East West Chanoyu Center


"Floating Islands"

Ingredients (yield 15 servings):
Sweetened, white bean paste - 400 grams (14oz)
Eggs - 4 large (room temperature)
Sugar -100 grams (3.5oz)
Salt - a pinch
Low-gluten wheat flour - 25 grams (0.88oz)
Joshinko (rice flour) - 25 grams (0.88oz)
Amanatto (candied beans) - 40 grams (1.4oz) (optional),
(sprinkle on first layer of batter)
Matcha (powdered green tea) - four heaping chashaku scoops full

Nagashikan (mold), lined on all sides with parchment paper

Sift the flours and salt together and set aside. Measure the sugar and set aside. Separate egg whites and yolks. In a large bowl beat together the bean paste and 2/3 of the sugar. Strain the egg yolks into the paste and beat until incorporated. Gradually fold the flours into the batter. Separate batter into two bowls.

Make koicha (thick tea) by adding a little boiling water to the matcha. Strain and stir into one of the batters to achieve the desired green color.

Strain the egg whites into a bowl and beat to a stiff peak while gradually adding the remaining 1/3 of the sugar. Add the egg whites to the batters: To each of the two bowls add 1/6 of the total volume of whites and stir to lighten batter. Divide the remaining whites and fold into the batters. Work as quickly as possible with beaten egg whites.

Spoon the darker of the two batters into the bottom of a nagashikan, forming peaks on the surface with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with amanatto. Spoon the lighter batter on top, filling to 80%. Smooth the top of the batter.

Steam on medium-high heat with the towel wrapped lid ajar for 10 minutes to prevent cracking and doming. Close lid and steam for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from steamer; remove cake from pan as soon as you can handle it. Peel away paper and cool thoroughly on a fine mesh wire rack. Wrap and refrigerate or freeze. Best if prepared one day before serving. Slice and serve.

Variations: change the colors to reflect the seasons; flavor with miso (soy bean paste), sesame, liqueurs, nuts, or fruit; substitute the white bean paste for red bean paste; use white bean paste for 1/2 the batter, red for the other half.

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