How to win an office bake off.
Written by Karagh Loring
When I finished university and started working in a lab, I realised one thing very quickly - scientists love to bake. I'm talking extravagant, delicious cakes, nearly every single week. My office even has a "Cake Fairy" roster, to ensure there are at least two cakes for each birthday throughout the year.
I myself feel very comfortable in the kitchen, baking up a storm. Cakes, biscuits, slices, you name it. I'm sure it has something to do with the analytical and scientific nature of it. You carefully measure out your ingredients, you put them in a dish and watch as the ingredients chemically react to create the rise of your mud cake, how the gelatine magically sets a cheesecake, and how the baking soda froths up in the golden syrup while you're making Anzac biscuits (my personal favourite chemical reaction in baking).
So, it's no secret that myself and my fellow scientists love a good baking session. It only makes sense that when Australia's Biggest Morning Tea rolls around, we turn it into a competition, the Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences Building, Level 8 Bake Off, complete with a golden whisk trophy to proudly place on your desk for the rest of the year. Cakes, coffee, AND raising money for a good cause? It's a very popular event indeed.
And this year, I was lucky enough to be voted the winner of our Bake Off, and have this DIY trophy sitting on my desk for everyone to see. How did I win? Well, I made this delicious Matcha & White Chocolate loaf cake. And I'm going to share it with you so you can bake up a storm and hopefully show off to your co-workers too.
Matcha & White Chocolate Cake
Adapted from Tokyo Cult Recipes by Maori Murota
You will need:
3 eggs (weigh these)
Softened unsalted butter (same weight as eggs)
Castor sugar (same weight as eggs)
Good quality self-raising flour (same weight as eggs)
1 tablespoon matcha (green tea powder, you can pick it up from Asian grocers or specialty tea shops - no need for anything too pricey for this recipe)
Packet of white chocolate chips (the no-melt ones)
Icing sugar and matcha to decorate
1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius, and grease a 19 x 19 x 8 cm loaf tin.
2. Use a handheld mixer or standing mixer to beat the butter and sugar together for about 5 minutes, until it's light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing each one in fully before you add the next.
4. Sift flour and matcha and combine with the wet ingredient mixture, a little bit at time.
5. Open up your chocolate chips and honestly just add most of the packet. They're delicious. Keep a little bit.
6. Pour the mixture into your tin, and top with the remaining chocolate chips.
7. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
8. Once cool, sift the combined icing sugar and matcha over the top.
9. Serve to your workmates, and win an office bake off.