[Two sugar grains for foodbeam's second birthday - Matcha shortbread and green tea bubble filled vanilla cupcakes]

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Exactly two years ago, something got me totally over-excited. Over the fact that I had just finished my exams, discovered I wasn’t the only person in the world thinking mostly about food and created foodbeam – enough reasons to be thrilled, believe me -, I was about to participate to Is my blog burning? And this got me in the kind of state you don’t want to see me in.
We had to come up with a recipe using any kind of tea. I started thinking; you could have tried to talk to me I wouldn’t have answered. Hey, this is serious; okay!
Then I remembered reading about a kind of green tea that is widely used in pastry. I rushed to my cookbook room (well… to the shelf in my bedroom; but wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a room just for cookbooks?) and found the book I was looking for. The recipe was entitled ‘Big madeleine au thé vert’ and this was illustrated by two mighty-and-very-green-looking madeleines. I had MY tea. Next step was to find it. If you’ve ever been to France you should know that the probability of finding a shop opened on Sunday afternoons is about as high as the chance of bumping into a giant peanut in Greenland (I have to admit that I do have some crazy ideas sometimes). So it was a Sunday afternoon and I needed some matcha green tea. I don’t know why and how, but I did get some. Needless to say (but I say it anyway), I did make a long little happy dance.

From that day, I have been literally obsessed with matcha green tea. I can’t even use it for pastries anymore because I have to get my daily fix, which takes the form of a green tea soy latté, and this uses a lot of this priceless green powder. Some people rely on cocaine, I live on green tea (and I must say I prefer things to be this way than the opposite).

Today though, I decided to sacrifice some of my precious tea. Indeed, today is a special day: foodbeam is turning two.
Two overwhelming years. The last one being particularly intense: a semester in New Zealand, a new domain, a new graphic-design, an internship at Pierre Hermé, a lovely tea-break with Dorie Greenspan… And I really wish that things won’t stop here because, so far, I’ve been enjoying every single second.

As you can imagine, I had a busy day. But I did manage to find some time to bake two of the most wonderful green tea flavoured pastries that I had been wanting to make for ages.
Both of them were a huge success and the recipes went directly into my ‘hit-recipes’ notebook.

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Kelli’s sablés au thé vert (recipe)
When Kelli launched Amaï Tea Sweets, I immediately fell in love with the green tea cookies; secretly hoping that I had the recipe.
So when she posted it last May, I was more than happy. Another dream about to come true!

These shortbreads are simply outstanding. A beautiful shade of green and a satisfying flavour of green tea.
Well, I’m not sure whether I should tell you this or not, but I ate – let’s say – a great quantity of the raw dough. To my defence, I must say that it was so good I’m sure you’d have done the same.

***Edit***
Seems these cookies are everywhere now – Sigrid, Edith, Mae, Inne, Tuki, Veronica, Céline, Maddy, Lisa, Jasmine, Pille and Mandy definitely know what I meant when I said how addictive these are!

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Cheryl’s cupcakes à la vanilla, aux perles du Japon et au thé vert (recipe)
Cheryl cupcakes are always eye-catching; but when I stumbled upon this one I knew I had to make it someday.
And I’m so glad I did: the three components of the cupcakes are real winners.
The vanilla cupcakes (note: I switched the vanilla essence for the seeds of three vanilla beans) are fragrant and have the most perfect crumb ever.
The green tea tapioca would make a perfect dessert on its own (I love the hint of coconut). I’m sure I’ll make this again and again.
The green tea cream cheese frosting is totally lip-smacking.
Can you tell I love these cupcakes?

Thanks everyone for being so inspiring. Every single of your words make me happy. And happy birthday foodbeam!