Cold Strawberry Mint Soup and Apricot Tea Cakes

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sweet Shot - Strawberry Mint Soup

Some things are meant to be paired. You know, that cute mug and that lovely tea, cookies and milk, cupcakes and frosting, apple pie and vanilla ice cream, etc.. They are tasty on their own, and we can survive without one or the other, but they make sense together so why pass on the opportunity to have them both, at the same time, together, dunked, dipped, smeared, spooned, and scooped?....

This is what happened the other day with apricot teacakes and cold strawberry mint soup. I had a long night ahead of me and decided to make some tea cakes to help me through hours of file organizing instead of popping open a bag of chips and mindlessly muching my way through the entire bag. Withing 40 minutes or so I had about one dozen dried apricot tea cakes cooling down and we could not resist sampling one. Delicious and satisfying on its own.


Teacakes and Strawberries

That same day I also had become the instant parent of a 6 pound box of strawberries (they are in season right now in the Southern US) and after making ice cream, sorbet, strawberry scones, shortcakes and coulis, I still had about two cups left. That's when the idea of refreshing little shots of strawberry mint soup popped into my head. A mini detoxing shot in the morning to boost creative juices or a light way to end a rich meal. It was a breeze to put together, mixing mint simple syrup and strawberries in a food processor and a delight on its own.

B. said he'd keep me company for a little while and sat at the dining room table with a plate of teacakes and a couple of strawberry soup shots. I was my nose one inch from the screen looking for a file I kept passing when he asked if I was going to blog about these. I said "yes, sure, don't know when though". He added with his mouth full "well, when you do, make sure you blog about them together!". He is a dunker and a spooner. He'll spoon peanut butter or jam on just about anything and dunk just about anything ressembling a cookie or a cake into coffee, tea, or milk. Surprising combinations have taken place but some yummy discoveries have occured that way too so I tend to trust his musings in the kitchen. Hence, you get them both today! Have them as singe items, have them as a tandem, they are the perfect snack break!

Teacakes

Apricot Teacakes Recipe:

Makes about a dozen

1/3 cup (67g) sugar
2 large eggs
4 tablespoons (56.5gr) butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup (58gr) sour cream
1/2 cup (62.5gr) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (125gr) dried apricot halves, diced

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar until pale and thick, about 2-3 minutes. Add the butter and sour cream. Whisk well and add the flour. Add the dried apricots and mix until incorporated. Divide evenly between muffin tins (or other small molds) coated with cooking spray and cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.

Cold Strawberry Mint Soup Recipe:

1/4 cup (50gr) sugar
1/3 cup (83ml) water
2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 cups(290gr) fresh strawberries

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and mint and bring to a simmer. Cook for about a minute, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool (it will give the mint time to infuse the syrup).
In the meantime, hull and halve the strawberries and place them in a blender or food processor. Once the mint syrup is cooled, process the strawberries, adding the syrup, one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is nice and smooth. The more syrup you add, the thinner your soup will be. Serve in shot glasses.

Teacakes and Strawberries


Lastly, I was psyched to hear from my friend Anita that Tartelette was named one of the world's 50 best food blogs. You can find the whole article here. Wow! I think there is going to be a giveaway here soon to celebrate!! Thank you all for your visits and comments, it is an honor.

86 comments:

Virginia said...

Delicious...

The Italian Dish said...

Ooooh...this will be perfect in the spring when my mint is up and strawberries are in season...!

Bea said...

mmm... delicious... and beautiful photos as always :)

FeeMail said...

Boo-hoo!! My fault... i read the title. i couldn't resist!

sunshinemom said...

The second picture just made me catch my breath for a moment! Magnificent!

Char said...

so gorgeous and wonderful - I crave the tea cakes with my coffee.

cindy : quaint said...

i have such strawberry envy as we don't have anything so gorgeous here right now. you know, when they're red inside and out? i do love those teacakes.

VeggieGirl said...

A lovely pairing, indeed.

minisuperbias said...

seriously, a good 50% of the reason we all love your blog is because of your amazing pics. i can't believe you just threw together these lovely shoots when the tea cakes and soup were meant to be a side note because you had other things going on!

Culinarywannabe said...

Love the little "packaging" of the tea cakes.

Helene said...

That must have been easier to file with these gorgeous teacakes. What a beautiful soup also. Love the pictures.

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Lovely!

That Girl said...

strawberries and mint are a fantastic combination on their own!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a fantastic dessert! Nice pairing and great choice of flavors!

cheers,

Rosa

Paula Maack said...

This looks incredible, Helen! And, as luck would have it, I have all the ingredients on hand. Thank you!!

Oh, and... CONGRATULATIONS on being chosen by the London Times World's Top 50 Food Blogs! You deserve it! Your work is stunningly beautiful - always.

Your blog is one of my favorite pleasures, Helen.

Cheers,

~ Paula

mélanie said...

I could live on strawberries... I love them. Actually, I can't wait to be pregnant to have an excuse for asking for them at anytime ;-)
But it's not the season here...and it's not going to be for a few months, so I envy you A LOT!

lynda said...

It looks fabulous!! The strawberry soup reminds me of another dessert where fresh stawberries and mint are tossed together with a little honey and served in a nougatine cup with some fresh whipped cream. Mint and strawberries have quite an affinity for one another. Just lovely...When will your book be coming out?? Does it have a title yet?? Happy day to you! I so enjoy your beautiful posts!

Hayley said...

What a tasty sounding duo, and an excellent snack to keep you going at night. Thanks for the recipe!

Nina Timm said...

I made a sweet melon soup this morning and it was lovely, but your photos so far surpasses mine! Lovely!!!

Aran said...

perfect pairing. i love the strawberry abundance!

Mallory Elise said...

oooh that stand alone all white one in the middle is incredible, they look like they're wrapped in cheese cloth :)

Manggy said...

Hee! I am totally a dunker. Mostly it's cornbread in gravy or honey, or crackers or bread in chowder or soup... Now, we'll have to see if the same holds for dessert soup (never had one before!) but the combination sounds incredible! :)

Joyce said...

Helen, Won't you be my neighbor?! I love strawberrie soup. I will give this one a try. We still have some months before strawberry season hits us. The teacakes look yummy too.
I love the fruit picks!! Do you remember where you got them from?
Have a golden day! xoxo

Sara said...

Everything looks beautiful, I love the idea of apricot tea cakes.

Dawn said...

What kind of mint did you use? My kids and I grow different kinds of mint each year - chocolate mint is our favorite. Wonder how it would be in this great sounding soup...

Lael said...

oh this post gets me excited for spring! Of course apricot teacakes should always be appropriate, but all the fruitiness and simple lightness in this combo makes me hopeful that the days really are getting longer and the sun is getting warmer.

Anonymous said...

The pictures only are a pure breath of fresh air! They are OUTSTANDING! I love the idea of little portions and mini bites after dinner!

Jolene

toontz said...

Oh, I can smell the freshness from here. What an interesting combination. I will definitely have to try it-in a few months! :( *sigh*

leaca said...

gorgeous and looks so yummy!

Irene said...

Absolutely gorgeous! I love a little break in the afternoon and this is perfect! Can the soup work with frozen strawberries? I am assuming yes, but just wanted to check.

Y said...

Damn. Now I want tea cakes. Off to go make some...

Nikki said...

Helen, this is stunning photography indeed!

limonana said...

these sound wonderful! & look at those colours...making me crave spring!

Mercotte said...

Comme toujours, je craque complètement devant tes photos !!

matt wright said...

I just love teacakes. LOVE THEM. These look fantastic - I love the white on white photography too. Beautiful stuff.

Elyse said...

My goodness! These teacakes are just too cute! And they sound absolutely delicious too. Bookmarking this page now!

morgana said...

It is still soon here for good strawberries but... I can't wait till may!!!

Beautiful photos, as allways.

Sunshinemom said...

Wow!! Amongst the top 50blogs in the the Times! What an achievement, and a great start:) Hurray:)

pigpigscorner said...

Strawberries and mint! That's a new combination for me. Must be really good! Beautiful pictures as always =)

Kat said...

I think you are missing the unit of measure for the apricots. It reads 1/2 (125g). Look delicious.

Esra said...

This is what I need right NOW !!!

Aimée said...

Strawberry soup is one of my favorite ways to welcome spring. But we've got a few more months of snow, first, though. It's snowing right now!

Congratulations on your 50 best food blogs of the WORLD! I would narrow it down to a much smaller category, however.Your in my top 10!

Eileen said...

What a beautiful dessert! I am so ready for fresh strawberries (altho' I've got a while to wait for locally-grown). Great photos, too…

Botacook said...

Mmmmmmh! Fraise-menthe, un duo toujours gagnant, mais alors avec ces petits gâteaux aux abricots, on est dans la gourmandise extrême!!!! ;)
Dommage qu'ici en France on soit plutôt à la saison betteraves/carottes qu'à la saison fraises/framboises! Mais bon, soyons patients... :)

Tartelette said...

Dawn: I am afraid that where I live the varieties at the store are not that great. I usually grow my own but I have not started to plant anything yet. This one was spearmint.

Thank you everyone!

Tartelette said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wowza! That is a strawberry extravaganza!! This set of pictures is like the perfect sunshine on a rainy day! Oh my!

Bea said...

I just saw you in the Top 50 Blogs from the UK's Time Online!!! Congratulations!!

Tartelette said...

Kat: sorry about that. It is 1/2 cup. I corrected the recipe in the post. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!

Thank you everyone!

Chessa! said...

oh how these remind me of summer! congratulations on your win and recognition! you know I think you deserve it since I nominated you for the bloggies this year! I love Tartelette:)

Lori said...

I know what I will be doing with my first pick of strawberries. No, I take that back, I will use some strawberries from last Spring, that I froze. Excellent idea for strawberries.

Jescel said...

what a beauty they are. i almost feel sorry that they have to be eaten :o)... i'm sure they're delish! love it.

mycookinghut said...

I love your compo of the cold strawberry mint soup... stunning looking!! The teacakes look really yummy :)

Tartelette said...

Irene: hope this is not too late, yes you can use frozen strawberries. You might need to use less syrup though.

Christy said...

Helen, my mom makes this for us for breakfast whenever she's in Melbourne! And also avocado soup with chocolate sauce, which may sound funny to you, but where I come from, avocado is used more like a fruit than a vegetable (paired with sweet things).

Congratulations on making it to Times' top 50!! Well deserved!! And I can't believe you guys have strawberries and blackberries this time of the year---just like in Australia---except that you guys are supposed to still be in winter.

redmenace said...

The idea of an apricot tea cake is just brilliant. And, as always, the pictures are totally lovely and inspiring.

Congratulations! You deserve it!

Tartelette said...

Christy: it's kind of tropical where we live, very mild winters and scorching hot summers and good produce all year long.

Thank you everyone!

Anonymous said...

C'est superbe de voir ces photos au reveil! La magie dans les yeux et de quoi rever la nuit prochaine!
Bises!
Sandrine

Jen Yu said...

Well, it is not unexpected that you made the top 50 :) I am so jealous of your berries. I mean, we can get berries here - but they have nothing in them... YOUR berries are obviously red, sweet, juicy, beautiful. *sigh* Congrats, my dear. Well-deserved. You would be #1 on my list. xxoo

Natashya said...

So beautiful and feminine looking! I would love to see a post on how you set up and light your shots - I love your photography!

Cherie said...

Your strawberries always look perfect. You must have that secret starwberry field in your backyard! Delicious.

Tartelette said...

Jen: ditto my dear!

Natashya: I did write a post about it, it is in my sidebar but I will forward you the link too. Nothing special, actually, just a big window and a lot of natural light.

Maybe said...

You definitely deserve to be in the world's 50 best food blogs : your pictures are just perfect and you recipes always original ! This one is great and I wish we had strawberries here in France !

Patricia Scarpin said...

I'm so glad B. insisted - these are adorable, darling! I'll be trying them soon.

That list should be honored to have your blog featured on it. ;D

Cookie baker Lynn said...

I'm jealous that your strawberries are already in season. They are beautiful! This sound like an inspired pairing, indeed.

strawberriesinparis said...

MMMm mmmm, strawberries and mint! and beautiful for the eyes too! :-D

Anonymous said...

Divine does not even begin to describe this!

Jaime said...

i'd love to spend tea time w/you!

cindy* said...

i love this post...and the strawberry soup and tea cakes do sound like a great pair, good job b!

Cindy Ruth said...

Sounds and looks wonderful. I love every recipe I've tried from "The Perfect Scoop". But I've never had Chartreuse, so I think it's time to try something new. And I would love to win the cookbook!

tara said...

So fresh and lovely; mint is such a wonderful partner to fruit. I know I'm an odd one, but for some reason, the crumb of a tea cake has the ability to make me swoon.

Fifi Flowers said...

I ADORE apricots... I might actually have to try this recipe... I know I can't believe I am sayin git either... the way I feel about baking but I'm really thinking about it!
ENJOY your weekend!
Fifi

C&H said...

Oh my goodness the things we are missing by moving....I keep telling him it was a huge mistake but again that is a trade off for the huge backyard and view we now have...sigh!

Lovely and that first picture is aboslutely gorgeous!

Kristina And The Staff said...

Well, I guess they could not put you on the first page after being voted BEST FOOD BLOG OF 2008, but hello....we all think you ARE number 1 :)

Lisa Michelle said...

Helen, I decided to pop into this entry to avoid the traffic in the profiterole entry lol.

I know you probably get dozens of awards, but I wanted to pass one onto you because you inspire me so much, not to mention your white chocolate=Meyer lemon souffles received raves when I made it last week :D

The award is here
http://lisamichele.wordpress.com/2009/02/22/black-sesame-lace-cookies-or-candy-and-an-award/

Kitarra said...

It's strawberry season here in Southern California and I happened to have acquired a farm fresh half case of them. So I made this soup. It was delicious. Since I can't follow a recipe to save my life I added a little lime zest to the simple syrup and a wee bit of lemon and rose water to the final soup. It was amazing. Absolutely amazing. Even better when I let it sit over night. The flavors blended so beautifully. My brother and his lovely wife loved it as well. They say that something very much like it was served at the Taillevent the night they got engaged. They said it brought back good memories for them. So thank you for such a wonderful and delightfully easy recipe. I will definitely be making this again. I made extra simple syrup so I can make it again.

Venus ~ Vi said...

Hi Helen,

This is a beautiful post! Love it so much!

Anonymous said...

I just made the strawberry and mint cold soup for guests over the weekend. We loved the taste so much that we used our lavender tea to swish in our cups to get the remaining couple drops. The tea, strawberry and mint flavor was so good that I'm inspired to try to make a granita with those ingredients. Thanks!

Phuoc said...

Lovely pictures; the tea cakes look wonderful. I was just wondering if I would be able to substitute sour cream for anything else, for example cream cheese?

Cheers!

Michelle said...

Hi, I have only just found your blog...have ignored my family all afternoon. I am now CRAVING something sweet!!! When I saw this photo I fell in love. Where on earth did you get that glass food pick that the strawberry is skewered on? I just HAVE to get some!!!! Will be obsessed for a few more hours yet. Lucky the 8 year old knows how to make toast for dinner!!! LOL just joking. Michelle

Lucia Codreanu said...

Hey, awesome recipe, i am just asking: I dont have muffin tins, so, can i put this in a large baking tin? I think it will be yummy as a cake too. Please answer, i need an answer cause i want to make this for my brother's birthday, which is this week. ^^ Thank you.

Helene said...

Lucia: I have no idea if that would work. Let me know how it turns out!

Lucia Codreanu said...

Hey, if i want to make some of that muffins, how many they will be? How many muffins aproximative can i make with this cantity and measurements? thank you

Helene said...

Lucia: makes about the same quantity in regular muffin size.

Lucia Codreanu said...

Hey,i was wondering if i can put almonds or other instead of apricots? Please answer, i need the answer quick. Thank you. Maybe cherries instead of apricots, or almonds, ground almonds.. i dont know, please tell me

Helene said...

Lucia: you can use anything you want.

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