A Japanese rendition of the classic French chocolate cake! Made with white chocolate and green tea, this Matcha Gateau au Chocolat is rich, moist, and intensely flavorful. Warm it up slightly before you enjoy it – the melty texture is to die for!
Are you a big fan of matcha desserts? If yes, I have a treat for you: a heavenly Matcha Gateau au Chocolat (抹茶ガトーショコラ) or Matcha Chocolate Cake. Smooth, rich, and deep with matcha flavor, it’s everything you need for a perfect cake that make your day. Imagine cozy up with a slice and a cup of coffee or green tea in hand. What simple joy in life!
What is Gateau au Chocolat
Before we begin, you may wonder about the origin of this dessert. Gateau au Chocolat is a French term for a chocolate cake. Every country must have its version of a popular chocolate cake.
In Japan, French-style pastries, Gateau au Chocolat, or what we call Gato Shokora (ガトーショコラ), is very popular, and we even have a green tea version made with white chocolate and matcha. That’s what we’re making today.
How to Decide Which Matcha to Use
I receive matcha-related questions a lot, so I want to cover this topic in this post. There are a few important tips to consider when you shop for matcha online.
Tip 1: Matcha quality is everything
When you buy matcha online, you can’t taste it so you have to rely on the color of matcha. The higher quality the matcha is, the brighter and more vivid the “matcha color” (yes, we go with the term “matcha color”).
The good quality matcha has:
- A beautiful and vivid green
- A lovely fragrance
- More umami
- Less bitter taste
The low-quality matcha has:
- A yellowish/brownish green
- Less fragrance
- Less umami
- More bitter taste
If you buy from a good trustable tea shop, even the “low quality” matcha is a decent choice. You should also look for the country of origin for the matcha product. And remember to check the expiration date.
Many of you ask why your matcha dessert doesn’t have a nice color. The culprit is very likely the quality of the matcha.
Tip 2: Don’t buy matcha in a big bag or large volume
Premium quality matcha rarely goes on sale. Even if it does, do not buy in big volume because you need to use it in 2-3 weeks once you open the package. Matcha oxidizes and turns to yellow-green color as time passes. Unless you’re running a commercial bakery, I wouldn’t buy a big bag of matcha for home use.
Tip 3: Make sure it’s 100% matcha
Many of you may not notice – some matcha may contain sugar or milk powder. These products are for making latte. To make matcha desserts, you will need 100% pure matcha. Sugar and natural flavorings should not be included in the ingredients.
Where to Get Matcha
Your local Japanese grocery stores should carry a few brands of matcha. But if there are no stores in your area, you can try purchasing online and I have a few recommendations.
- Ippodo Matcha (一保堂; My favorite tea shop in Japan/NYC where I get all kinds of tea and matcha)
- Naoki Matcha (I’ve tried many of their matcha products for sponsorship, and they are all excellent quality)
- Maeda-en Matcha (Japanese grocery stores in the US usually carry this brand)
How to Make Matcha Gateau au Chocolat
Ingredients You’ll Need
- White chocolate – please use “baking” white chocolate
- Unsalted butter
- Cake flour – You can make cake flour with all-purpose flour and cornstarch (see the recipe)
- Milk – I made this cake with whole and 2% milk and both work great!
Cake Pan Size
I use the same 6×3 inch round cake pan that I use for Basque Cheesecakes (Regular and Matcha). If you want to use a different size pan, please adjust the ingredient amount and baking time. You will need to double the recipe for an 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan, and triple the recipe for a 10-inch or 11-inch cake pan. Please note that the thickness of the cake will be varied.
Overview: Cooking Steps
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Then, add the matcha and mix well.
- Whisk egg yolks and sugar, and add in the matcha mixture.
- Add milk and sift the flour into the mixture.
- Beat the egg whites and fold into the batter.
- Bake and let cool completely. Enjoy!
Important Tips to Remember
- We use a double boiler to melt the chocolate and butter. A double boiler consists of a pot and a heatproof metal or glass bowl that fit together snugly—the top bowl holds the ingredient(s); the bottom holds simmering water. Unlike a water bath, the water in a double boiler doesn’t touch the top bowl.
- Beat egg yolks and sugar until the mixture becomes pale yellow and thick and forms a ribbon.
- Don’t over mix the cake batter after flour is added. Overmixing can lead to cakes that are tough, gummy, or unpleasantly chewy.
- You can beat egg whites with a whisk but your arms may fall off. It is easier to use an electric hand-held mixer or a stand mixer.
- Fold (not mix!) the beaten egg whites into the cake batter. What you’re doing is making the batter light and fluffy by incorporating air into the mix. I’ll explain in details in the recipe card below.
- We will be baking at 2 different temperature; first 350ºF (180ºC) for 15 minutes and then reduce to 325ºF (160ºC) for 20 minutes. No need to insert a skewer into the cake as the chocolate is woozy inside. The cake should be slightly wobbly when you take it out of the oven.
- It’s best to let cool completely, about 4 hours, because the inside is wobbly and woozy when it’s finished baking so it’s impossible to cut. You can keep the cake in the refrigerator overnight.
- I highly recommend microwave a slice for 5 seconds (from the fridge) to warm up the matcha chocolate cake. It literally melts in your mouth!
Favorite Matcha Recipes on JOC
- Matcha Basque Cheesecake
- Matcha Chocolate
- Matcha Cookies
- Matcha Donut (Baked)
- Matcha Ice Cream
- Matcha Madeleine
- Matcha Marbled Pound Cake
- Matcha Mille Crepe Cake
- Matcha Swiss Roll
- Matcha Souffle Pancake
- Matcha Tiramisu
Matcha Gateau au Chocolat
- 3.5 oz white chocolate (this 4 oz white chocolate bar is 113.5 g. We will remove one square block of chocolate so it'll be 3.5 oz/100 g; you can also use a kitchen scale)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp matcha (green tea powder)
- ¼ cup whole milk (I also tested with 2% reduced fat milk and cake come out successfully)
- 3 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell) (separated)
- 3 Tbsp sugar (for egg yolks)
- 3 Tbsp cake flour (No cake flour? Make your own Homemade Cake Flour with all-purpose flour and cornstarch.)
- ⅛ tsp kosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- 3 Tbsp sugar (for egg whites)
- 1 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar/powdered sugar (optional; for dusting)
- Gather all the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC).
- Line a 6-inch (15-cm) round cake pan with parchment paper (I use this 6×3 inch pan). I spray oil on the pan first so the parchment paper will stick to the pan. Note: You will need to double the recipe for an 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan, and triple the recipe for a 10-inch or 11-inch cake pan. Please note that the thickness of the cake will be varied.
To Make the Batter
- If you're using the same brand of a 4-oz white chocolate bar, remove one square block of chocolate so it'll be 3.5 oz (100 g). Or use a kitchen scale to measure the chocolate precisely. Break or chop up the chocolate into smaller pieces and put them in a heatproof large metal or glass mixing bowl (make sure the bowl is moisture or grease-free).
- Cut 3 Tbsp butter into small cubes and add to the bowl.
- To set up a double boiler, bring 2 inches of water in a pot to a simmer (gentle boil) and then place the bowl with your ingredients inside over the pot. You want it to fit snugly without touching the water. Melt the chopped white chocolate and butter in the double boiler.
- With a silicone spatula, mix and let the chocolate and butter melt completely.
- Carefully remove the bowl from the double boiler. Make sure the steam or water doesn't get into the chocolate mixture (it will seize the chocolate). Add 3 Tbsp matcha and mix them all together completely.
- Gradually add ¼ cup milk and mix well together.
- Separate 3 eggs into egg whites and yolks. Keep the egg whites in the refrigerator or freezer until you use them (In Japan, instead of cream of tartar, we commonly use cold, sometimes partially frozen, egg whites to make meringue).
- Add 3 Tbsp sugar to egg yolks and whisk until the mixture looks pale yellow.
- Add the matcha chocolate mixture to the egg yolk mixture and mix the batter well.
- Sift 3 Tbsp cake flour over the cake batter.
- Gently whisk the cake batter until just combined.
- Add ⅛ tsp salt and mix it all together.
- Add 3 egg whites into another clean large bowl. Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer.
- When bubbly, gradually add 3 Tbsp sugar while beating the egg whites.
- Beat until stiff peaks form. You've reached a stiff peak stage when the egg whites are shiny, and the tips can stand straight up even when turned upside down. Tip: If you've never beaten egg whites before, slow down the whisking when it's getting close to stiff peaks. Keep checking so you won't overbeat. Troubleshoot: The earliest signs of overbeating are little granules on the side of the bowl and decreased volume. If it overbeaten, the structure of the egg whites will break. Try beating in another egg white to help recover the mix or start over again.
- Fold a third of the egg whites into the batter. With the whisk, stir it around to lighten the batter and loosen it up for additional foam.
- Carefully add the next third of the egg whites on top of the batter and, using a rubber spatula, turn the egg whites into the batter. The important part here is not to stir. Instead, use a flipping motion, literally folding the egg whites into the batter. Finally, add the remaining whites and repeat the folding motion until the foam is just incorporated. Don't overdo it, or you'll end up releasing all the air you've carefully whipped into the egg whites.
- Transfer the cake batter into the prepared cake pan. Smooth out the surface with the spatula.
- Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 15 minutes and reduce the temperature to 325ºF (160ºC) and bake for 20 minutes. The cake should be wobbly and the inside should be woozy (therefore, no need to insert a skewer to check). It's best to let cool completely, about 4 hours because it's impossible to cut the cake. You can keep the cake in the refrigerator overnight.
- I highly recommend microwave a slice for 5 seconds (from the fridge) to warm up the cake. Dust powdered sugar on top, if you like, and serve. The cake literally melts in your mouth!
- You can keep the cake in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3 days and in the freezer for a month.