Green Tea Swiss Roll

My father is supremely disdainful of what normal people might call ‘cake’. “Full of cream and air? How can that be cake” is a refrain I’ve heard from him many times. Born in 1940s Britain, he only considers rich fruit cake (yes, the kind they used to give out at weddings) to be proper cake.

So, this cake, with its fluffy sponge and airy whipped cream filling might not be up my dad’s alley. And with a normal, boring swiss roll, he’d probably be right. I mean, we eat cake like that because it’s vanilla, light and kind of wispy, right?

I like to think that this Green Tea Swiss Roll has enough bitterness, bite and complexity, thanks to the generous amounts of Japanese matcha powder and the little bit of red bean paste running through its middle.

The colour on this cake isn’t as vividly green as one might expect from a matcha-flavoured cake, but that’s down to me using some random matcha powder I picked up. It might look subtle, but it packs a super fragrant, and slightly herby, flavour.

Green Tea Swiss Roll with Red Bean Filling

3 eggs
60g caster sugar
50g top flour or cake flour
5g matcha powder
140g Japanese sweetened red bean paste

For the matcha cream:
200g whipping cream
7g matcha powder
15g caster sugar

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a swiss roll pan with parchment paper, making sure to tuck it into the corners of the pan.

In a heatproof mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined. Place over a simmering pot of water, and keep whisking until the egg mixture is warm.

Take it off the heat and whisk with an electric mixer until it’s light and fluffy and has more than doubled in volume.

Sift the flour and matcha powder over the egg mixture, and gently fold it in. Pour the batter into the lined swiss roll pan and bake for 7-10 minutes, until just cooked through.

Cover the cake with a sheet of clingfilm and a tea towel to cool, so it retains its moisture.

To assemble the cake, lightly loosen the cake from the parchment paper. Whip the cream with the sugar and matcha powder until fluffy and stiff. Spread an even layer of cream onto the cake. Spoon the red bean paste in a straight line near one of the short edges of the cake, and roll it up carefully from that side. Place it seam side down on a serving plate, cover with clingfilm and chill until ready to serve. Dust with extra matcha powder before serving, if you like.