Saturday, September 22, 2012

Heureux comme un coq en pâte: soup and cake

rainy rainy rainy day today. perfect for soup. we had a monster sized zucchini to eat, and today was soup weather. we turned up the leonard cohen and i chopped the squash and peeled some garlic to roast. i left a round of zucchini out to shred and add to the soup just at the end. before sticking the veggies in the oven, i sprinkled on some dried greek oregano. yum. i made a stock with a mushroom and veggie bouillon and let that simmer while the zucchini and garlic melted in the oven. the spinach was washed in the sink and left to drip dry. once the veggies were roasted (read: once we couldnt handle the smell any longer), i scraped the goods from the roasting pan into the simmering soup and added half the spinach. i found some potatoes in the cupboard, so i threw those in as well. and then we waited.

IMG_5309i decided to make us some chocolate cupcakes for dessert--i love this recipe. it only makes two little cupcakes. just right for us. (though i use half the sugar and a bit more cocoa)

ive been wanting to try a green tea ganache and decided today was the day. a few weeks ago, i bought some maccha at the japanese market, and i picked up some white chocolate the other day, and ive just been waiting for the right moment. the mister didnt know; it was a surprise. he and i are both green tea junkies.

while the soup was souping, i got dessert ready. the ganache is better when it cools for a while. i melted some butter and warmed a splash of whole milk together. i added one teaspoon of the maccha, not knowing how strong it was, and then poured the hot liquid over the broken up white chocolate bits i had waiting in a bowl. i whisked and whisked and whisked until the chocolate was melted and then just kept on whisking. round and round, round and round. once the chocolate mixture gets shiny, it's safe to rest. i stuck it in the fridge and made the cuppycake batter. after a little while, i pulled it out and, after tasting it, decided to throw in another teaspoon of maccha. it was strong, but again, we love tea. so for us, it was just fine.

just a little batter

the cake recipe is super simple.
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 heaping teaspoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cold water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

bake at 160°/325° for about 18 minutes.

i turned my attention back to the soup. basically, i just let it do its thing. i used the immersion blender to purée all the veggies, and just before serving, threw in the rest of the spinach and zucchini. the mister had braved the weather to grab a nice loaf of fresh bread at our local bakery, and we had our soup with vacherin. it's christian's favourite cheese. he can wax poetic about the stuff.  fo' reals.


after dinner, i whipped the ganache to make it a little fluffier, and then piped the frosting on top of the glorious chocolate cupcake.
the mister knew i was up to something... and when i called him in, he had a huge grin on his face.

IMG_5336we blew out our candles and he took a bite. green tea! he exclaimed!

now i have my tastebuds set on other maccha ideas....

we shall see where the wind takes us.

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