Green Tea Cakes
1 dozen petits fours (The author notes that the tea called for here is matcha, powdered green tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony. It is unnecessary to buy the highest-grade tea for this recipe).
4 eggs + 1 egg yolk, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons powdered green tea
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
6 tablespoons almond paste
1 cup heavy cream
4 teaspoons superfine sugar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Farenheit.
With an electric mixer, beat 2 whole eggs, 3 egg yolks, and 7 tablespoons sugar together until thick and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes.
Sift together flour, cornstarch, and 1 tablespoon green tea. Sift mixture onto beaten eggs and fold in. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks form.
Beat in remaining 1 tablespoon sugar until stiff. Fold into batter.
Spread batter in a shallow 11 x 7" pan that has been greased and lined with greased and floured wax paper. Bake until lightly browned and springy to touch.
Loosen edges of cake. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, then cover with a kitchen towel and invert onto a flat surface. Let cool. Using a biscuit cutter or other decorative cutter, cut out 24 pieces of cake.
Knead almond paste with 1 teaspoon green tea. Roll out thinly between sheets of plastic wrap. Using a small cookie cutter, cut out 12 decorative shapes.
Gradually whisk heavy cream into superfine sugar and remaining 2 teaspoons green tea, then beat until not quite stiff. To assemble cakes, sandwich two cake layers with about 1/4" green tea whipped cream. Frost top and sides with whipped cream and decorate with almond paste cutouts. Chill until serving.
Yield: 12 Cakes