Matcha Pistachio Chocolate Sesame Mousse Cakes

These Matcha Pistachio Chocolate Sesame Mousse Cakes aka Little Green Layer Cakes aka I Don’t Know What To Call Them, should have been my St. Patrick’s Day entry.

Matcha (green tea) Pistachio Black Sesame Chocolate Mousse Cakes (Entremet)

A few weeks ago I missed Valentine’s Day in the blogosphere, so the next post I put up, 2 weeks later, I proclaimed my official Valentine’s Day post because it was red and pink. As you can see, these cakes are mostly green, so wouldn’t they have been the most perfect Saint Patrick’s Day post?  What other time of the year does green food dominate (going down and coming up after too many bright-green ales/beers, though I’ve never once felt the desire to down green beer, especially in a sweaty bar on St. Paddy’s day)?

SO, today is my official Saint Patrick’s Day post, and even though I’m not Irish, I feel it’s my duty as a food blogger to recognize these holidays, especially the color coordinated ones. Yes, Lisa at parsley sage sweet has rearranged the holidays to suit her bloginess.

Speaking of Saint Patrick’s Day, correct if I’m wrong, but I could swear the Shamrock shake was once made with pistachio instead of mint? If I’m mistaken, I think a pistachio Shamrock shake would blow away a mint one! Someone get on it!!

Matcha Pistachio Black Sesame Chocolate Mousse Cakes (Entremet)

To continue, these cakes are not just an answer to my blank Saint Patrick’s Day, but they’re serving three other purposes.  Help, Win and Celebrate.

Help – After the disaster in Japan, outside of a few text donations, I felt like it wasn’t enough.  This entry is dedicated to the victims in Japan, so for every comment I receive, I will donate 1 dollar to the American Red Cross and Unicef, in addition to what I’m already donating, to continue to help the earthquake-tsunami victims recover from this awful disaster.

WinDessert Wars March challenge just so happens to be ‘Go Green!’ aka green desserts using two green ingredients.  How can I not enter these cakes? I could win the below whopper of a prize package;

Whisk and cupcake necklace from Moon & Star Designs
Beanilla Sampler Pack of Vanilla Beans
Lenox Personalized Musical Cupcake
1,000 ideas for Decorating Cupcakes, Cookies & Cakes
Organic Valley $50 Gift Certificate
Organic Prairie $50 Gift Certificate
Theme Kitchen $50 Gift Certificate
BEKA Cookware Crepe Pan

Celebrate -I have a new nephew, born last Thursday. What better way to celebrate this joyous occasion than with a side of delicious, pretty, mousse and chocolate filled cakes?  Meet Alex, isn’t he a cutie pie?

I got the idea for these matcha cakes from one of my favorite blogs, Evan’s Kitchen Ramblings, and ‘idea’ is where it ends, since, 1) I added different components, and well, 2) mine do NOT even come close to hers aesthetically, or photographically for that matter. Regardless, it was a creation of hers I was dying to tackle.

Matcha (green tea) Pistachio Black Sesame Chocolate Mousse Cakes (Entremet)

I love matcha based desserts (matcha is a powdered Japanese green tea), so to be able to create my own take on her little entremet cakes, using matcha, of course, was a fun challenge. I used her recipe for matcha mousse, but made a pistachio – almond sponge, adding matcha to it. I only used one square layer of cake** (see notes at the end of the recipe), and lined the bottom with white chocolate – pistachio feuilletine.  I nixed the black sesame mousse and instead made a chocolate – black sesame truffle ganache with a bit of wasabi paste and ginger to liven it up a bit.  It’s a ganache based on a chocolate truffle from Vosges Haut-Chocolat in Chicago, called a Black Pearl Truffle.  The sesame brittle is from a recipe I’ve used for years, so I decided to use that, partly to avoid having to convert the measurements.

Converting recipes from metric to US measurements is not something I relish, as some of you know.  Plus, my scale needs to be calibrated.

Matcha (green tea) Pistachio Black Sesame Chocolate Mousse Cakes (Entremet)

Having said all that, I kind of made a mess of this cake by not letting the mousse set completely before pouring on the ganache, plus, this cake is supposed to have two layers of sponge, one on the bottom beneath the feuilletine.  I was rushing, so as I was transferring the second layer, wrapped in plastic, to the fridge, I tripped over my own feet, being the klutz I am, and down it went, breaking into pieces.  This is why my bottom layer is the feuilletine layer.

My cuts were also lopsided, so much so that my cakes leaned in odd positions, keeling like slinky’s since the mousse and ganache needed to set a little longer (I always do this! I need to be more patient!). You would have to see a side view to understand, but careful positioning and angles for photographs made them look quasi-straight .  It may not be a clean cake, but it certainly tastes good!

Finally, there are some pastry chefs out there who name their entremet cake creations – like Hidemi Sugino’s ‘b-Caraibe’ and Sadaharu Aoki’s ‘Valencia’.  I decided to name these ‘Desordre Vert’ (Green Disorder).  I feel so special now.

Matcha Pistachio Chocolate Sesame Mousse Cakes
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 7-inch square pan cake
Sponge adapted from Dorie Greenspan's almond sponge
Matcha Mousse from Evan's Kitchen Ramblings
Black Pearl Ganache adapted from Vosges Haut-Chocolat
White Chocolate - Pistachio Feuilletine
  • ¼ cup pistachio paste
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ounces good quality, chopped white chocolate
  • *1/2 cup paillete feuilletine (OR rice krispies, or corn flakes, or crushed sugar cones)
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted pistachios
Matcha - Pistachio Sponge (see note at bottom of entry)
  • 3 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • ½ cup ground, shelled, skinned pistachios
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 1 cup icing sugar (sifted)
  • 1 tablespoon matcha powder *
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ tablespoon unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
Matcha Syrup
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon matcha powder *
Matcha Mousse
  • 1½ teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons of cold water
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder *
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
Black Pearl Ganache
  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon wasabi paste or ½ teaspoon wasabi powder * (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds *
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
Black and White Sesame Brittle
  • 6 Tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 6 Tablespoons black sesame seeds
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • ½ Tablespoon butter
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
Make the White Chocolate Pistachio Feuillitine
  1. In a medium bowl set in a saucepan of simmering water, heat the pistachio paste with the butter and white chocolate, stirring constantly, until smooth and melted. Remove from the heat and fold in pailette feuilletine and toasted pistachios.
Make the Matcha-Pistachio Sponge
  1. Line a 12-inch by 17-inch jelly roll pan with parchment and grease it with butter.
  2. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until they form soft peaks. Add the sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and glossy.
  3. Beat the almonds, pistachios, icing sugar, matcha and eggs in another bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Fold in the flour, then beaten egg whites, then melted butter.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in a preheated 425 F oven until lightly browned and just springy to the touch, about 5-10 minute. Run a knife along the edges to loosen the cake form the pan.
  6. Cover the cake with parchment paper, flip and unmold the cake onto a tray. Peel of the parchments paper flip again so it's right side up and cover the cake while it cools
  7. Cut out one (or two if you want a sponge bottom beneath the feuilltine layer) 7 x 7 square(s) of cake, using the 7-inch square cake pan as a guide. Save the rest of the cake for other preparations (can be frozen), or just eat it.
  8. Wrap cake square(s) in plastic wrap, and set aside until ready to assemble.
Make the Matcha Syrup
  1. In a small saucepan, bring the sugar, water and mactha to a boil until sugar is dissolved. Don't let it caramelize. Pour into a glass measuring cup to cool.
Make the Matcha Mousse
  1. Sprinkle gelatin powder over cold water and let soften.
  2. Combine matcha powder and sugar in a bowl In the mean time..heat milk to boiling. Whisk boiled milk in with matcha and sugar.
  3. Heat softened gelatin for 15 seconds in the microwave, then stir into matcha, sugar, and milk mixture. Strain and let cool.
  4. Beat heavy cream to soft peaks, then fold into matcha mixture.
Make the Black Pearl Ganache
  1. Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream, ginger, and wasabi to boil in small pot.
  2. Pour hot cream over chocolate; cover with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes. Whisk cream and chocolate until smooth.
  3. Mix sesame seeds and corn syrup in small bowl to coat; stir into chocolate mixture. Let cool to lukewarm.
Make the Sesame Brittle
  1. Place the sesame seeds in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar, corn syrup, water and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes without stirring once the mixture has come to a boil until it reaches 300 degree F on a quick-read candy thermometer. Grease a parchment or silpat lined jelly roll pan with butter or cooking spray.
  3. Remove the pan from the stove. Stir in the baking soda. Pour the hot mixture carefully onto the jelly roll pan and spread it to ¼ inch thick with a metal spatula. Let cool and harden.
  4. Break the sesame brittle into pieces. Store in a covered, airtight container for several days.
Assemble the Cakes
  1. Line a 7-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap (you won't need plastic wrap if you're using a mousse ring or removable bottom baking pan).
  2. Press the pistachio feuilletine into the bottom of the pan so it reaches all 4 corners. Try to press it down evenly so there are no thicker or thinner areas. (I didn' If you are using two squares of sponge cake, place one square on the bottom of the pan, brush with matcha syrup, then top with the feuillitine, spreading it carefully so you don't rip or tear the cake.
  3. Pour half of matcha mousse on top of feuilletine, and refrigerate, covered, until set.
  4. Pour all the chocolate ganache on top of set matcha mousse. Top with reserved cake square. Brush cake square with matcha syrup, then pour remaining matcha mousse on top, smoothing until even. Refrigerate cake until set.
  5. Using overlapping plastic wrap, lift cake out of baking pan. Brush top of cake with a mixture of matcha powder and hot water, to make a pattern or design, if desired. Let dry. Trim the edges of the cake evenly and cut into 6 or 7 one-inch slices. Top each slice with shards of sesame brittle.
* Available in some supermarkets and most Asian markets
** You can use two 7-inch squares of cake, if desired (cut out TWO 7-inch squares from sheet of sponge). Just line the bottom of the pan with one square of cake, brush with matcha syrup, and spread on some of the black pearl ganache, then continue as directed. I didn't use two layers because one of my cake squares hit the floor and broke, so I wrote out the recipe using only one cake square.

Black and White Sesame Brittle. Remember those honey sesame candies ]? Just like them, but easier to eat!
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65 Responses to Matcha Pistachio Chocolate Sesame Mousse Cakes

  1. Shelley C says:

    Lisa, those look AWESOME! And your new nephew is SO cute. I hope you win the dessert challenge, too – that would be very cool. 🙂

  2. 5 Star Foodie says:

    This is an amazing creation, such a great combination of flavors with all the gorgeous layers. Your new nephew is adorable, congrats!

  3. Sue says:

    WOW, this amazing dessert sure is labor intensive! It certainly does deserve the grand prize-good luck! I hope that all those who eat this will appreciate all of your effort! I would so love to try it! Congrats on the new little darling, Lisa:)

  4. Rosa says:

    That is one stunning creation! A divine dessert, mmhhh!

    Your nephew is very cute!



  5. What a great cause, I hope you win the contest, and yes he is a sweety.

    I ADORE matcha anything so I am totally blown away by your creation. Just BRAVA !!!! (standing ovation)

  6. OMG Lisa that is exquisite I love the Asian flavour profile and all the shades of green are so cute. Great job! I Love that pix of your nephew he is a cutie. And so generous of you to donate some money to the Japanese disaster. <3<3<3 Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  7. Rachel says:

    This looks divine! And I love the sesame brittle! Congrats on the arrival of your new nephew. What a cutie!

  8. Leslie says:

    Lisa, you rock! I’m at work reading this (oops) and my mouth is hanging open. This is a stunning and tasty creation. I’m going to tweet your offer to donate to Japan relief for each comment. No worries, I don’t have that many followers. 🙂 And your nephew looks even sweeter than your desordre vert. I hope you win!

  9. Lot-O-Choc says:

    Oh wow these look amazing, i always love the photographs you take, theyre always so pretty!

  10. Mary says:

    I am not sure what is better ..the matcha dessert or your super cute new nephew.

  11. Jenni says:

    Pretend this comment is still within the 48 hour time frame, ok? 🙂

    These little cakes look awesome! I’ve always been intrigued by baking with matcha, and someday I’ll take the plunge and break into my tea collection and actually do it.

    Congrats on the nephew, he sure is a cutie! You’ll have lots of fun cooing over him! 🙂

  12. These look amazing as does your photography. I noticed these on Foodgawker and wanted to see more. I’m definitely staying tuned!

  13. Dan says:

    How creative. They look very tasty and want that sesame brittle. Congrats on your nephew. Great photos as always always impressed with your presentations. Well done.

  14. Patricia says:

    wonderful flavor combinations and presentation =)

  15. Valerie says:

    Lisa, the minute I read the ingredients in your title, I knew I would love this recipe. And it looks so gorgeous! I can’t believe I used to be afraid of green tea ice cream (because, you know, “ew, it’s green”).

    Your nephew is adorable! He’s lucky to have an aunt who will make him all kinds of delicious food!

    Your donation to Japan is an act that I can only applaud.

  16. Juliana says:

    Oh! Lisa, you always amaze me…love the creativity of yours…this look absolutely delicious, great combination…and congratulations on your new nephew Alex…so cute. Have a great week 🙂

  17. Lisa thanks so much for your kind words. It is good to be back! Your cake is a definite winner as is your adorable nephew!

  18. Laura says:

    Stunning!! I hope you win for this gorgeous and creative dessert. And mazel tov on the birth of your adorable nephew.

  19. kelly says:

    Your baby nephew is SO precious!

    I’m pretty much a day late and dollar short when it comes to keeping up with the world’s food calendar so I like your style. Especially when the results look like this. Really gorgeous! Definitely too fancy for St. Patrick’s Day grub, so your timing is perfect. I’ve only sampled matcha tea anything once and it was in a mochi and sadly, it’s one of the few things I couldn’t get out of my mouth fast enough. I love green tea, but who knows. What does this taste like? Sweet green tea? Cringing that something so gorgeous could ever taste like that mochi. Good luck on Dessert wars!

  20. faith says:

    COngrats on the new nephew!!! Your entry for dessert wars is breathtaking!!! Good luck in the contest!

  21. Lisa, you are such a cake artist! Look at those perfect lines! They are stunning 🙂

  22. Sophie33 says:

    Ooooooh,…aaaaaaaah,…ooooooh,…aaaaaah! Dear Lisa, you are such a creative baker & aka patissière!!! WAW!!! Gobsmacked over here! Your dessert looks magnificent &ooh so pretty too! I don’t even atemp such a master piece!!! I just savour this in the best Patisseries in town!

  23. I love the combination of matcha and pistachio in cakes. Yours look simply gorgeous.

  24. FOODESSA says:

    Lots to celebrate…however, the celebration is felt mostly from your amazing creativity and of course your heart Lisa. The Japanese are in great need and surely they appreciate every effort.

    Lisa, go ahead and re-arrange all events…I’ll follow you no matter what you decide ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  25. Suzanne says:

    Thanks for popping by, I love this dessert, so creative and gorgeous photos as well. What a great idea to donate to the disaster relief for each comment. One time I tried to have a post for the flooding in Australia not long ago for people to donate but absolutely no one donated. I was embarrassed and surprised, not even one comment either, so I am really leery now to have something like that but your idea is a great one.

  26. Raina says:

    This is gorgeous. Each component sounds delicious. Good luck in Dessert Wars!

  27. Lora says:

    This dessert is a work of art! So many beautiful shades of green. So many gorgeous flavors. WOW!

  28. Debbie m says:

    looks good

  29. Simone says:

    I think it is a brilliant idea to rearrange holidays to suit your own blogtimes… I should actually do the same and have christmas when it suits my schedule rather then the other way around! And these green teacakes are perfect for St. Patricks day! In fact I still have to celebrate St. Patricks myself… 🙂

  30. ana says:

    Lisa, your dessert was my favorite this month, really. I think we all do the best we can or know, but what you did is just fantastic.

    Congratulations on the new nephew, what a sweet face 🙂

  31. Beth says:

    Wow, this looks incredible. Thanks for sharing such amazing dessert recipe, i will definatelly going to make it.

  32. Lea says:

    This is so beautiful, it looks perfect to me.
    Great flavours, too!

  33. Jamie says:

    First: Happy St. Pat’s Day, my fellow Jew 😉
    Second: you call THIS a mess? OMG I am down on my knees, forehead pressed to the floor and bowing down to your Holy Cakeness! Stunning, absolutely stunning! When would I ever be able to create something as gorgeous and creative as this?
    Third: ADORABLE he is, just adorable you lucky Auntie! I only have a little fuzzy black & white Marty to hug, kiss and nuzzle but now I want one of what you have!
    Fourth: Wonderful cause and how generous your are to donate to such worthy cause. I will be sharing this post on Facebook & Twitter so you can get more comments.
    Fifth: You MUST win!
    Sixth: Will you come over to my house and bake one of these masterpieces for us? You are officially invited, bed made, fresh towels out, husband making Choucroute de la Mer avec Sauce Beurre Blanc Nantaise. 🙂

  34. What an incredible cake!!! One line about the taste was not enough, though, Lisa!!! I want more description than that so I can taste when I read, too! 🙂
    I love the quest you describe… and how many purposes this recipe satisfies. I am so glad you are back more frequently – but, I am so out of the loop. Posted once a month since feb. So far behind on my readings, I deleted them all save about 10 (including this one)…
    This is the kind of adventure in baking I like to challenge myself with and so I have filed it and would love to accomplish this one day fairly soon, too. It looks like it would be incredibly delicious… I bow to you and your “creation incredible”. Love the name – everything sounds better in French, doesn’t it?

  35. Deeba @ PAB says:

    Absolute winner… gosh this is fantastic. Beauty hot on the heels of precious Alex. Congratulations Lisa …

  36. Georgie says:

    How incredibly creative and talented you are! These are lovely and look oh’ so good. I don’t see any flaws that you’ve mentioned “?”, the only thing wrong here… is that, I don’t get to eat a piece right now 😉

  37. Desordre, please, they’re beauties! I love the colors and mix of flavors. I’ve been on a hunt for a good pistachio cake, and the addition of matcha here sounds great. Congratulations on your adorable new nephew!

  38. Crumbs of Love says:

    You are being too hard on yourself, Lisa. This dessert looks absolutley beautiful. If you hadn’t pointed out the so called “flaws”, I would have never noticed. It sounds like a great flavor combination.
    Best, Sandie

  39. Sadhana says:

    First time here and the tea cakes looks so beautiful. Looking at the photos I am speechless and your nephew looks so adorable.

  40. Sasa says:

    Great idea for a fundraiser! Beautiful cake too.

  41. shaz says:

    Sigh, Lisa. Your “disordered” creations are so, so much more beautiful than any of my “proper” attempts at being elegant. Seriously, these look amazing and I wouldn’t have thought you had any issues with it.

    Congratulations on your new nephew 🙂

  42. Wow stunning, Lisa! I love green tea AND sesame, so this is definitely something I’d love to taste. Great entry!

  43. Renata says:

    What a “rich” post (in every way)! Your green tea dessert looks awesome! Congratulations on the new nephew, he’s so cute!! Good luck on the contest, cheering for you, ’cause you clearly deserve it!

  44. What a stunning cake! And what a sweet gesture of you to dedicate it to Japan

  45. Lori says:

    Hmmmmatcha. And pistachios. Lots of great flavors. I always love your creativity. You should be on television girl!

  46. I would definitely call in “Green in Order”, so neat and color coordinated layering….. simply beautiful and luscious 🙂

    And the addition of that black pearl ganache layer with bits of black sesame is so clever! It makes the cake stands out!

  47. Christina says:

    These little cakes look super yummy. Good luck with your dessert wars challenge..I hope these win it for you!
    Your nephew Alex is sooo cute! 😀

  48. James says:

    This is an awesome dessert! I’ve just started experimenting with green tea in recipes. Will try this!

  49. Truly a beauty (both your nephew and the cake). I am always in awe of your skill, seriously, I could imagine this in the window of any Paris patisserie– and pistachio? Well, thats just a killer for me, makes me want to grab it out of the screen.
    *kisses* HH

  50. Skylar says:

    I don’t care how many mistakes you made – this looks and sounds AMAZING!!! I’m def making that ganache TOMORROW!!!

  51. Jackie says:

    These are gorgeous. Never tried matcha, but these make me want to!

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  53. Summer Rose says:

    Lisa , ur adorable nephew is super cute , Alex , the new sunshine in ur life who will bring u joy and smiles galore.

    When i begun readin this post , i was like , this should go to the dessert wars and was so relieved to find the logo at the end 🙂
    U always come up with the most creative ideas and those daring baker cups 1 and 2 are brilliant too:-)

  54. silvano says:

    lisa first time i came across your site i was greeted by the green tea ,pistachio,chocolate, sesame mousse cake within the week i bought all the ingredients and proceeded to make the cake over the course of the weekend, the end result was probably one of the best looking and tasting cakes i have made .i made it with the matcha cake base(i didnt drop my cake,lol) and also added a matcha glaze, made of gelatine,sugar and matcha tea, i also sprinkled gold leaf in the glaze the end result looked even better than your one .thank you for allowing me to make such a delicious cake .cheers.

    • lisamichele says:


      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I wish I could see it, since it sounds like you turned out a gorgeous take on it! Mine was lopsided. LOL Love the idea of gold leaf and the matcha glaze! I love hearing when one of my recipes was a success for someone 😉

  55. koyu food says:


    We are very impressed by your…… We would potentially like to use your image and recipe on our website

    Is this something that you would be interested in ? Is there something you would want from us in return ? Please let me know your thoughts


  56. ButterYum says:

    What a stunning creation. Your nephew is a cutie pie!!


  57. Tasha McClam says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! I have been badly wanting to try an entrement but the whole figuring out the American measurements without a scale has terrified me!! Yours is the only one that I have found that I don’t have to break my brain translating! (And I have done some serious google research!) Oh and your Desordre Vert is looking beyond delish! I’m drooling while trying to type this…my poor computer! Thanks again for this fancy, gorgeous, tasty addition to my culinary world!

  58. Hello

    We are very impressed by your…… We would potentially like to use your image and recipe on our website

    Is this something that you would be interested in ? Is there something you would want from us in return ? Please let me know your thoughts


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