Thursday, March 31, 2016

Try the World: Chaidim (lemongrass/pandum), Coconut Crispy Rolls, Coconut Flower Syrup (Thailand Box)

Sometimes the assortment in a "Try the World" box doesn't lend itself well to combining multiple elements at once. In such cases, I often feel that the little guide book tries extra hard to pull more than one ingredient together to form a cohesive whole. In this case, they didn't have to try hard at all.

I should begin by saying that I didn't know what pandum was before I got this box. I chose the tea because I knew it'd be the least familiar. After I smelled it, it was much more familiar as I recognized pandum as one of the most aromatic elements of tom yum soup.

When I tried the tea (Chaidim lemongrass/pandum tea), it was very hard to separate the smell and taste of it from the broth from that soup. It didn't taste like "tea" to me until I sweetened it with the Chiwadi coconut flower syrup. I used one carefully measured teaspoon of the super thick syrup and it transformed the tea into something complex and lightly sweetened. I was a little worried about the syrup because one of the ingredients is coconut vinegar (5%). I didn't know one could make vinegar out of coconut, but I guess you learn new things all of the time if you're trying new food.

The tea still smelled like tom yum broth, but it tasted like flowers and honey spiced with something unidentifiable and exotic. It's a bit like having turmeric in sweets for the first time. It seems a little weird at first, but gets better as you get used to it.

The Virgin Coco Coconut Crispy Rolls were much more approachable. They are like a thick, but very light and crispy sugar cone with three hits of flavor. First, you get orange, then a strong burst of coconut, then the sweetness comes along to bind it all together. They are delicate, but have very present flavor. All in all, a very tasty addition provided that you like coconut (and I do).

Monday, March 28, 2016

Strawberry Shortcake

When I was growing up, "strawberry shortcake" had a very particular meaning. It was little shallow cups of somewhat dry sponge cake bought six to a pack at the supermarket. Into these ads specimens, we'd scoop a pile of mashed strawberries copiously mixed with sugar until they could have been jam. Once the requisite fruit was added, more sugar was spooned on top followed by enough milk to decimate the molecular cohesion of the shelf-stable baked good.

It wasn't until many years later that I realized that "shortcake" didn't refer to the height of the cake, but rather to butter mixed with flour and very little liquid. I had no idea that one could make ones own cake to accompany the berries, nor that other people didn't douse their cakes with milk and create a pile of milky, sugary, strawberry-laced mush as a way of enjoying that dessert.

Perhaps because of my experience growing up, I rarely eat strawberry shortcake as a dessert and I've only attempted to make the cake itself once before. That attempt was so-so, most likely because my baking skills at the time didn't include a thorough knowledge of the evils of overworking your flour or using cold butter. A trip to a local discount store and two large containers of relatively sour berries had me looking once more toward trying my hand at a proper shortcake.

I did a search on the New York Times and found a recipe for which I had everything on hand. Many of them included sour cream, whole cream, or whipping cream and I did not have these items around. Fortunately, Mark Bittman's recipe for shortcake had an ingredients list that I could fulfill and a stunningly easy method of preparation.

I was actually a bit dubious of the recipe because he tells you to blitz the butter into the flour completely with a food processor. I'm not averse to my life being made easy in this way, but a relatively small amount of fat thoroughly mixed into flour made me wonder what it might do to the texture. When I make scones, I always make sure not to mix the butter in completely to keep things tender. Nonetheless, I followed the recipe as stated except for a few things.

The primary change I made was to cut the recipe in half and make only 6 cakes (1 cup flour, 2 tbsp. butter, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tsp. baking powder, pinch salt, and 7 tbsp. milk). This was in part because my husband and I are the only consumers and I didn't need a ton of them and in part because I don't have a food processor and have to rely on a tiny bowl "processor" that came as an accessory to my immersion blender. I blitzed the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt with the miniscule amount of butter until it looked like boxed pancake mix.

I then dumped that dry ingredients and fat mixture  into a bowl and made little wells and slowly added the milk, pushing the flour mixture into the milk to gently mix. I wanted to be absolutely certain not to overwork it given how little fat there was. I did not knead it or stir it. I just moistened it and even allowed some of it to stay dry. I put a lid on the bowl and tossed it in the refrigerator for an hour or so to let the flour absorb the milk. This was the other major departure from the instructions, but given how little I'd mixed it, I thought it needed the time.

When I took it out, it was fairly cohesive on its own, with a bit of dry bits at the bottom. I did find that it was sticky, but too thick to use a tablespoon to drop it on the cookie sheet. I cut it into six roughly equal pieces with a butter knife, gently shaped the dough, and put it on parchment paper and baked at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes. It did start to brown and I was worried that it might not cook inside while browning outside, but it turned out okay. I do think my oven may run a bit hot and I might want to reduce the temperature by 25 degrees down to 425 next time. I also didn't add as much sugar to the strawberries when I macerated them (only two tablespoons).

I really had low expectations of this, but it was fantastic. The interior was tender, the exterior was crispy with a good amount of give. It was lightly sweet - much sweeter than I expected given that each cake had only two teaspoons of sugar in it and provided a great base for the lightly sweetened berries.

These are definitely reminiscent of scones. In fact, out of the oven, they look like scones, but they do have a textural difference and a firmer structure in general. They're less delicate than American scones and less layered than English ones. I do believe that they could be eaten for breakfast with other types of fruit or even just like a scone with jam and butter. The odd thing is that they are probably less unhealthy than the average scone given how relatively low they are in fat and sugar (only about 160 calories per cake). I think blueberries would be great on these, add would really ripe peaches. I will definitely be making these again. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Try the World Thailand: Unboxing

The Thailand Box was my first box on my paid subscription. Depending on how you look at it, it was $33 (6 boxes per year) or $27 (7 boxes per year including the bonus Paris box). Because I considered this the first one on my dime, I expected a bit more fully formed options from it and, fortunately, I got them. When I say, "fully formed," I mean something from which I could make full dishes (main or side) rather than seasoning, condiments, drinks, or snacks.

The box includes:

Top row: Thai Spicy Rice Crackers, Red Curry Paste, Coconut Flour Syrup, Jasberry rice
Center "row": Tom Yum soup mix, dried coconut
Bottom row: Chaidum tea, Coconut Crispy Rolls

As always, the guide tells you a bit about these things. There are some interesting cultural tidbits including the fact that the coconut rolls are often considered a wish for wealth when when given as a gift to someone. I guess this isn't a gift since I bought it myself, and, no, I didn't get richer since getting this box so someone should give me a box of them.

The coconut was my roll of the dice option among several types of dried fruit. Apparently, one could end up with Jackfruit, mango or coconut. Personallly, I'd have preferred the Jackfruit as it would have been more outside of my experience, but I'm okay with what I got.

The back, as always, tells you how to use your box including a tea time and a Thai meal. The main meal they describe is red curry beef. Since I don't eat beef, I'll have to improvise, but I am looking forward to trying it. I will say that I have never cooked my own Thai dishes before. I've only been to Thai restaurants twice - once in Tokyo and once in my current rural home. Yes, there is a Thai restaurant in a town of 8,000 people! Oddly, both of these places that I've experienced are on the posher side with relatively refined options, small portions, less than modest prices, and elegant plating. My lack of experience with Thai food has more to do with my husband's issues with very hot food than a lack of interest, so this should be an adventure.

In terms of my rating of this box and its contents:

Desirability of contents: 5
Mix of items: 5
Uniqueness: 4
Value: 3
Guide content: 4

Monday, March 21, 2016

Garlic Soup

When I try a recipe from the Times, I'm always careful to look at the comments first to see what people suggest or say. Often, this can avert all-out disaster or improve the outcome. In this case, there was an element of this recipe which I wasn't happy about and one of the comments made me even more concerned for how it would affect the outcome so I made an alteration which was likely for the worse.

In this recipe for garlic soup, the thickening agent is crust-less bread. I'm rather familiar with this style of thickening soups or stews because my sister used to be in the SCA and a lot of medieval recipes call for bread crumbs as their way of thickening. The problem I had with this was two-fold. One of the commenters said that her soup was a "gluey mess" and I also felt it was adding calories without either an interesting taste or nutrition. When another commenter mentioned using white beans instead, I felt that would be a better bet. It turns out that I was wrong. While my soup wasn't bad at all, it did suffer from some issues that could definitely have been avoided and may have been had I been faithful to the original recipe.

The main problem with my soup was that the sweet smoked paprika flavor was too strong and it was far too thin. Also, it was too oily, especially when it cooled as my soup totally separated such that cold oil congealed on the top and the pureed white beans settled onto the bottom. I'm guessing the bread would have prevented this from occurring, but I also think that the recipe simply has far more oil (1/4 cup) in it than is really necessary.

On the bright side, this soup tasted like authentic Spanish chorizo smells. If you want to drink some of that type of sausage, this is your soup. The flavors are generally good, and I think it helped in my case that I was using some really great homemade chicken stock that I had leftover from making pollo en pipian verde, but I need to tweak it and make changes to turn it into something that meets my tastes.

Though I regard this generally as a failure, I'm very happy that I tried it as I think it will form the backbone of a different soup with a flavor profile I never would have come up with had I not tried this. In the future, I hope to make a soup with a lot more diversity, less oil, and similar flavors. My general plan is to do something which includes these ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil (1/2 the original)
6 cloves of garlic (same as original)
1 small onion (diced and sauteed after the garlic is removed - not in original at all)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (a little under 1/2 the original)
4 cups chicken stock (same as original)
2 cups cooked white beans (not in original)

I haven't decided yet if I'll toss in other vegetables, but I think that it needs more thickening agents or taste modifiers. It's possible that I'll throw in a potato as well. When I try this again, I'll post an update of the modified recipe.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Muhammara (Red Pepper and Walnut Spread)

Reading recipes from other cultures shows me just how fat-aversive Americans have become. When I looked at this recipe for muhammara (red pepper and walnut spread), I was strongly drawn to the basic flavor profile, but greatly put off by the inclusion of five tablespoons of olive oil.

I like olive oil and am okay with some fat in my food, but this seemed like it was turning into a fat-based spread that contained walnuts, spices, and peppers rather than a walnut-pepper spread. Realizing full well that I was gutting the authenticity, I made one modification to the given recipe and used only one tablespoon of olive oil. The amount was based mainly on how strongly I wanted the olive oil flavor to come through. I did plan to do the drizzle of pomegranate molasses and olive oil at the end to put those flavors back into greater prominence.

In terms of the ingredients, getting the pomegranate molasses was the hard part. I live in a small, rural area right now and exotic ingredients are literally hours away. Given how important the commenters said this component was, I didn't want to substitute it. Fortunately, I got extremely lucky and was offered a free jar of this particular type of molasses to review. Fate was encouraging me to try this recipe.

I toasted the walnuts in the toaster oven and roasted my own fresh red bell pepper on the stove top. I used the red pepper flakes that I had on hand as I wasn't going to go out and buy fancy brands for such a tiny portion. For the bread crumbs, I used panko because it was what I had. Because I didn't use four of the five tablespoons of oil, the smaller amount of breadcrumbs were sufficient to firm up the mix.

My spread looked like this:

I wished I had had some sort of fresh bread on hand, but I didn't so I ate it with flatbread crackers. I figured a bland carb base is a bland carb base, though I'm sure that lovely, warm, soft, fragrant bread would have made this an overall more amazing experience. As it was, this was really tasty. It was impressively complex with all of the individual elements finding a little time to linger alone on my tongue. I used a chopstick to speckle it with pomegranate molasses and olive oil and I think that the molasses really mattered in enhancing the flavor. It has a vinegary hit to it that off-sets the cloying sweetness of the molasses as well as a citrus-like tang.

I can say for certain that this did not suffer in the least from the limited amount of olive oil. The texture was nice and the thickness very good. It spread well and stayed together. It really does not need so much oil and is nicely flavorful as is. I also skipped the second half of the hot pepper flakes and only used the 1/2 teaspoon in the spread. I love hot food, but I don't like heat to overwhelm all of the other flavors and I think more would have done so. I think the crackers actually went well with this as they gave a textural contrast between the soft spread and the crispy flatbread.

This is exotic, but approachable and is exactly the kind of new recipe I like to try. The only problem with it is that it's a good deal of effort for relatively small amounts of food. It's the sort of thing that fits well with special occasions and I'd definitely consider doubling it and taking it to a potluck or a party. For my own purposes though, it's a very special lunch treat that I'm likely to try again, but not often due to the complexity of preparation. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Try the World: La Mere Poulard and The des Lords (Paris box)

Many years ago, one of my husband's English students went to France and brought him back an enormous bag of butter cookies from a bakery there. They were like nothing we'd ever experienced in Japan or America and my best guess was that was because they were made with enormous amounts of butter and relatively less sugar.

My husband and I have never eaten anything like them since, and I wish I could say that the La Mere Poulard cookies in the little red box that came with my "Try the World: Paris" box came close to those cookies, but they did not. They are buttery and rich with an amazing texture, but they are shelf-stable cookies so they can't have that fresh-baked flavor or reflect a recipe that is likely fine-tuned over years of baking experience. For shelf stable (boxed) cookies, however, they are quite impressive.

The tea I chose to go with the cookies was the plain old earl grey that is named The des Lords for some reason. As earl grey goes, this is a pretty present, but somehow subtle expression of bergamot. It was quite tasty and lacked any strong bitter notes despite my somewhat long steep time.

I took a picture of the tea bag in the cup because I wanted to note that it is a very high quality linen bag rather than mesh- or paper-based. These are supposed to be better, but mainly I think they are valued for not dispersing any toxins into the tea and for being reusable for those who are "do-it-yourself" types. I can't speak to the value of the bag, but it is a good cup of tea for something that comes from a bag.

For uniqueness, this was not an especially unusual experience, but it certainly was pleasant. I probably would not buy the tea again unless I was offered it at a bargain price (a huge one), but I'd probably pick up the cookies for a reasonable price if I found them available at an import store.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Salmon Burgers

After last week's disappointing fish recipe, I may have been tempting fate with another. However, I bought three pounds of tilapia fish and Costco has not been carrying the frozen fishburgers that I like so much. These two forces, along with the fact that I am making myself learn to like fish more, encouraged me to try this recipe Mark Bittman's salmon burgers.

Those with good reading comprehension will note that the recipe is for salmon burgers and I have tilapia fish. My feeling is that, if I could afford salmon, I wouldn't need to make it into a burger. I figured that the main difference would be that the tilapia wouldn't have the same flavor profile as the salmon and fish should be fish.

Though many people in the comments talked about adding an egg to the mix, I wanted to give it a chance as it was. I didn't know if the burger would hold together well without an egg, but I figured that worst that could happen would be that I'd end up with scrambled fish and have to eat a fish sloppy Joe. That would be messy, but it probably wouldn't be bad.

Other than using tilapia, I cut the recipe in half because I don't have a regular food processor. I have to use a tiny attachment that goes with my immersion blender. I also doubled the capers (left the amount the same while cutting the rest of the recipe in half) and put in about half a teaspoon of garlic salt. I did this because of the less flavorful nature of tilapia relative to salmon, but also because I love capers.

It turns out that, when you process tilapia into a paste, it gets incredibly sticky. I was glad to have a burger press to form these and lining it with plastic wrap stopped the sticking in the non-stick press. I was stunned at just how "gluey" it was. I had a terrible time getting it off of the little food processor that I used and had to scrub the seams with a brush several times to get fish goo out of them. I should mention that my fish was still partially frozen when I chopped and processed it. I wanted it to be this way so that it wouldn't turn to must. The filets are very thin and fragile and this did stop it from being pulverized. I would repeat this same semi-frozen processing if I do this again.

This made three burgers which was one burger more than it was "supposed" to. The patties were very large and it was more than enough fish. I served it on homemade bread with a very small amount of  mayonnaise and on a bed of red onion, avocado, and tomato. Cooking it in butter yielded a beautiful browned exterior. I was careful not to cook it too long, however, because the burger was thin and I didn't want it to be rubbery or dried out.

The interior was nice and tender and it was flavorful in multiple ways without being overbearingly any one flavor. The fish was present, as were the capers, the scallions, and the garlic. I didn't salt the burger after I cooked it because I salted the mixture very well and it was perfect. I was incredibly impressed with how this turned out in all respects and expect to make it again and again. In fact, this one is likely to get added to my recipe box as I think it can be made with any type of fish and is better than commercially prepared burgers.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Recipe Box: Cotton Cheesecake

The list of links to the side entitled "Recipe Box" contains recipes that I've made multiple times already. They are recipes that I feel I've "vetted" very well and are worth repeating. I encourage anyone who cooks and finds the general type of recipe appealing to try them. Occasionally, I'll write about these recipes and my modifications or experiences with them.

I'm going to start with the recipe that I call "Cotton Cheesecake" (listed as condensed milk cheesecake on the original site) because it is one of my favorites at this point. Since I tried this recipe, I've made it about once a week. It is, hands down, one of the best "healthy" desserts I've ever had. If that sounds too good to be true, look carefully at the amount of sugar in it compared to the other ingredients. It's incredibly low sugar even with the small amount of (about the size of a large ice cube) condensed milk added to it. It has so many eggs relative to the other ingredients that you could argue that it's a breakfast food. Still don't believe that it's  healthy? Look at these stats:

It's a piece of cake with 5.7 grams of protein and only 165 calories! Okay, I don't care if you're convinced that it's good for you as desserts go. I can say that it has an incredible texture and flavor and pleased even my fussy husband who prefers super sweet desserts.

This cheesecake recipe has floated around in multiple incarnations for years. I call it "cotton cheesecake" because that's the more common name. Sometimes, it is known as "Japanese cheesecake." This differentiates it from dense, creamy, super rich New-York-style cheesecake. The main thing this has in common with more conventional cheesecake is that they both use cream cheese and are both cooked in a water bath. Similarities end there.

When I made this, I made some minor modifications to the lemon version and then I created a chocolate version as well. I also simplified the instructions to avoid double boilers and simplify prep to whatever extent I could. Keep in mind that the name of the game in making this successfully is smooth. Everything needs to be mixed until good and smooth or the texture will not be correct. Also, you will need a water bath so have a dish that is large enough to accommodate your cake pan on hand and be prepared to boil water in a kettle for the bath.

Here are my versions of this recipe:

Ingredients (lemon cheesecake):

4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
50 g condensed milk (about 3 1/2 tablespoons)
50 g plain flour (about 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon or 7 tablespoons)
112 g (4 oz./half package)  reduced fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
35 ml canola oil (about 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon)
2 tsp Back Bay lemon flavoring (can use lemon extract or juice, but this is stronger)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional, but adds flavor depth)
45 g castor sugar (about 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon or 5 tablespoons)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional, but stabilizes the egg whites)
6 packets Splenda sweetener (optional, for sweeter cake)

Ingredients (chocolate cheesecake):

4 eggs, separated and at room temperature
50 g condensed milk (about 3 tablespoons)
50 g plain flour (about 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon or 7 tablespoons)
112 g (4 oz./half package) reduced fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1/4 cup good quality cocoa powder (I used Scharffen Berger)
35 ml canola oil (about 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional, but adds flavor depth)
45 g castor sugar (about 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon or 5 tablespoons)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar (optional, but stabilizes the egg whites)
10 packets Splenda sweetener (optional, for sweeter cake)

  1. Line a round cake pan, spring form pan, or souffle dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray or oil. The diameter needs to be around 6"-9". Height will be affected by width as might baking time.
  2. Sift flour into a very large bowl. Put oil into a small dish and heat in the microwave for about 15 seconds (until hot, but not boiling). Whisk the oil into the flour. It may be super thick or be little separated blobs. This is okay.
  3. Put condensed milk and cream cheese into a microwave safe bowl and heat for about 15 seconds or until it is warm and soft enough to whisk together into a smooth paste. If making chocolate cheesecake, whisk the cocoa powder into the cream cheese/milk mixture until smooth.
  4. Whisk the cream cheese mixture into the flour mixture until very smooth.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg yolks and extracts and lemon flavoring (for lemon cheesecake). If using Splenda or heat-stable sweetener, mix it in with the yolks. Whisk until smooth.
  6. Whisk the egg yolks into the flour/cheese mixture until completely smooth and fully mixed.
  7. Put a kettle of water on to boil with enough water to fill your water bath.
  8. Place egg whites in a stand mixer and beat at medium speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar if using. Increase speed and beat until soft peaks form. Start adding in sugar a tablespoon at a time and beat until stiff peaks form. (This is the meringue.)
  9. Start to preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. 
  10. Fold the meringue into the lemon (or chocolate) base mixture. Add the meringue in by quarters making sure it is thoroughly mixed at each point. Do not add it all at once or you will lose volume. Patience is a virtue.
  11. Gently pour the combined mixture into the prepared pan. Place the pan into the vessel for your water bath. Pour the boiling water into the bath. The bath should reach to about 2/3 of the way up your cake pan. Be very careful transferring the water bath pan into the oven as to avoid splashes. Alternately, you can place the pans into the oven first and pour boiling water into the water bath after the cake is in the oven to avoid transferring it when full, but this will cause the oven temperature to drop while you add the water. 
  12. Bake for 30 minutes at 300 degrees F. then reduce the temperature and bake an additional 60 minutes at 265 degrees F. Cake is done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and it is fully set in the center. If you use a wider cake pan (9"), you can likely reduce the second cooking time to 45 minutes. 
  13. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Use the folds from the parchment to pull it out and place the (still-wrapped) cake on a cooling rack. Peel the paper away when it is fully cooled then cut.


  • You need good quality cocoa powder for the chocolate version because it has to pack a flavor punch with a small amount. 
  • You can skip the Splenda in both cases, but I do believe the chocolate version needs more sweetness to counterbalance the bitterness of the cocoa. I didn't avoid using more sugar for added sweetness because of calories, but because it doesn't cause any changes to the texture of the meringue while still adding sweetness. You can just increase the amount of sugar in the meringue if you don't want to use a small volume sweetener, but I can't say how that will impact the texture.
  • Castor sugar is between granulated and powdered sugar in terms of how fine it is. It is common in England, but not the U.S. You can make it easily by putting granulated sugar into a food processor or Magic Bullet and blitzing it for a short time. Usually, about 5 seconds will do, but just pulse it and stop when it starts to approach powdered sugar consistency. Overdoing it won't hurt anything. The main reason not to use regular powdered sugar is that it contains cornstarch.
  • Using room temperature eggs will reduce the chances that the cake will "crack" on top as well as create better volume while making the meringue. 
  • You can use full fat cream cheese. I don't think it makes any difference at all in the recipe, but the first time I made this the reduced fat version was what I had on hand and it worked so well that I saw no reason to change it. 
  • I used coconut milk sweetened condensed milk because that is what I had on hand, but you can use any type of sweetened condensed milk. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Try the World: Clementine Jam and The du Harmony (Paris Box)

"Experience 1" in the guide pamphlet in my Paris "Try the World" box encourages me to have a French Gouter or "afternoon snack" while  listening to a playlist of French music which is available on their web site. I accessed the playlist and found that it send me to Spotify where I had to sign in via Facebook or sign up. Once that process was complete, it spun forever while I finished my snack without a background of French tunes.

Though the pamphlet encourages cookies and a baguette, I didn't feel like a cookie and had no baguettes. I did, however, have rather small homemade scones that I felt would give me a chance to both try some tea and the clementine jam. With only three packets of tea to choose from, it didn't take long to decide on the green tea with citrus aspects. "The du Hammam" is described as "evoking green date pulp, orange blossoms, rose, and berries." I figured that it should go well with an orange-flavored jam.

My repast looked like this:

The tea definitely has citrus notes with some of the low level bitterness of green tea. It grew more bitter as it cooled and I think it tastes better while it's still very fresh and hot. I drank it straight because the flavors of green tea are so subtle that they are easily overwhelmed by any additions.

The clementine jam is surprisingly clear in its flavor. It definitely takes on the distinct flavor of clementines and is very sweet. I used about a teaspoon of jam on each half of my scones and it was very much sufficient to add to their flavor profile. I expect that small amounts will more than do each time I have this jam. That's for the best because the jar is tiny - only 110 grams.

By the time I'd gotten close to completing this post, I'd gotten the French music playing and the first track is pretty terrible. It's a discordant and odd selection called "Bonnie and Clyde" featuring Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsburg. The other tracks were definitely better, but I guess I can't fault them for offering a cross section of types.

With the green tea and technical problems, this felt very little like a French tea time snack and more like a weird moment in a Japanese cafe, but that was okay. I was pleased with the tea and jam and that's as much as one could ask.