Sake and Matcha replace coffee and Kahlua in this delectable green tea dessert
I absolutely love tiramisu and am always experimenting with new versions of this delicious dessert. Walking through Central Park I was captivated by the beautiful cherry blossoms exploding throughout the park. It’s as if these trees are screaming to be let out after a long, cold winter. The pink and white blooms look so beautiful against the bright blue sky and sprinkled on the ground after they fall. Spring is my favorite time of year. A season of hope for new things to come.
The cherry blossoms reminded me of a delicious sweet, dry sake that I had tasted a couple of weeks ago. The sake is called Kizakura”Hana Kizakura” and it is made from a yeast extracted from cherry blossoms. The result is a lightly sweet, dry sake that reminds you of walking through a cherry orchard. This sake is the perfect Spring/Summer aperitif and can also be used for sake martinis. You can purchase the sake here through TIPPSY SAKE. I decided to develop a recipe for matcha tiramisu using this sake. The matcha tiramisu is light, aromatic and is perfect to serve in the Spring and Summer. Matcha Tiramisu is quite simple to prepare and is a no bake dessert that requires time in the refrigerator. This makes it ideal to serve when you have company coming over.
Fill a sauce pan with an inch of water and bring the water to a simmer. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a heat proof bowl and place over the sauce pan. Make sure the heat proof bowl is not touching the water, it needs to be over the water. Beat the mixture until pale yellow and triple in size. This will take around 8-10 minutes. When the egg yolk mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly while you beat the heavy cream in a separate bowl. Once the heavy cream is beaten into soft peaks, fold the whipped cream into the egg mixture. Be careful not to deflate the cream, you want to gently incorporate the two.
What Kind of Matcha Should I Use?
There are many different varieties of matcha available. I love the matcha from tea forte. It’s stone ground, smooth and bright and works perfectly with the creaminess of the tiramisu. There are flavored matcha as well. Adagio teas makes a delicious chocolate matcha that is great for sprinkling on top of the matcha tiramisu. For this recipe I mixed the matcha with water and sake to dip the ladyfingers in. The best technique is to mix the matcha with a little boiling water to form a paste and then add the rest of the boiling water and sake. This will help to incorporate all the matcha into the liquid.
The addition of Tumeric and cumin adds brightness and helps to make this soup packed with flavor and health benefits. The soup is vegetarian and vegan. I like to classify this soup as a power soup because it is high in nutrients like vitamin A, potassium, fiber and protein and low in fat. It tastes great, looks beautiful and is very healthy.
What’s the Big Deal about Tumeric?
Tumeric contains curcumin which has powerful antioxidants. Curcumin boosts brain power, reduces inflammation and can lower your risk of heart disease. Tumeric has been around for over a hundred years but the extreme heath benefits have only recently been studied and recognized. Tumeric is also what gives curry its beautiful yellow color. I love to develop recipes that I can add tumeric to so that the dish not only tastes great but is also healthy for you.
Yellow vs. Green Split Peas
Yellow split peas and green split peas are both delicious. I tend to think that a green split pea soup works best with ham since it is a sweeter split pea and balances well with salty ham.Yellow split peas have an earthier flavor that works well with full flavor spices like turmeric and cumin. This yellow split pea soup is vegetarian and vegan.I puree the soup so that all the flavors blend completely and result is a smooth earthy flavored soup. If the soup is too thick add more vegetable broth to thin it out. The yellow split pea soup is perfect for the spring and summer because of the beautiful color of the soup. It is perfect to serve as a light lunch or dinner with a leafy green salad and some crispy bread. Yellow split pea soup freezes well so you can make a big batch and freeze it in individual portions that you can defrost on those long summer days when you don’t feel like cooking.
An easy and delicious coffee cake with a sugary glaze
The term Coffee Cake simply means any cake that is intended to be eaten with coffee. This cake can be eaten in the morning or with a cup of tea in the afternoon. The ingredients come together very quickly so it is an ideal recipe to make if you do not have a lot of time but would like to bake something homemade. I make this recipe in one big 9 x 13 pan but it would also work in individual muffin tins. Coffee Cakes are typically a moist crumb cake flavored with cinnamon and sugar. Some recipes use sour cream or yogurt but I prefer to use milk. I feel that milk add the right amount of moisture without making the cake too heavy. I also do not feel that you need a lot of butter or oil in the recipe. After many tries I have figured out the exact amount of butter and oil that is necessary to create a light cake that has the right amount of cinnamon and sugar.
The one thing I can promise is that when this Cinnamon Coffee Cake is baking in your oven everyone in your house will say “Oh, that smells so good.” There is something so delicious about the smell of cinnamon and brown sugar baking in the oven. In this recipe I layer the cinnamon and brown sugar in the batter so there is a good ratio of batter to cinnamon sugar. I drizzle a little melted butter over the cake before it bakes in the oven. After the cake comes out of the oven I let it cool for 10 minutes before drizzling the coffee cake with a sugar glaze. The sugar glaze looks so pretty on top and works well with the brown sugar and cinnamon flavors.
This is a perfect Coffee Cake to serve at brunch time or if you are having some friends over for coffee. I really like to serve it warm fresh out of the oven or reheated. To reheat the coffee cake in the oven you will need to wrap it in foil and warm it at 325. You can also use a microwave to warm up the cake. You want the coffee cake to be warm, not hot. The Coffee Cake will stay fresh for 2 days out of the refrigerator or 5 days in the refrigerator. You can even freeze the Coffee Cake for up to a month. Just make sure you store the Coffee Cake in an air tight container.
Some Delicious Variations:
You can add fruit in the middle of the coffee cake as well.
Mash a cup of fresh or frozen raspberries with a half of tablespoon of cornstarch.
Chop up some walnuts or almonds
A cup of mini semi sweet chocolate chips
Add 1/4 tsp of instant coffee to glaze to give it a little coffee flavor
Spoon the added ingredients over the first layer of batter before you sprinkle on the brown sugar and cinnamon.
mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together
In a seperate bowl mix eggs, milk, vanilla and ¾ cup oil or melted butter together
add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well
lightly grease a 9 x 13 pan and pour half the batter in. Batter will be a little thick so shake pan to spread out evenly.
mix together brown sugar and cinnamon and spread half over batter
use a spoon to add spoonfuls of batter over the top and gently spread out with wet fingers.
top with remaining cinnamon and brown sugar
drizzle with 3 tbsp melted butter
Cover with foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes then remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Do not overbake or it will be dry.
let cool for 10 minutes then drizzle with glaze
Batter will be thick so spreading the second layer may be tricky. You should place spoonfuls of batter over the top and wet your fingers to gently spread the batter so you do not disturb the cinnamon layer.Coffee cake is best eaten warm. To reheat, wrap lightly in foil and heat in 300 oven for 5 minutes or reheat for 45 seconds in microwave
Chefs all over the world rejoice when ramps are in season. The truth is that ramps are in season for a very short period of time and signify the beginning of Spring. Ramp season typically only lasts a month or so from early April until May which is part of the reason why they are such a delicacy.
So What is a Ramp?
A ramp is an entity of its own. Some call them wild leeks. Ramps have a thin stalk that looks a bit like a scallion with one or two flat leaves. The flavor is a cross between an onion and garlic. Ramps have a very distinctive flavor that is not found in any commercially harvested vegetable. Ramps are foraged which makes them rare and adds to their delicacy. They are the first green that emerges from the soil after a long winter. Ramps can also be a little costly due to their scarce supply.
How to Prepare Ramps:
Ramps can be used in wide variety of ways. Once the bulb at the end is cut off the entire ramp can be eaten. They are delicious sautéed in butter and eaten with fried eggs or as a side dish with steak or fish. You can also use them in quiche with a little bacon. I have decided to make a caramelized ramp Chimichurri sauce that works well with fish or can be used as a marinade for skirt steak. Grilled swordfish with avocado is perfect with Caramelized Ramp Chimichurri. Make sure you save a little on the side if you are using the Chimichurri as a marinade so you can serve it as a sauce. I love how vibrant and green this Chimichurri is. It just screams spring to me.
Ramps come from the ground and the soil can get caught in them. Run the ramps for several minutes under cold water to remove soil. Then cut off bottom stem and pull back the outer skin and rinse again.
Similar to a bolognese but instead of using ground meat we use bone-in short ribs that are roasted until the meat is so tender that it falls off the bone. This sauce starts on the stove and finishes roasting in the oven. Low and slow is the key here. The result is a rich savory meat sauce that goes perfectly with a flat long pasta like fettuccini or pappardelle. You need to use a flat noodle so the sauce has something to cling to. The sauce combines flavors of sweet and savory with a touch of spicy. I like to top the pasta with an individual sized ball of burrata weighing 2 ounces.
Tip on serving the best mozzarella:
Put the mozzarella in the microwave for one minute to warm it up before you place it on the pasta. When I owned my restaurant I was told by our mozzarella company to always serve fresh mozzarella slightly warm. When fresh mozzarella is made it comes out of the water warm and is shaped into a ball. There is nothing like truly fresh mozzarella that has never been refrigerated. The flavor is so smooth and mild. When fresh mozzarella is cold it does not have the same flavor, it is masked by the cold temperature. When you serve any fresh mozzarella or burrata you should place it in a pot of warm water or in the microwave for 30 seconds to take the chill away. You will see how much creamier and tasty the mozzarella is.
Making Short Rib Ragu:
A good ragu should have layers of flavor that can only be accomplished with a slow cooking process. In this recipe I combine red wine, brown sugar, mustard, tomatoes and red chili flakes with other herbs, carrots, onions and beef broth. All the flavors marry together and create a wonderful spicy- sweet short rib ragu. The short ribs are seared in a touch of olive oil on the stove top before being added to the sauce and placed in the oven for two hours. The sauce is done when the short rib meat is falling off the bone and ready to be shredded. The sauce will not take more than 15 minutes to prepare before going into the oven and once in the oven there is nothing you have to do for the next two hours. Just let the sauce stew together and work its magic.
What should I do if the Sauce is dry after roasting?
After two hours take the short rib ragu out of the oven. Remove the short ribs from the sauce and shred the meat from the bone. You should try to cut the fat off and discard it with the bones. Return the shredded meat to the sauce. If the sauce seems too dry add additional beef broth to the short rib ragu. One cup of beef broth should be sufficient. This is a ragu so it is a thicker meat sauce that should cling to the pasta.
This sauce can be made up to two days in advance and reheated when ready to serve. Add more beef broth if you need more liquid.
Roasting the garlic cloves creates a nutty mild garlic flavor that balances well with the tahini.
Hummus is a Middle Eastern spread that is made with cooked chickpeas. The chickpeas are boiled until very soft and their skin is beginning to come off. This makes it easy to mash them into a very smooth dip that blends perfectly with the silky tahini. Tahini is made from sesame seeds. I like to use the Soom Premium Tahini available here on Amazon. This tahini is all natural, delicious and made by a woman owned company.
Homemade hummus can be used in a variety of ways. You can serve it as an hors d’oeuvres with pita or flat bread and raw vegetables or as a side dish with charred broccoli and peppers. Simply toss the broccoli and peppers with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes in a 400 oven then serve over the hummus as a side dish or appetizer. The hummus will stay fresh for 5 days in your refrigerator and is a healthy snack to have around. If you feel a little hungry try dipping some pretzel crisps into the hummus as a mid afternoon snack