I write today with a heavy heart as I share with you all and shine a light into a part of my life that has been kept covered for a long, long time (if you’d just like the recipe for the cake, don’t mind me and scroll on down). Since the passing of my grandpa (4+ years ago) I’ve honestly never fully recovered. I must say he was the first person in my life that I was close enough to, to truly understand death, pain, and grief. He was diagnosed with lung cancer and I watched him slowly deteriorate. At first, I couldn’t fully grasp what it meant to have cancer, how it felt and how utterly awful the disease was. I had no prior experience dealing with people who had it, and it was not until I visited him regularly and watched him gradually get worse; not being able to eat or use the bathroom alone, forgetting who I was and the rest of my family, and becoming a vegetable in his own home, did it dawn on me.
Growing up in an Asian household, besides joy, happiness, and sometimes anger and frustration, we hardly showed one another our true emotions. We cry on our own time, in our own spaces, away from everyone and everything. We shut all the people around us out so that no one can tell how we are truly feeling. Maybe it’s a cultural thing, or maybe it’s the way we were brought up. Either way, it was not until recently (after I was diagnosed with anxiety and continue to constantly struggle and learn to deal with it) did I realized how wrong it was. I know now that, that isn’t the right way to deal with what life has to throw at us.
As for my grandpa, I dealt with loss, pain, and grief in all the wrong ways. My family was here for me, though it was tough leaning on them because we all have the image that being “strong” = not crying and feeling. I bottled up a majority of my emotions and stuffed them aside, but became slightly depressed after he passed, as I couldn’t get the image of him taking his last breath out of my mind. Year after year, I would think of him randomly and cry. I think it is normal to miss someone and to feel those types of emotions and to cry here and there, but the tears I cried came from a very deep place because I didn’t deal with it correctly at the time.
Just last week, my grandma was admitted to the hospital and we found out she also has cancer, stage 4. They are still running tests to find out what type, but I fear that there is no good outcome. I don’t want to believe that this is true and I don’t know how many times I’ve already cried myself to sleep in fear of whats to come, all I know is that I have to deal with it the right way this time around. I lived with my grandma my whole life up until the past 5 years and have always been close to her, so this news is heart breaking. If any of you have been through similar things, feel free to share your stories. Life definitely has its own way of teaching us lessons.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” – Matthew 5:4
WHITE CHOCOLATE MATCHA CAKE RECIPE
for the green tea cake
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tbsp matcha powder
- 2 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
for the white chocolate buttercream
- 2 cups unsalted butter (room temp)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 oz white chocolate, melted & cooled
for the matcha glaze/ganache
- 4 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 325°F
- Cream butter, sugar & oil in a mixing bowl.
- Add eggs one at a time and beat only till incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, mix the milk, vanilla & matcha powder into a paste (get out as many lumps as possible) and beat into mixture.
- In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder & salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients & beat until fully incorporated.
- Evenly divide batter between two greased & floured 9 inch cake pans.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cakes are fully cooked.
- Let cool completely before flipping & frosting.
- For the frosting, beat butter till light & fluffy.
- Add white chocolate and vanilla and beat till incorporated.
- Slowly add in powdered sugar to taste and stack/frost the cake.
- For the green tea glaze/ganache, place the white chocolate in a heat safe bowl.
- In a small saucepan on low heat, pour in the heavy cream and matcha powder and whisk till there are no lumps.
- Turn the heat off and carefully pour over white chocolate and mix till melted.
- Let it cool for a little bit before pouring over the cake.
This recipe was adapted from Hey Modest Marce.