Today I am blog-sitting for Nami! In other words I have the honour of guest posting on Nami’s Just One Cookbook. Nami is a constant inspiration in my exploration of Japanese cuisine and a dear friend I look up to for her culinary and photographic skills, so I am very proud she has left today her blog in my hands. I strongly encourage you to click here and see my post on Just One Cookbook, where you will find more pictures, my blogging confessions and, most of all, Nami’s extraordinary recipes and photos.
This recipe is a modified version of chocolate truffles I have been making for years. If, like me, you love the soft chocolate truffles bought at confectioner’s shops, you will be happy to learn they are quite easy to make at home. Set in individual paper cases and placed in a nice box, they are quite an impressive edible present. They are also an elegant alternative when served with tea or coffee at the end of a meal.
The basic preparation of such truffles is called ganache (pronounced “ga-nash”), a mixture of melted chocolate and cream, sometimes with a bit of butter. Confectioners often coat such truffles in melted chocolate, but I prefer to coat them in different ground nuts, cocoa or dessicated coconut. Dark chocolate ganache is my favourite, but, especially for today, I have decided to modify these festive treats and adapt them to Nami’s magic world of Japanese cuisine.
Until now my experiments with matcha (powdered green tea) proved successful, so I have decided to use it as the Japanese touch in my chocolate truffles. Opting for white chocolate was a very wise decision. It was a perfect pairing for the sophisticated, subtle taste of matcha. The truffles are not overly sweet and have a very original, slightly bitter, typical matcha taste, mellowed by the buttery creaminess of white chocolate. If you are a fan of matcha, I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.
During the chocolate melting process, keep a very low heat, stir constantly and do not let it boil.
While forming the truffles, make sure your hands are not too warm, running cold water on them from time to time and rolling the truffles between your fingers and not on the palm of your hand (which is warmer).
The truffles should be kept in the fridge (it can be the warmest part of the fridge), so make sure you say it while offering a box to someone.
Preparation: 30 minutes + at least 6 hours in the fridge
Ingredients (makes 20 – 25 truffles):
150 g high quality white chocolate
100 ml liquid cream (at least 25% fat)
2 heaped teaspoons matcha
a couple of tablespoons each: cocoa, ground almonds and dessicated coconut
Break the chocolate into small pieces. Put into a small pan with matcha and cream.
Let the chocolate melt on a very low heat, constantly stirring.
Pour into a food processor and mix until very smooth.
Transfer the mixture into a container, close tightly with a lid and refrigerate until the ganache has thickened (at least 3 hours).
(It can also stay in the fridge overnight or even for several days).
Prepare small, deep bowls with the coatings you have chosen.
Your hands shouldn’t be too warm, otherwise the ganache melts and truffles are impossible to form.
Run your hands under cold water every five or six truffles and clean them quickly with a paper towel.
Dust the inside of your hands with the chosen coating, quickly form a truffle, but using only the fingers (the palm of your hand is always much warmer), put it into a bowl with coating and, moving the bowl, coat the truffle thoroughly.
Repeat until you want to switch to another coating.
Place the truffles on a plate or in paper cases and refrigerate a couple of hours before serving or before offering them.
The truffles should always be kept in the fridge (it can be the warmest part, but the fridge is obligatory).