There's nothing like a dinner party with people who might not know each other very well
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to make me take notice of all of the different ways we
This weekend's Spaghetti Saturday.. 25+ people came and went. I couldn't help but smile as those who didn't know each other made introductions.
“Hi .. I'm .. we live across the street. My husband is, now wait? Where did he go? Oh yes, the cute one over there: blue shirt, wine in his right hand. We've lived in Ames ten years or so; he manages a program at Iowa State, we love to garden, and are new parents to three laying hens.”
“I remember your smile from a few Spaghetti Saturdays ago. Help me again; your name was? Ahhhh, I remember now, you always bring the Best salads. Your dog's name is Abby; you're both retired, and have four grandchildren.”
By now we're all practiced in the art of the introduction. In this fast-paced world of social media, we're often limited to 140 characters, have short attention spans, and strive for pithy openers.
Or we're left with three minutes in an elevator, or five minutes at a dinner party, and do our best to introduce ourselves, leading with only a few of the passions that really make us
who we are
As the evening wore on, I couldn't help but notice, the best parts weren't found in everyone's openers, but instead, the many elements of surprise each brought with them
He and his wife live a few houses down, retired after a long career with the Post Office. Surely they wouldn't tell stories that made everyone laugh until their ribs hurt. Surely they don't seem like the type that would bake the most incredible desserts. Surely he won't ever own another pet after his dog died it nearly broke his heart.
I found him a tissue or two (and one for me)
She's a Ph.D., who's a whiz at gathering and interpreting numbers by day, and moonlights as a sociology professor in the evenings
Surely she doesn't make the best mustard or crepes for that matter. Surely she doesn't call her sweet Russian mother a couple of times every day. Surely she doesn't develop an incurable craving for rice pudding every time boards a plane bound for
New York City
And yet, surely she does. Surely we all do, nobody is ever as they appear
I think about myself and some of the words I found myself using .. IT career woman, writer, puppy chaser, wife .. friend .. neighbor .. cookie baker. Just like everyone else, snippets from the many facets of the life that make me
I'm a woman who's the sum total everything I've done in the past, what I'll do today, and what I dream of doing tomorrow. I'm filled with contradictory thoughts, a few surprises, and oh so many flaws.
I'm the same woman who makes breakfast for her husband, rides her bike, and types late into the night. Who, when asked if she'd enjoy camping, replies maybe, but only with clean sheets, a warm shower, and a fully stocked refrigerator are part of the deal.
The same woman who would lovingly make and bring a meal to a friend, yet be agitated by the time she got there, after having to stop at every stoplight on the way
The same woman who looks at her picture at the top of this little piece of the internet, and realizes, just like everyone else that evening
I'm so much more
This tart was a fun one to make for dessert that evening
It's light and refreshing, a wonderful way to end a summertime meal. The airy custard filling melts in your mouth and is the perfect complement to the crisp dark chocolate crust.
A few notes
Be sure to use gluten-free rolled oats and oat flour if you're allergic to gluten
The original calls for cashews to make the homemade milk, which would be wonderful. The past few months I've taken to homemade hazelnut milk and used that instead. I imagine any nut milk would work really well.
When it comes to baking with matcha, not all are created equal. The first brand I tried left me with a tart that was pale green as opposed to a cooking grade tea, with a deep green color that's vibrant and bright.
When serving, I found the tart was best when cold. As it the custard came to room temp, it didn't seem to hold its shape as well.
Make-ahead: the crust can be made and pressed into the pan a couple of days ahead of time.
A few of the health benefits of matcha tea?
We've all heard of the benefits of drinking green tea, especially when it comes to antioxidants. Turns out matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more (!)
Matcha means “powdered tea.” When you order traditional green tea, components from the leaves get infused into the hot water; then the leaves are discarded. With matcha, you’re drinking the actual leaves, which have been finely powdered and made into a solution, traditionally by mixing about a teaspoon of matcha powder with a third cup of hot water (heated to less than a boil), which is then whisked with a bamboo brush until it's frothy
It can help calm your mind and relax your body.
Rich in fiber, chlorophyll, and vitamins
To read more about Matcha Green Powder, a few of my sources: Time Magazine .. Matcha Source .. Organic Facts
ps: More fun recipes and stories from Spaghetti Saturdays
— — —
~ Adapted from AmyChaplin.com
Matcha Custard Tart with Chocolate Crust
- ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (see the note above about gluten-free)
- ¼ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
- ½ cup + 1 Tbsp oat flour
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ tsp fine-grain sea salt
- 1 cup almond meal
- ¼ cup brown rice flour
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil, melted but not hot (+ plus more for oiling pan)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup whole raw hazelnuts, soaked 2 to 6 hours
- 1 ½ cups shredded coconut, unsweetened
- 3 cups water
- 5 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp agar flakes
- 4 tsp matcha tea + more to dust
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Make the crust
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Thoroughly oil a fluted 9" tart pan (with removable bottom) and set aside.
- To the bowl of your food processor, add the oats, coconut, oat flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Blend until oats and coconut are finely ground.
- Place the oat mix in a bowl, add the almond meal and brown rice flour. Stir to combine.
- Add the coconut oil and stir until all of the flour is moistened.
- Add the maple syrup and vanilla.
- Mix until the dough has formed a ball. (If it isn't holding together, add a tsp of maple syrup. If the dough is really sticky, set it aside for 10 minutes to thicken)
- Wash and dry your hands and press crust thinly and evenly into the prepared tart pan.
- Prick with a fork and bake 18 minutes.
- Remove from oven and set aside to cool
- Make the filling
- Line a large strainer with a nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth.
- Place strainer over a medium pot and set aside.
- Drain and rinse cashews, and add them to an upright blender.
- Add coconut and 3 cups of water, blend on highest speed until very smooth.
- Pour into a lined strainer and gather the edges of the bag or cloth and gently squeeze out all liquid. Compost solids. (You should have 3 cups of coconut-cashew milk, if not add a little water)
- Rinse out the blender.
- Add maple syrup and agar flakes to the pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly.
- Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer for 15 minutes or until all agar flakes have dissolved. Whisk mixture every 5 minutes to prevent sticking.
- Remove from heat, uncover the pot and allow to cool for 10 minutes then pour the mixture into the blender.
- Add matcha and vanilla and blend until evenly combined and foaming
- Finish and Chill
- Gently pour filling into the tart crust.
- Allow to sit for another 15 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator to set. (This takes about 1 hour or until its completely chilled)
- Use a small strainer to dust with matcha.
- Serve cold.
[…] 28. Matcha Custard Tart with Chocolate Crust […]
Love your blog, love your photos, love your recipes and all of the comments. One of the highlights of my day..thanks so much!
I always feel a bit awkward in situations like that. It takes me a while to remember names and I don’t particularly enjoy most small talk.
Oh my goodness 25+ people! What an amazing amount of people to have come and go, your Spaghetti Saturdays are so successful and how lovely for people to get to meet new friends.
I guess it’s true that you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. I love meeting new people and finding out little tidbits of their lives. Your Spaghetti Saturdays sound like so much fun!
It is always fun to learn others’ stories. You never know what people have gone though. Sometimes I wish I could wear a shirt stating all I’ve lost. I wonder if it would make a difference in the way people treated each other if we knew how they were hurting.
I always like having parties for the same fact of what you do here. I love to get to know people because they all have really neat stories to listen to. I learn so much from people that is probably one of my favorite things to do
Oh my gosh! I’m so much like you! Although I think a lot of us have a lot of flaws. It’s all part of life, right? Us … having flaws. I love doing things for others because I love making people smile but at the same time, I have very low tolerance for a lot of other things. Things is very thought provoking for a Monday!
Are you kidding me? Matcha, custard and chocolate are 3 of my favorite things! I can’t believe you’ve been able to combine them all!
Oh, that Amy Chaplin and her wondrous healthy recipes. Hers are really the only ones worth a lick of salt, aren’t they? I’ll be trying these soon, I think if I can ever pry myself away from the office …
I have to say I usually stick with my group of friends and husbands. I’ve never thought of having a dinner party with that many people before! I guess I just like my familiar situations.
I’ve made and tried a few matcha sweets, but found that it’s not for me. I’m soo addicted to that color though. It’s so pretty!
I really need to branch out more and meet new people. My “real world” friends are all crazy to some degree! I kid you not. Of course, that’s one of the reasons I love them, but seriously, it would be nice to expand my circle of friends. That Matcha tart looks so pretty, by the way!
p.s.You know, Ali, I’m always grateful for recipes involving matcha and chocolate, but what I’m *most* grateful for are your recipes for cookies. (Just bought some apricots and chocolate …) Going to make your ginger cookies for the millionth time. x
My husband and I aren’t much for dinner parties, but whenever we actually go, we always have a good time! It is so much fun to get to know new people!
I enjoyed reading your post. I am quite the same. Everything and anything! My husband says I am the only woman he knows that own a toolbox. Not just a simple one, but a complete toolbox! Well, my dad wanted a boy, but he got me! So I was taught to be handy with tools. Thankfully, it all worked out in my favor because I can do minor repairs around the house (and the car too). I am so much more than that. I want to consider myself a writer, but until such time that I have my first book published, I am happily performing my tasks as a mom, a wife, a creative content writer/blogger, a social media manager, etc, fueled by coffee and the love of my family!
I wasn’t going to say anything, really I wasn’t. But yes, I do love my dessert. And you made me the best kind, how’d you know I like custard the best?! ? ps: beautiful photos! xx
I have to be honest, dinner parties that I do not know people at give me really bad anxiety. I know I should take time to really enjoy that time but it is difficult for me sometimes . But I do agree, you can learn a lot from people in just a dinner time. This really looks like a good recipe to try for summertime.
I love being at parties with new people, you never know where and when you are going to meet your new BFF. I love meeting new people.
As far as your recipe goes, OMG I love matcha and I have to make it like this weekend. Yummy
As an awkward girl, I can totally relate to your story. Also, this is such an interesting and colorful recipe. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. I feel healthy just thinking about baking it (that’s practically negative calories, right?)
Parties like that are not my strong suit or something I really enjoy. Now my husband on the other hand will know everyones names with 15 minutes and can talk to anyone about anything.
Dinner parties are so much fun, it takes me a while to start talking to people I don’t know but once I do then it makes the evening that much better.
25 guests at spaghetti night?! Now THAT’S a dinner party. I get incredibly shy with bigger crowds and when I don’t know the people in the party. Btw, that pie looks SO good! I didn’t realize the matcha literally meant powder… makes sense with its consistency!
Spaghetti Saturdays sound like so much fun! It’s always interesting to get a group of people together that don’t really know each other and throw food and wine into the mix. Lol! The tart looks and sounds incredible by the way! The color is really pretty.
I completely agree, when it comes to introducing, we need to be short and sweet else people lose interest as attention span is short. Parties at home are always fun and my Mom always loved hosting guests over the weekend. I never knew that matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more health benefits. The matcha custard tart looks yum!
This is one of the most eye catching tarts I have ever seen. The bright green color just scream “eat me!” Can I just say I love the idea of Spaghetti Saturdays! I went back and read how you started the tradition and in a time when we run in our houses and lock our doors it sounds like a great way to get to know neighbors and make new friends.
I did not know that about matcha green tea. I’ll have to find some pronto cause god knows, I need all the antioxidants I can get! This pie looks great. We have pizza sundays, but sphagetti saturdays sounds good too!
If I just wanted to make a custard dish, (no crust), it wouldn’t affect the filling, would it? I’d like to serve it on a martini glass for a themed party. Thanks.
Your blog is so calming. I want to sit and drink tea while reading. I just started blogging and a friend said, “Look at Veggies By Candlelight, it’s fabulous.” So, I did, now there are eight million recipes I must try. Thanks for a great example of what a blog can be.
I’ve been reading your beautiful blog for quite a while but have never left a comment. Your writing reminds me of everything that I love about food and also about life. You’ve inspired me so much! This recipe is pure heaven and the photos are absolutely amazing.
My circle is very small because I am not good at small talk. While I do enjoy hearing other people’s stories, I am not good at chatting with them to get to it.
I have not been to a dinner party in ages! I tend to be an introvert who would rather be at home. This tart looks delicious! I keep hearing about matcha but have yet to try it. This looks like the perfect way to give it a taste.
The perfection that is this tart… Is beyond me! hahahaha! My creation of this would be a sloppy mess for sure so I will leave it to you to leave me drooling!! Matcha never looked so good 😉
That tart looks beautiful. I didn’t know green tea came in powdered form. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Looks like a perfect dessert for St. Paddy’s Day.
25 guests at spaghetti night sounds like a huge party. The matcha custard tart looks amazing!
I’ve heard a lot about the benefits of drinking matcha and I’m seeing more and more recipes incorporating matcha into recipes. Bold step introducing matcha during a dinner party. I LOVE IT! Food can be a wonderful conversation starter.
I am always afraid that with matcha desserts they’ll come out sandy and strong in flavor. This one seems excellent and actually looks quite smooth. Btw, I have never really attended a dinner party with people I don’t know too well – most likely because I avoid them as much as possible haha
This is definitely a new use for matcha! Custard. I would never have thought to try matcha custard!
I don’t think that I have ever attended such a big dinner party! I would love to, as I find introductions fascinating! I don’t think I have known more than 1 or 2 neighbors ever since I have moved from my grandma’s house, when she died. Back there it was so different… the entire street would know each other, would visit, go to each other’s houses for coffee or just chat outside, at sunset, after everyone finished watering their gardens. People would literally take their chairs out and just sit outside, on the pavement, chatting to each other. I miss that.
I never liked rice pudding, but your custard tart looks pretty great. I would love to dig into that!
Its been a while since I attend a party where I didn’t know people attending but this sounds like it was a hit again and the matcha tart sounds delicious
Wow 25 people for spaghetti Saturday that is amazing! I hope you all had an amazing time.
I keep seeing more and more things made with matcha it really is great all the different things you can do with it.
Meeting new people is fun for myself. lol me talk and learn about them. You pie look different and delicious
Yum! I am making this for book club tomorrow night. Thanks for your lovely, lovely writing and elegant, clean photos. Beautiful blog!
This looks so good! I like that there is health benefits to this too, which makes it even better! I have never had a dessert like this but want to give it a try. The party sounds like a lot of fun!
A neighbor gave me a bag of matcha this week knowing I’d find something special to do with it … and viola! I look forward to the days when a new post shows up in my inbox, it inspires me to actually get into the kitchen and enjoy being there. xo
In a world that is conditioned by social media you are right in saying that we often characterize ourselves through introductions that are reminiscent of a tweet. But when we take the time to listen but also speak out ourselves we learn a lot about who we are as people. Oh and I agree that we are so much more than the labels that we give ourselves and the labels that others give us, On another note that chocolate crust is absolute perfection!
I had a dinner party Saturday night, and one of my guests waived her hand when I passed her dessert and said she didn’t want any. Didn’t – want – dessert. I kid you not. After staring at her blankly for longer than I should have, I smiled when I realized that meant more for me! I marked this tart when I saw it on Amy Chaplin’s Instagram and now I’m extra excited to make it!
I love that this has a chocolate crust! I’ve never heard of matcha being used this way but its definitely something new that I would like to try!
We have a store here that sells tart. Your version looks even a lot tastier as you can go all out with the ingredients.
It’s definitely true that there is so much more to each person. I adore meeting new people and learning THEM…what defines who they truly are.
Oh dear, Ali, but I’m married to a man who simply won’t eat dessert. It’s not that he’s on a diet or anything, but he just doesn’t like it. The house could be (and often is) filled with all forms of cakes, cookies, tarts, pie, puddings and the like, and he’ll ignore them all completely. It’s a little disturbing.
Ah Ali .. I loved that I came home today and found your post. Especially because it’s about something healthier and sweet. Not to mention, today is my grocery shopping day. My grandma always said that a day without dessert (or indulgence) is not really one worth living (Well except when you’re at an exotic locale – no wait … nope even then … )
Wow, that colour looks amazing! I have tried matcha tea but have not tried it in any other form – I’d love to try making that cake 🙂
This looks beautiful! I’m very much an extrovert and do well in group situations and I would love having people from my neighbourhood over for a sort of potluck. How fun!
Oh. my goodness! That looks really good. I would love to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!
It sounds like I have to up my green tea game to match powdered tea.
I love your narrative style too, how enjoyable to read.
I often find I’m at a loss for how to introduce myself just for this reason. I’m more than just the outward parts of me! Also matcha and chocolate sound yummy together!
Really? Matcha tart and with a chocolate crust. You shouldn’t combine these two, or it will not last in a day, haha. I haven’t had any matcha tart, just matcha mochi. I hope I don’t mess up the recipe. Thanks for sharing.
This sounds amazing, matcha and chocolate together sounds very interesting! I am so happy that I can always find some 5 star recipes on this blog. Keep up the good work, you re one of my favorite bloggers! Thanks for sharing.
You answered my cry for dessert! When I woke up this morning, I was dying to bake something offbeat, but it had to have chocolate. Practicality won out, though, and I’m at my computer working through homework (er, and checking up on blogs). Thanks to you, Ali, I have a date with this tart tomorrow night!
I love the colors of these tarts. They are so yummy good. I want to pin this for later use.
Ever since the Japanese charmed me, I have been a big fan of Macha tea. Drink it pretty regularly now. But would dearly love it in a tar. Oh wait, you got that idea already:(
I think the chocolate crust might be my favorite part 😉 I always enjoy your recipes and have even tried a few in my kitchen. They never fail to disappoint. This is such a interesting dessert to bring into the kitchen. I have yet to make anything similar so I am excited to try this one. Your photos make it look even more appealing!
We are so much more than the little tidbits we put into our posts. It’s kind of crazy how much we can reveal in our posts and yet at the same time we are so much more than that. We are all of our past, our present, and future all rolled into one. And it’s constantly changing with every moment of existence, because how we view our past, what we are doing in the present, and how that shapes the future always changes. But it’s a beautiful life and a beautiful ride along the way. So no camping unless with clean sheets and a shower huh? lol. I know of a few places like that. 🙂 . Anyway, I am very curious about the recipe here. It sounds like such a beautiful mix of flavors there. I admit I am still intimidated about making crusts though.
Never seen tarts that look like that, they looks so great and that recipe would be great to try! Although I’ll admit I’ve never been to a dinner party- this I would like to try.
I love dessert so this speaks to my stomach immediately. This is like the best of both worlds, this is a creative spin.
That looks so delicious. My husband makes the best tarts. We are going to have to try these fun ones for St. Patty’s Day!
I LOVE that these call for matcha. That alone makes me want to try them to see what they are like and anything that is in your “repertoire” is enough to convince me!
Wow! 25 people for supper!!! Imagine all those stories, not just as couples but as individuals, I love that everyone has come together, it is great to learn and share with new and old friends. Especially whilst sharing some of that matcha made in heaven dessert. x
Wow what a dinner party that was!! I think it’s very true that we can never judge a person until we really know them, and even then there are so many layers to a person we may never know everything there is to know!! This looks amazing, the colour is just stunning!
Wow, what a great dinner party you had and with so many people! Perfect way to know each other better! As for the dessert, the tartar looks simply amazing and so delicious! Definitely worth a try!
I know a lot of people but my friends are few. I don’t enjoy having small talks but, I do like meeting new people. I think an introverted extrovert lol.
I agree “nobody is ever as they appear”. We should not judge people based on their looks or occupations.
Omg yum. I can not wait to try this recipe. I love Matcha and chocolate crust… you have me sold! Definitely gonna try it this week!
I always look forward to your posts! Thank you for putting YOURSELF into your food writing, without all of the TMI that has overtaken so much of our society. Here’s a toast to wonderful custard tarts in the wintertime!
We seem to have a lot in common! I have not been to a dinner party in ages. While I’d love to do more things like that, life usually gets in the way.
As always, my dear, a wonderful story and a recipe that sounds heavenly. Thanks for sharing your life through your blog and I sure love the idea of Spaghetti Saturdays! xo
I love that you do Spaghetti Saturdays. I could never arrange anything like that. It’s a great way to bring people together amd get to know them as well. They are never what we expect them to be. Loving this beautiful Matcha dessert! You can never go wrong with it.
Honestly Alison, your posts always put a smile on my face. I love your passion, envy your photography skills and your genuine personality. I don`t know you in real life but I am pretty sure you are kind human being. And you are much more than a simple description on social media. Now regarding the recipe, I can`t wait to try making this as I am keen on matcha powder and green tea. One day, I will find the courage and start baking 😀
I also experienced attending to meet-and-dine kind of event with my expat community members here in Manila. The ladies are so cool sharing their recipes pinned and how much they enjoyed Manila. Ohh surprisingly, we all love the match flavour, from drink to cakes!
I just dug deep into your archives to find a chocolate chip cookie recipe I recalled making. For some reason, our family cannot agree on cookies, but the New York Times recipe you adapted made everyone happy. Sifting through several years of blogs to find the recipe made me realize what an incredibly complex, rich, delicious, wondrous story you have already lived!
I made this for thanksgiving and it was a huge hit!! Gorgeous texture also. Thank you!
Oh, Bianca, I’m so glad .. I hope you had the happiest of Thanksgivings! xx
Ate this beauty at a friend’s bday party and it was superb! Beyond gorgeous and yummy! Wondering if I could substitute cocoa for matcha to make it a chocolate custard? Do you think the ratio would be the same? Thank you, x, Sonia
Hi Sonia! I’m so glad you enjoyed the tart. I think you would probably need more but you could do it to taste.
Please let me know how it goes. I’m curious!
[…] Powdered Green tea custard made with all natural ingredients and a rolled oats and chocolate crust. This Green tea custard dessert is even great for those who swear allegiance to coffee, the taste of the all natural crust with its hint of chocolate. Get the Full Matcha Custard Tart with Chocolate Crust Recipe Here […]