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!