Matcha Financiers

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This recipe is a perfect example of why I have loved my last four years participating in this TWD group.  If I had been flipping through a cookbook on my own, I would have never made this particular recipe.  I didn’t know what matcha was, or a financier for that matter and the picture of a green mini muffin would not have been enough to arouse my curiosity….BUT…now in this baking group, this is exactly the type of recipe that gives me, and my tasters an adventure.

Because of this recipe I now know what matcha is, I have been to Teavana, experienced the kindness of genuinely nice worker, and can now say I have tasted matcha!

So what is matcha?…a Japanese powdered green tea; one that we are told is bold, expensive, and not readily available.  I looked at my local stores and didn’t have any luck.  I was asking around and a friend of mine suggested going to Teavana in the mall.  Not being a tea drinker, I had never heard of this place.  I headed over and right away found the matcha, but only in a $25 canister (which probably held a cup) and then a box of 10 individual packets sold for $19.  So, neither were a good choice as we only needed a tsp.  I chatted with an employee asking if I could buy just a teaspoon worth of the matcha.  She told me they didn’t sell that one in bulk.  Such a bummer I told her, as I am in this baking and blogging group and only needed the amount that would be in one of the individual packets sold in boxes of 10.  She looked at the display, which had a box open showing the packets and said here, take a few.  I was so happy and asked what I should pay her for them and she replied, nothing…since it is a display, we will have to throw them out anyway.  I am glad to be able to help with the baking.  HOW COOL IS THAT??  to come across someone so genuinely kind that they just make your day!!  It seriously did make my day.  I love when you come across people who are just kind!!

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I was more energized to get to the baking after scoring the matcha…baked them on St. Patrick’s Day quite by accident but that was totally appropriate and I think people were more willing to try something green that day. 🙂

The actual recipe was super easy.  You mix up the ingredients until you have a “pea green batter with a sheen to it”

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The batter now needs to chill for a minimum of an hour.  Then onto the baking.  I opted to add the chocolate.  I figured chocolate makes anything taste better so since I was a little concerned with everyone liking this one, I went for the surprise inside.

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They baked right up and off they went to my tasters.  No one had tasted matcha before, so everyone was interested in seeing what it was like.

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My tasters loved these, although they all said they didn’t think they could really taste the matcha!!??  What?? So interesting right.  The girl at Teavana said this matcha was imperial quality and strong.  The recipe said to use baking matcha but I had to go with what I had..and still used the 1 tsp in the batter.  Hmm…wonder why it was a subdued taste?  They were still very good and everyone loved the chocolate surprise in the middle. I would say these are a keeper but not sure when I would ever make them again since I wouldn’t have matcha on hand…but such a fun adventure for sure!

 

Odile’s Fresh Orange Cake

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This one seemed straight forward and simple enough, or so it seemed, but those darn simple ingredients got me this time.

I have the orange tree out back so those were not a problem…and take a look at those oranges!!  We are experiencing a severe drought here in California…restricted watering days and all.  Can you even believe the size of these monstrous oranges???  They have gotten very little water and yet, my tree is loaded with oranges and many of them are this huge.  So strange to me…and they are super juicy and delicious too!

I got busy baking one afternoon…too late for my liking but sometimes you just have to go for it.  The recipe seemed simple enough, I didn’t even check to see if I had everything.(BIG mistake)  I mean, being “baker”, I usually have most all of the basics on hand.

Got started on this one and ugh…can you even believe I had no sugar..of all things.  I kept looking in my cabinets and pantry expecting the new bag of sugar to appear or something. I still can’t believe I didn’t have any.  So I call my dear friend up the street, also one of my tasters :), and ask if I can borrow some sugar…for the dessert they will be having that night haha.  SHE does not have any sugar either…says maybe a cup but that was all.

I had been debating about doing the optional poached oranges on top, wondering if the cake would save very well that way, and here was my decision.  Her cup of sugar was not enough for the poached oranges, but it was enough sugar to finish this cake I had started.  I could have run to the store but ugh, who wants to do that right about dinner time if you can avoid it right??

The cake is actually very easy to put together, especially if you have all the ingredients on hand haha.  It is a very simple cake…probably would have enjoyed having the poached oranges on top if for nothing else to make it a bit fancier.  My husband “liked” it but said it reminded him of corn bread?? maybe by the way it looks or the consistency, I don’t know…but the rest of my tasters all loved it even with just the orange syrup on top.   I didn’t get to try it so I can’t really weigh in on this one but, I would say majority rules and this one is a keeper.

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