Green tea red bean roll

This is really tasty! The cake, flavored with matcha, is rolled up with red bean cream. There are versions that use adzuki straight up, or cut with a little yoghurt, but the red bean fresh cream combination is so delightful cold from the fridge, and the drier genoise pairs well with the extra moisture of this filling. It’s light on the tongue and packed with flavor, plus a little texture from the red bean bits. Too easy to wolf down 3 and still want more, I say. Dangerous…

The red bean paste is made from scratch, so that sweetness level can be controlled. Soaking the beans overnight shortens the boiling time. I boiled them for 2 hours, drained them too early and spent 15 minutes stirring bean paste over a small fire and pulverizing the stubborn whole beans with a spoon. The tiny addition of salt gives a fuller flavor, but its presence is hard to detect. Store bought red bean paste can also be used, please consider the chunky for texture.

Tasty as this is, I wonder about the variations. I wonder, for example, what this tastes like. The texture is much finer and it looks so very tender.

You can get a neat roll by using parchment paper as a rolling guide and to help compact the roll, it’s much easier than rolling it naked. Indeed it is. I use the same piece of paper that lined the pan for rolling and for storage, minimizing waste is sexy don’t you know.

As always, use a good ingredients, especially good green tea, as the flavor comes out clearly in the genoise.

Red Bean Paste
Red Beans 100g
Water, 2L
Sugar, 120g
Salt, 2g

Rinse the red beans and soak them in water overnight. The next day, bring the red beans and water to a gentle boil and allow to cook for 2-3 hours, until the beans become soft.

Strain the liquid as thoroughly as possible and add the sugar and salt. Cook over a low heat, for 5 minutes, stirring.

Green Tea Genoise
Yield: 1 30 x 40cm sheet cake

eggs, large, 4
sugar, 120g
hong kong flour, 90g
green tea powder, 12g
milk, warm, 50g
unsalted butter, melted and cooled, 40g

Line bottom and sides of the pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 190C.

Sift the flour and green tea powder together twice and set aside.

Place the eggs and sugar in a saucepan over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture is lukewarm, around 45C. Transfer to a kitchen mixer and whip on medium speed, until pale and tripled in volume. When the batter is drizzled back into the bowl, the marks take 10 seconds to disappear. Drizzle in the milk. The batter will soften, so whip on medium speed until ribbon stage is achieved again.

Fold a little batter into the melted butter and set aside.

Sift in 1/3 of the flour each time, folding quickly but gently, and add the next portion when just a few flour streaks remain. When all the the flour has been added, drizzle in the butter mixture and fold just until incorporated.

Scrape the mixture into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake at lower third rack of oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the top starts to color but remains mostly green. Transfer pan to a cooling rack for 3 minutes, then remove the cake from the pan and let cool completely, you may leave the parchment paper on for now. When cool, remove the parchment paper and reserve it.

Red Bean Cream
red bean paste, 150g
heavy cream, 200g

Whip the cream in an ice bath until it holds stiff peaks. Add the red bean paste and fold in, the cream will soften a little.


Lay the cake darker side up with a sheet of parchment paper underneath. You will be rolling the long side to end up with a roll cake of length 40cm. If the edges on the long sides are too ugly and you care about that, trim them. Eat the scraps. Spread the red bean cream evenly onto the cake, making the cream layer thinner near the last 1 inch of the cake to be rolled. Begin rolling, using the parchment paper as a guide. To get a extra-round roll, tuck the top layer of parchment paper under the roll and push that in with a long thin object while pulling at the bottom layer of parchment, like so.

You can serve immediately, but it is easier to slice after an hour in the fridge. The roll lasts up to 3 days in the fridge, wrapped airtight to prevent drying out. The outside can be covered with more whipped cream to seal in the moisture.

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