Although fall is by far my favorite season, I readily admit that summer has a lot to offer. The warmer months usher in a unique joy and vibrancy as the city comes alive with picnics in the parks, bountiful farmer’s markets, the aromas of street food fairs, and unusually cheerful New Yorkers.
Many of my childhood memories are also rooted in the summer season: picking black raspberries from the bushes in our neighborhood, crossing the road to the local river in search of crayfish, catching fireflies in the light of day. , have my grandma dye my nails a beautifully natural red shade using locally grown flower petals. The popsicles and watermelon were welcome treats, but nothing could beat the homemade bingsoo – bowls of Korean crushed ice topped with sticky sweet condensed milk, chewy pieces of wrapped rice cakes, red bean paste ( which I omitted when I was a child … idiot me), and misugaru, ended with a flow of milk on the top. Frosty, unadorned perfection.
While the onset of summer, with all the energy and possibilities it brings, has always been a time to celebrate, it is even more festive this year as the city begins to emerge from the pandemic. And because any party is a pretext for dessert, I imagined a fun seasonal cake to kick off the season: a simple but elegant blackberry matcha layer cake. Jammy, lightly crushed blackberries and silky mascarpone whipped cream are sandwiched between slices of matcha cake just sweet enough to create a colorful and striking dessert that’s sure to turn heads (and win you new ones). friends) at your next outdoor gathering.
Even though I’m a pastry chef, the truth is, any meticulous icing job is enough to scare me away from a recipe. For this reason, this cake is one that you could possibly prepare on a large plate using the highly technical “stack and serve” method. Since the layers of the cake are left exposed, it’s important to use fresh matcha powder, rather than whatever has been left in your pantry for who knows how long. The cooler the powder, the brighter the green and purple cross section of the cake you will get.
Although I initially envisioned this as a 6 inch cake, the layers turned out to be too tall and difficult to slice when serving. Rotating on an 8 inch cake during the testing process, with the recipe proportions adjusted accordingly, solved this problem and also created a better cake / cream and fruit ratio. Also, a slightly bigger cake just means you can share it with more people – even if you are speaking from personal experience, you might be surprised at how easy it is to eat and keep on eating. .
While I would happily dig into this cake all year round, I can’t think of a better way to accommodate the warmer weather, longer nights, and what seems to be the closest to normal for over a period of time. a year. It’s a festive start to the season – and new beginnings – that we have all been waiting for.
Blackberry Matcha Cake with Mascarpone Cream Recipe
Makes an 8 inch layer cake
For the cake:
1½ cup (210 grams) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (15 grams) of matcha powder
2¼ teaspoons of baking powder
¾ teaspoon of kosher salt
1½ sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tbsp (225 grams) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
Just ¾ cup (165 grams) whole milk, at room temperature
For the blackberries:
12 ounces (2 standard packages) fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
For the mascarpone cream:
8 ounces of mascarpone, cold
1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
3 to 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar, depending on your sweetness preference
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease three 8-inch round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray, line bottoms with parchment rings and grease parchment. (If you don’t have three pans, you can batch cook and reuse the pans.)
2nd step: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, matcha powder, baking powder and salt. Put aside.
Step 3: In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle until smooth. Add the sugar; cream mixture until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Step 4: Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until combined. Scrape the bowl once more, then stir in the vanilla.
Step 5: Sift half of the dry ingredients over the creamed butter mixture and beat until combined. Gently stir in milk, then sift through remaining dry ingredients and beat until dough is smooth.
Step 6: Distribute the dough evenly among the three molds. Smooth the surfaces with a small angled spatula, then place the molds in the oven. (You can also place the molds on baking sheets, which will make them easier to rotate.) Bake the cakes for 17 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until a toothpick is inserted in the center. comes out clean.
Step 7: Let the cakes cool in the molds for 10 to 15 minutes, then gently run a small offset spatula around the edges of the cakes to loosen them. Carefully turn them over on cooling racks.
Step 8: Prepare the blackberries: In a large bowl, mix the blackberries with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Reserve a handful of whole berries (to garnish the top of the cake), then mash the rest of the blackberries with the back of a large spoon, leaving a few pieces of fruit intact.
Step 9: Prepare the mascarpone cream: In a large bowl, add the mascarpone, heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk, whisk ingredients – starting on low speed to avoid splashing – until cream comes together and medium to firm peaks. are formed. Be careful not to overload.
Step 10: When the layers are completely cool, assemble the cake. Place a layer on a large plate or cake stand, spread a third of the mascarpone cream on top and cover with a third of the blackberry mixture. (Use more fruit than juice.) Repeat with the remaining layers, adding the reserved whole berries on top to finish. You can either lightly frost the outside of the cake or leave it unfrosted for a rustic but still elegant look.
Notes: For a striking purple hue, carefully pour some blackberry juice over the cake and swirl it around in the cream layer before garnishing with the mash and whole berries.
Joy Cho is a Brooklyn-based freelance pastry chef and writer. After losing her job as a baker at the start of the pandemic, Joy launched Joy Cho pastry shop, an Instagram business through which she sells her gemstone cakes in the New York area.
Celeste Noche is a Filipino American cuisine, travel and portrait photographer based between Portland, Oregon and San Francisco.
Recipe tested by Deena Prichep