***Bee-day!***

IMG_3655I had an absolute blast celebrating my birthday in the presence of my beautiful family and friends! I have to mention the gorgeous cake that my mum decorated with fresh flowers for me that actually featured a David Austen rose from my own garden – now that’s a personalised touch. The other absolute highlight was the gift I received from Rani, by eldest sis-in-law (mum to the gorgeous children you see below) who presented me with two illustrations she’d done herself, one of which was a picture of myself! Seriously, what an incredible talent she has, not to mention a heart of gold. All these things really only start to describe what a special day I had and I can honestly say that I felt truly loved.

P.S. Mumsy’s the one in the particularly blingy dress – she’s no shrinking violet. No guesses where I get my love of all things shiny from!
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Matcha do about a green cake! …The Silver Spoon #6

matcha-cake-6Ever since our honeymoon in Japan, I’ve been a huge fan of Japanese tea in all its forms. Sencha, genmaicha, houjicha…There are many different types with varying delicious flavours, plus they’re good for you, packed with lots of antioxidants! This cake recipe incorporates matcha, which is essentially the finest quality green tea leaves ground into a fine powder. It is traditionally whisked with hot water into a bright green suspension and served at Japanese tea ceremonies. I bought mine from the little Japanese Green Tea House in Subiaco, but it should be available at any Japanese grocery store. If you’re ever in Subiaco with a spare minute or two you must pop in! Tsutomo is the lovely gentleman who owns the store. He is very passionate about green tea and travels regularly back to Kyoto to bring back the high quality teas he sells us. He’s always more than happy to sit you down at the counter to taste a few different teas and teach you the correct ways to brew them. It’s highly likely you won’t leave empty handed!

There are varying levels of matcha quality but you only need the cheaper end of things as we’re just using it for baking, not drinking. I’ve used it here to add its distinct yet subtle flavour and of course its interesting colour to a fairly basic pound cake recipe. Really easy to make and goes down amazingly well with a cup of black coffee!

Ingredients

  • 225g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 225g plain flour sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons matcha
  • A splash of vanilla essence

How to

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together with a handheld beater.
  3. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add also the vanilla essence.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and matcha.
  5. Fold flour mixture into the batter.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until cake skewer comes out cleanly.
  7. Serve to unsuspecting friends and tell them its mould! Nah, really it’s a gorgeous green colour with more punch and character than pistachio…! Enjoy!

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Look at that beautiful green inside peeking out!

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