Working in a bakery means making cakes. Lots of cakes. One of the things I've really taken to heart is how important it is to work out those dry pockets to ensure an even bake. We get in there with our (gloved) hands, reaching deep into the 140 quart mixers to turn up those dry crumbles you otherwise just can't find. It's this measure of perfection that I appreciate, that reminds me why I'm there - which is to become the best baker I can be.
So, naturally, a cake. A pound cake to be precise. Something dense and fatty, full of equal parts butter and milk and sugar (although I've slightly reduced the sugar here for personal preference). This is the perfect afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of Earl Grey.
Matcha (green tea) is one of my favorite flavors and it lends itself well to this rich, dense pound cake. With so much overwhelming cake you need a light flavor to balance it. The cool, floral finish of matcha is perfect. Pair it with the nuttiness of the black sesame ice cream (full fat of course, tear me away from that creamline milk, I dare you).
black sesame ice cream
1.5 cups milk
1.25 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
1.5 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup ground black sesame seeds
In a medium saucepan, heat milk, sesame seeds, and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Meanwhile, beat the yolks until light and beginning to get fluffy. Keep eggs on low speed and slowly introduce the milk and sugar mixture, one fourth at a time, so that the eggs do not cook and slowly come to temperature (this is called tempering your eggs). Once all combined, return entire mixture to saucepan and cook over low/medium heat, stirring absolutely constantly, until mixture is thickened. It should cover the back of a spoon and if you draw a line through it, the line should stay.
Pour mixture into a bowl containing cold cream and vanilla. Stir. Place in refrigerator to cool. Once cold, add to ice cream maker. Churn 25-35 minutes or as directed.
matcha pound cake
3 large eggs
1 cup (8 oz) butter, diced and softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2.5 tbsp matcha powder (culinary grade)
1 cup milk
Confectioner's Sugar (to preference)
Preheat oven to 350. In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, sift flour, salt, and matcha powder. Add eggs, one at a time, to butter/sugar mixture while mixing on low speed. Add dry ingredients in thirds, mixing to incorporate after each one. Add milk. Mix to combine. Thoroughly scrape the bowl to ensure all dry pockets are gone. Careful to not overmix this batter or you will have air pockets that cause bubbling of the top of the cake. Pour into greased 9" cake circles (I add a parchment cartouche on the bottom) and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until cake tester comes out clean. Rest 20 minutes in pan and then turn out onto surface to cool completely. Dust with confectioner's sugar. Serve with black sesame ice cream.