I have fallen in love with French patisserie books. Even if I had to sit with a dictionary to decipher every word in the recipe, I was willing to take the time to do it. Fortunately, Helen has been tutoring me every week on the French language so when I do get the chance to visit Pierre Herme or Laduree shops in Paris I’d be able to say “J’aimerais un macaron au chocolat et un tarte au citron, s’il vous plait.” (Although I’d probably be tongue-tied just ogling such beautiful displays of mouthwatering works of art)
Anyway, the most treasured of these books is Pierre Herme’s PH10. This book is a gorgeous tome – earning a special place on my bookshelf – I would not dare lay it on the kitchen counters unless I have thoroughly wiped it clean. Most of the recipes are pretty complicated and require numerous steps to complete so all I have done until now was drool at the amazing photography and wishing I was in Paris eating out of a box of macarons.
One combination that I have always wanted to explore was matcha green tea and chestnut. In Pierre Herme’s world, this duo is part of his collection known as Sarah.
Unfortunately for the ordinary home baker most of the ingredients in his book are not what you would regularly find in your supermarket. So I could not complete the whole assembly of his Cake Sarah in all its glory. I could, however make the cake itself which was all I was after anyway. I was able to find the chestnut confit in a specialty gourmet store so I was all set.
Biscuit au thé vert matcha
230 g all purpose flour (maybe whole wheat)
7 g baking powder
20 g matcha green tea
150 g chestnut confit cubes
80 g butter
240 g caster sugar
200 g eggs
120 g heavy cream
½ g fleur de sel ( pinch of salt)
Preheat oven to 150 C (302 F)
Sift flour, baking powder, and matcha green tea then add the chesnut confit. Melt the butter and keep warm. Blend the eggs, salt and sugar in a food processor for 15 minutes. Add heavy cream and melted butter and continue to blend for another 5 minutes. Stop the food processor and fold in the flour, baking powder, green tea and chestnut confit.
Bake cakes for 20 minutes and then rotate and bake for another 20 minutes for large cakes and 15 minutes for smaller ones.
230 g de farine de gruau
7 g de poudre à lever
20 g de thé vert Matcha (Japon)
150 g de cubes de marron confit
80 g de beurre de La Viette
240 g de sucre semoule
200 g d’œufs
120 g de crème de épaisse
½ g de fleur de sel
Tamisez ensemble la farine, la poudre à lever et le thé vert matcha, puis ajoutez les cubes de marrons confits. Faites fonder le beurre et laissez- le tiédre. Émulsionnez le sucre, le sel et les œufs au Robot Coupe pendent 15 minutes. Ajoutez la crème et le beurre, mélangez et poursuivez l’émulsion 5 minutes, puis retirez la cuve du Robot Coupe et incorporez à la main la farine, la poudre à lever, le thé vert Matcha et les cubes de marrons confit.
Faites cuire les cakes 20 minutes à 150 C au four ventilé. Tournez vos plaques, puis prolongez la cuisson 20 minutes pour les grands cakes et 15 minutes pour les petites.
As with most professional level cookbooks, instructions are very brief – a level of expertise is assumed and there is very much reading between the lines. I think the recipe called for whole wheat flour but I was not sure so I just used all-purpose. From the instructions, I really couldn’t understand why the eggs were blended with the sugar for 15 minutes in a food processor. Given that my food processor is in no way THE Robo-Coupe, it started to get hot at the 10-minute mark, liquid was dripping from the lid and I was starting to catch a whiff of rubber.
Not wanting to fry my food processor, I decided that the mixture was blended well enough and added the melted butter. To be honest, I was not very optimistic about the recipe at this point. I baked the cake in mini-loaf pans and it rose like a volcano – uh-oh guess I folded in the dry ingredients too much. So it was with much surprise that the cake turned out better than I expected. The subtle taste of matcha complemented the sweet chestnut confit chunks that was speckled throughout the cake. It was perfect with coffee and phenomenal with tea! Oh, and if I have translated the recipe wrong, please let me know. 🙂
Oh, and if you are curious here is the complete assembly of Cake Sarah :
pâte de fruit passion
biscuit au thé vert matcha
gelée de fruit de passion
sirop d’imbibage au fruit de la passion