- Creamed 375g unsalted butter with 375g caster sugar with difficulty; the house was cold and it was hard to warm the butter, but I got to the light and fluffy stage in the end.
- Beat in 4 large duck eggs, one at a time, adding a little of the flour mixture after each one.
- Sieved in 375g flour (1/2 wholemeal, 1/2 white), 2 tsp baking powder and 2 heaped tbsp of cooking grade matcha and stirred it gently in.
- Stirred in 250g of Greek yogurt.
- Spooned 1/3 into a 22cm cake mould and 1/3 into another, but had to wait for these to cook before I could bake the final 1/3.
- Baked at 180C for 30 minutes. Left to cool for about 5 minutes then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Wrapped each cake up in greaseproof paper and covered with a tin as I wanted to do the icing and decorations on the day.
- Brought 100ml double cream to the boil in a pan.
- Took off the heat and added 100g 85% dark chocolate, 25g unsalted butter and 1 tbsp honey.
- Left for 5 minutes for all to melt.
- Stirred carefully until all incorporated then spread 1/2 on top of one cake, placed another on top of that and spread the rest of the ganache over this.
- Stacked the final cake on top of this leaving it unadorned for the moment.
- Left to set.
- Creamed 125g unsalted butter with 250g icing sugar and a heaped tbsp of cocoa until pale and creamy.
- Beat in 125ml of mascarpone.
- Spread this over the top and sides of the cake.
- Placed the cigarillos vertically around the edge of the cake.
- Stuck some of the broken cigarillo shards into the top.
Anyway, though I say it myself, the cake looked pretty splendid and I think everyone was impressed with it. The birthday girl was certainly pleased.
In all honesty, I couldn't tell the difference between the cooking grade matcha and the drinking grade matcha I'd previously used from Vitalife. Not in terms of baking anyway, so I would strongly recommend buying cooking grade as it is less expensive.