Matcha Tea Angel Food Cheesecake with Red Bean Filling
I wish I could have done this the proper way- complete step by step pictures and better presentation. But I must confess I wasn't thinking when I made it. It just happened! I suggested this to K as her new weekend project but I guess she's busy with something else and from out of the blue, I just felt like making it and I did. It caught some attention when I posted a couple of pictures @S and now I have to fulfill my commitment to post the recipe for the cake- all in one post.
This cake needs a little planning especially if you are making it for the first time. Such is the case when making layer cakes. Just reading the recipe would seem discouraging but trust me, if you make the cakes separately as well as the frosting and the red bean filling, you will realize it's not that difficult at all and the delicious end-result after all the hard work is priceless.
The cake is an assembly of half of the angel food cake at the bottom with sweet red beans spread over then topped with regular cheesecake then another layer of red beans before finally putting the other half of the angel food cake on top. Cream cheese frosting keeps/binds the scrumptious layers together. So that when it's ready for the taking and you take that first bite- you get matcha tea softness of the angel food cake then red beans followed by the creamy cheese cake then red beans again and ending with what you started with- matcha tea angel food cake. That is if you're good at it and able to taste all everything in one big bite.
So let's start with the sweet red bean filling. Left over can be stored in the fridge for future use (i.e. ice cream topping; dorayaki or taiyaki filling; shave ice ingredient, etc.)
Sweet Red Beans
3 cups red beans
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Soak red beans in tap water overnight (I changed the water about four times)
Make sure the beans are fully covered with water about three inches on top
Boil in clean water over medium high heat
Add sugar when the beans are starting to soften
Lower the heat and stir every so often to make sure it's not sticking at the bottom
It should be done when the beans are tender and it has thickened.
Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and cool completely before storing in the fridge
Time to make the cheesecake
3 8-oz pkgs cream cheese - room temperature
1-1/3 cups sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp vanilla
3 extra large eggs
2/3 cup heavy cream
Cream together cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch with mixer.
Add eggs and vanilla - beating until smooth.
Add cream & beat in just until combined - don’t overmix.
Pour into one of prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour and 15 minutes - watching closely near end of baking time. Cool at room temperature, then place in refrigerator for about 2 hours. Run knife around outer edge, tapping pan to remove cheesecake onto the palm of your hand. Chill in refrigerator while making the angel food cake.
Matcha Tea Angel Food Cake
1 ¾ cup egg whites, room temp
1 cup cake flour
1 tbsp warm water
1 cup caster sugar, divided
1 tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp matcha (Japanese green tea) powder
Preheat oven to 325F.
In a small bowl, whisk and sift together (4 times) ½ cup caster sugar, matcha tea powder and the cake flour-set aside.
Beat egg whites until frothy, then add warm water, cream of tartar and salt.
Beat until fully incorporated then begin to add the remaining ½ cup of sugar 1-2 tablespoons at a time.
Continue beating the egg whites to soft peaks (achieved when the egg whites look like soft waves and the peaks should drop back down into the batter when you lift the beaters. If the batter is falling in ribbons, it’s not ready. Do not beat all the way to stiff peaks though.
Add the vanilla extract and beat for a few seconds more till evenly distributed.
Sift the flour/matcha tea/sugar mixture over the rest of the egg whites in 6-8 additions and gently fold it in after each addition.
Transfer into an un-greased spring form pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Gently tap pan on the counter top to ensure that there are no large bubbles lurking beneath the surface.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the top springs back when lightly pressed.
Allow to cool completely and gently run a thin knife around the sides, then around the bottom, of the pan to release the cake.
* Never open the oven door while baking the angel food cake- well, you can after 30 minutes when it's time to turn the pan around.
* I always put the cake in the freezer straight from the oven and let it cool there before releasing from the pan. It makes the cake more tender and makes it easier to slice.
* Freezing the cake prior to frosting also helps to achieve smoother and crumb-less icing.
Cream Cheese Frosting
2-8 oz pkg cream cheese - softened
1 1/2 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Beat cream cheese and butter together until fluffy. Add sugar and salt, then cream & vanilla. Continue to beat until smooth and it forms peaks. Set aside.
To assemble the cake:
First, divide the cake using a serrated knife. Place half of angel food cake onto a big plate and the other half in another- set aside. Spread red bean evenly on the bottom part. Carefully place the cheesecake on top; spread some more red beans top before placing the other half of the matcha tea angel food cake. Spread the cream cheese frosting on top and sides of the cake. Store in refrigerator until firm before serving.