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I'm baking a genoise cake consisting of flour, eggs, sugar, and optionally some melted butter. I want to add a strong tea flavour to it.

I'm afraid adding tea directly will mess up the batter, so can I replace the sugar with a simple syrup made with tea? If yes, is there anything I should adjust - like removing the egg whites to reduce moisture?

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  • When you say "adding tea directly", do you mean brewed tea or dry tea leaves? I've seen recipes that use the latter, which of course avoids the moisture problem, and a small amount of (powdered) tea leaves should give a lot of flavor while not (I think) noticeably impacting the texture of the cake. Mar 20, 2023 at 11:01
  • There are plenty of cake recipes where you soak the cake in a flavored syrup after baking. You could also make a tea flavored icing
    – Joe
    Mar 20, 2023 at 12:45

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No, you can't do that. It will totally change the whole cake layer and make it potentially inedible. Besides, the tea flavor won't be strong.

You cannot remove the moisture, because the genoise is pretty much moistureless anyway. The egg whites cannot be removed. Not only is their role the opposite - they make a drier cake, not a moist one - but also they have a huge structural role in creating the sponge. Without them, the result won't be anything even close to a genoise.

If you really insist on trying this, you will have to use a different recipe, something much simpler than a genoise that produces a heavier, denser cake. Look for something that uses the muffin method, these recipes are much less sensitive to changes. Also, the added taste will be stronger, because the cake will be both more substantial, and will contain more fat. Ideally, find a recipe that is already written for a liquid form of sugar, like corn syrup or honey, and use your tea syrup there.

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You don't need to replace the sugar with syrup just to add tea flavour. Powdered tea leaves such as matcha powder can be used as a dry ingredient.

Matcha Cake is a kind of sponge cake, which sounds similar to your genoise cake in texture. The linked recipe uses matcha powder for the tea flavour.

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