Is it too late to jump on the matcha bandwagon? If I'm being honest, I had kind of written it off as a food-fad, but just because it's a fad doesn't mean it's not delicious! After having a little afternoon tea with my friend Hannah, where she served matcha alongside a delicious Japanese-inspired poundcake I became an insta-fan of it's slightly bitter, earthy flavor. The color is also totally stunning.
I am not a matcha expert - at all - but I did learn that there are many grades of matcha and for a recipe like this, definitely use a "cooking grade" matcha which will be quite a bit less expensive than the beautiful matchas one might use for tea ceremony. Cooking grade matchas have a stronger flavor that can stand up to other ingredients in sweets and drinks.
This chocolate pound cake is dark and dense, and most importantly not too sweet. The glaze is thick and lucious - sweet and buttery from the white chocolate with a hint of bitter earthiness from the matcha. I'm so glad that white chocolate is having a moment as well - with artisanal chocolate companies (like Askinosie) making really lovely white chocolates. I have been a white chocolate fan since my first Mrs. Field's white chocolate macadamia nut cookie from the mall.
Chocolate Pound Cakes with Matcha White Chocolate Ganache
makes 6-8 mini cakes or one small bundt
I used a mini Nordicware bundt pan and made 6 small bundts plus a couple of little cakes. Make sure that cocoa butter is the first ingredient in your white chocolate - Valrhona white chocolate feves work wonderfully here.
Chocolate Pound Cake
1 cup (125g) all purpose flour
1 cup (80g) dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
12 tablespoons (170g) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 (300g) cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup (160ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
Preheat oven to 325º and butter and flour the inside of your pans
Sift the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low until thoroughly combined. Then, scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the mixer up to medium-high. Mix for 5 minutes or until the butter and sugar are light in color and very fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing for 30 seconds in between each egg. Add the vanilla.
Alternately add in the flour mixture and buttermilk in three additions. Mix until just combined. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans and slide into the oven. Bake until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the pans. Let the cakes cool in the pan for a few minutes, then invert onto a rack to cool completely before glazing.
Matcha White Chocolate Ganache
8 ounces (225g) high quality white chocolate
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy cream, warmed slightly
1 tablespoon cooking grade matcha powder
1 teaspoon grapeseed oil
Finely chop the chocolate and add it to a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, making sure that the bowl rests above the water not in it. Melt the chocolate, then whisk in the warmed cream, matcha, oil, and salt. If the mixture seizes at all, add a bit more cream and whisk it over the heat until the mixture re-emusifies. The ganache should be a thick pourable consistency, but the texture varies quite a between different brands of white chocolate. If it seems too thick, add a bit more cream. Immediately pour the glaze over the cooled cakes.