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Adam Liaw’s Green Tea Roll Cake

Eat | Drink | Explore

East meets West in this Japanese version of a Swiss roll from television personality and former MasterChef winner Adam Liaw’s latest cookbook.

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The Zen Kitchen, published last month, is described as a practical guide to cooking Japanese food at home, including dishes such as Salt-Grilled Salmon, Teriyaki Pork and Mushroom Rolls, Sukiyaki and Sashimi Salad.

“The difference between this style of cake and a Swiss roll – green tea and lack of jam aside – is the single fat bolt of cream that runs down the centre,” Liaw, host of the SBS television series Destination Flavour, says of the recipe he shares below.

“Purists may love the spiral swirl of a traditional Swiss roll, but I really think Japan is on to something here.”

It takes around 30 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook, and needs half an hour cooling time.

Green Tea Roll Cake


3 eggs, separated
60g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp rice vinegar
¼ cup grapeseed oil
80g plain flour or low-gluten flour
2 tbsp matcha powder


300ml thickened cream
2 tbsp icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 vanilla bean, scraped


1 Heat your oven to 200C. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks then add half the caster sugar, the salt and vinegar and beat to firm peaks.

2 Cream the egg yolks and sugar until pale and doubled in volume. Beat in the oil and then gently mix through the flour and matcha powder. Add one-third of the meringue and mix well, then add the remaining two-thirds and fold through gently until the batter is completely uniform.

3 For the filling, beat the cream, sugar and vanilla until firm. Refrigerate until ready to use.

4 Spread the cake batter gently into a lined 20cm x 30cm baking tin and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then remove from the pan and place onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Spread the filling over the cake and mound it in the centre in a long line. Roll the cake so it is barely touching at the base. Secure with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Slice and serve.

Note: Thickened cream contains gelatine which, when the cake is chilled, will help it to hold its structure. Still, use a sharp knife when cutting to stop the filling from squeezing out like toothpaste from a tube.

Recipe and image from The Zen Kitchen, by Adam Liaw, published by Hachette Australia, $49.99.

Recipe and image from The Zen Kitchen, by Adam Liaw, published by Hachette Australia, $49.99.

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