x36 cm sheet cake, which makes a 30 cm roll)

The sheet cake:
5 eggs
50 g + 50 g sugar
50 g cake flour (I used hakurikiko: next time I might substitute cornstarch for some part)
1 Tbsp matcha (next time I would use maybe twice as much to get a more distinct shade)

The mascarpone filling:
200 ml whipping cream
250 g mascarpone
1 tsp gelatine powder
1-2 Tbsp water
1-2 Tbsp sugar
a dash of vanilla extract

matcha or powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 150°C (convection). Line a baking pan with kraft or baking paper. Mix flour with matcha and sift the mixture through a sieve a couple times. Beat eggwhites until frothy. Add first 1 Tbsp sugar and continue beating, then add the rest of 50 g sugar in couple additions and beat until stiff peaks form.

Beat egg yolks with 50 g sugar until pale and ribbony. Mix the yolks with the sifted flour. Stir 1/3 of egg white mixture into the yolk mixture to lighten it. Fold the remaining whites into the cake batter in two additions. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cake layer feels dry (but still soft) to the touch.

Transfer to a cooling rack upside down and cover the top with a another baking pan for 10 minutes. Gently remove the kraft/baking paper. Flip the cake over (the part that was the bottom in the oven again the bottom part) on a baking paper on a kitchen towel. Roll into a loose roll and let cool down.

Mix gelatine powder with 1-2 Tbsp water. Let bloom. Beat heavy cream with sugar and vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Lighten the mascarpone by stirring it and fold some whipped cream to lighten it. Fold the rest of the cream to mascarpone. Check the sugar. Heat up the bloomed gelatin until dissolved. Let cool down a bit and add to the cream mixture.

Open the cake roll and spread the cream filling evenly over the cake. Gently reroll the cake. Place in fridge for a couple hours to let the filling set. Once ready to serve, dust with matcha or powdered sugar.

Adapted from Cooking with Dog.

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