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March 17, 2007

edible shamrocks


Okay, if I was Irish, I should be dressed green, out quaffing some Guinness at a pub today... or something like that. Apparently I'm not Irish and am staying at home, not touching a pint, nor even wearing green (sorry Leprechaun), yet here's a little something to celebrate March 17... edible shamrocks.

The smaller bright green one is Green Tea Shortbread, giving this little treat a Japanese twist. The larger shamrock, although the green is rather subtle, has more authentic Irish flavors: it's what I call Irish Mint Cheesecake.

Irish Mint being the cockatail of the same name, made of Bailey's, creme de menthe, and milk; I used this combination in my all-time favorite cheesecake base (the one which actually doesn't use any cheese, but instead creme fraiche; I have made this countless times, but couldn't find a blog entry except this).

So the cheesecake is basically a mixture of Bailey's, mint, cream and white chocolate - yum! And by the way, I made the shortbread using superfine rice flour specifically made for pastry making. I know I don't have to make my cookies glut-free for them to be a St. Paddy's Day treat, but well, I just wanted to try the flour now I am back in Japan - in fact I have been using a lot of rice/rice products in making desserts these days, such as rice pudding and dumplings with kumquats in syrup (if you have wondered what those sunny-side ups are, they are the one!).

Well yes, I have been back in the homeland, returning from what turned out to be a five-month expedition, by the way... phew! Thanks a lot for all the friends who made my days and nights all so spectacular and invaluable, and those who helped me from back home. I haven't been able to catch up in my social and blogging life, but it should slowly come.

Once again, thank you ever so much everyone, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

21 comments:

chika said...

okay, now the comment field fixed!

enuwy said...

I would LOVE to have that recipe for the Irish mint cheesecake... it sounds perfect.

Amy said...

Mmm I love green tea and I love shortbread. This looks delicious and beautiful.

Catherine said...

lovely! green tea shortbread sounds fantastic!

Judith in Umbria said...

I wander around the world of food blogs and I admire the ever-rising level of excellence of the photography. And then you return and blow everyone out of the water.
I am not fond of mint, but I am totally enamored of your pictures. Always.

Eva said...

Beautiful pictures as usual!! I like the idea of using rice flour, do you find it changes the texture of you baking a lot?

mauve said...

I would love to have the recipe, TOO!!!! :)

Deborah Dowd said...

They both look incredible and worthy of the Irish, no matter your nationality! The cheesecake recipe should be posted!

Kate said...

what a pretty post.my heart goes out to these lovely hearts.

Santos said...

quelle kawaii! welcome home :)

Rose said...

Even though you are not Irish, you sure know how to celebrate St Patrick Day. Very beautiful

Ping said...

Very lovely pictures as usual! And the cakes look absolutely heavenly! I follow the calls above for the recipes. ^_^

Vero said...

The Bailey mint cream cheesecake sounds.... terrific!!! How can you make our mouth water that way and then not give the recipe???!!!:-)
Your pictures are pure works of art, as usual...

Afi said...

I have no words for the pictures. Also I love the compositions you make.
Although I almost never commented your posts I allways like to visit your blog.
In fact it was inspiring to find this blog, about one year ago. Make me to create my first blog ever. In it the pictures were my words and I started there a path to improve my photo techiques but I feel I am not still up to your state of art.

P.S. I'm sorry if the english is somewhat incorrect but it isn't my mother language.

Anonymous said...

you take gorgeous pictures (: thanks for sharing them!

Satoko_us said...

chika-san,

I'm so glad that you still have this blog up!

日本語サイトが終了しちゃって涙していたところです。ここは閉まらないことを祈っていますが、chikaさんのご事情もあることだと思いますし...
どちらに決まっても、これからも素敵なchikaさんでいてください。

swee said...

both of them looked really nice especially the Irish Mint Mini Cheesecake. Makes me wanna run out and buy a bottle of it now! Any chances of your sharing the recipe?

chika said...

Thanks everyone for leaving a note and for those who were interested in the cheesecake recipe, well, there is no real "recipe" for it as I sort of just fixed it up... if you are still keen to have an idea of what it was, here is what I remember I did:

Irish Mint Cheesecake
(Loosely based on a recipe from My French Kitchen: A Book of 120 Treasured Recipes, Joanne Harris, Fran Warde, 2003, Morrow Cookbooks.)

1/2 cup/120ml creme fraiche or sour cream, well chilled
heaping 2 Tbs/30g light brown sugar
1/2 cup/120ml heavy (double) cream, well chilled
2.5oz/70g white chocolate, chopped and then melted
2-3 Tbs Bailey's Irish cream
scant 1 Tbs Creme de Menthe (mint liquor)

Beat together the creme fraiche and sugar until blended, then add the heavy cream until smooth. Add the melted chocolate followed by the liquors and mix until thoroughly blended. Pour in a parchment-lined or silicon-made pan or molds and chill in the fridge until set.

I made 6 muffin-size hearts, but this extremely rich cake should better be served in smaller portions, either using smaller molds or making it in one large pan and cut to serve. If you like your cheesecake to have a nice base, go ahead and do so by using your favorite cookie base recipe. The cake can also be frozen instead of refrigerated - in fact I like it better frozen and leave it at room temperature for a little while before digging in. Enjoy!

sneexe said...

Hi Chika!

I just started baking for the first time and was looking for helpful tips online when I found your blog... it's really beautiful! Thanks for sharing :)

Melissa said...

Would you put a recipe section up for us? I am so impressed with your pictures! And your ideas!

Unknown said...

Beautiful presentation. So delicate looking. Perfect for a tea party. Thank you for sharing.

We may have met by chance...but we become friends by choice.
Simplee Sue