Remember how I said I can't stop making ice cream? Well, here it is! It has beans in it! And I put it in a cake! With matcha!
Okay, that's enough exclamation points, I think.
After making my shave ice popsicles, I had a little bit of the candied azuki beans left over, and absolutely no idea what to do with them. The recipe suggestion to put them in ice cream sounded great to me, but my freezer was full of enough sugar already and so I shoved the beans to the back of the fridge and waited for a different inspiration.
A few days later, the jonesing for ice cream was still there, except now it had been joined by a desire for cake. So I caved in and whipped up a teeny batch of ice cream and two teeny cakes to sandwich it between, and I flavored that cake with matcha because I thought it would be awesome with the azuki beans. And let me tell you, matcha and azuki beans go together like peeeeas ayund caaarots. It's so good, and because I cut down on the sugar amounts in both the ice cream and the cake layers, this cake is almost refreshing, rather than indulgent. The beans in the ice cream add a fun texture, as does the contrast between the soft cake and frozen ice cream. It really needs nothing else, which is why I left my cake naked, without a fluffy robe of whipped cream frosting. It's just cake and ice cream, exactly what I wanted.
Matcha Azuki Bean Ice Cream Cake
Cake recipe adapted from Molly Yeh
For the cake:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tbs matcha (culinary grade)
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 ounces boiling water
For the ice cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup sweet azuki beans (leftover from this recipe)
- Make the ice cream mixture. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup cream, the sugar, and salt and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, and combine in a bowl with the remaining cream and milk, stir in the beans and transfer to the refrigerator to chill.
- Make the matcha cakes: heat oven to 350 degrees and grease two 6-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment. Set aside.
- Whisk all dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients except the boiling water, then whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Whisk in the boiling water.
- Divide batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake 20-25 minutes (check after 20), until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes in the pans then remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Once completely cool, wrap each cake round tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- While cakes are chilling, make the ice cream. Pour the chilled ice cream mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturers instructions. When finished churning, assemble the cake.
- Line the bottom and sides of a 6-inch cake pan with plastic wrap (or use a springform pan, as long as it is deep enough to hold essentially 3 layers of cake). Trim the cake layers if they are domed so that they are two flat cake rounds. Place one of the cake rounds, trimmed side up in the bottom of the cake pan. Spoon the churned ice cream into the pan and spread into a smooth layer (you should use all of it). Top with the remaining cake layer (trimmed side down) and press gently into the pan. Cover the top with the ends of the plastic wrap and cover with another layer of plastic wrap. Freeze until completely firm.
- When ready to serve, remove cake from freezer and turn out of the pan onto a cake round or plate. Unwrap the plastic wrap. Use a warm knife to cut the cake, and serve.