23 April 2010
Green Tea Truffles
This spring I have been thinking of Japan, wondering when I might be able to visit that beautiful country again. I have been there several times but there is always more to see. I travel with a jam packed itinerary that keeps us moving but even with good plans and high speed trains there is only so much that can be experienced in a week, or even two, especially if you leave space to stop and be enchanted when opportunity strikes.
Sometimes the more I see and experience the more I want to see. I didn't know how much I wanted to go to Fukuoka until I was standing on the castle ruins watching a transcendent sunset from the top of the mound. And I didn't know how much I wanted to ascend Mt. Shosha near Himeji until a shower of cherry blossoms drifted down to carpet the path in front of me.
As I dream about travel I often try to bring the tastes of my favored destinations home to my own kitchen in the Pacific Northwest. While these Green Tea Truffles may not be authentic Japanese cuisine the smell and flavor of the green tea reminds me of my travels while the sweet white chocolate satisfies my American sweet tooth without cloying.
This little truffle is pretty, slightly unexpected and makes a nice light after dinner treat served with hot or iced tea. You can also take it up a notch and serve these truffles as verdant Truffle Islands in a sea of Crème Anglaise. In a rustic dish it looks as serene and inviting as a Japanese garden.
Green Tea Truffles
more or less from "Truffles, Candies and Confections" by Carole Bloom
6 ounces white chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 teaspoon Matcha powder, divided
2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
Melt the white chocolate in the top of a double boiler or in a metal bowl over hot, not boiling, water. Set aside.
Pour cream into a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until it almost boils and is heated through. Remove from heat. Stir 2 teaspoons (or more, according to taste) of the matcha powder into the cream until well mixed. Add the cream mixture to the chocolate and stir or whisk until well combined.
Set the mixture aside until cool and thick, but not hard, approximately two or three hours.
(For photos from the next few steps in the process see my post for Vanilla Chile Truffles.)
When it is thick, place the chocolate mixture in a Ziploc freezer bag. Seal the bag and snip a ½ inch piece from a lower corner of the bag.
Pipe the chocolate mixture onto waxed paper or parchment in teaspoon sized dollops. Place in the refrigerator or freezer until very firm, approximately 2 hours.
Mix the powdered sugar and the remaining 2 teaspoons Matcha powder in a shallow bowl. Remove the chocolate from the refrigerator or freezer. Place each dollop in the powdered sugar mixture and then roll it in your hands to form a ball.
Place the ball on a new piece of waxed paper or parchment. When all pieces have been formed into balls, place the chocolate back in the refrigerator until set.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Take out of the refrigerator 1/2 hour or so before serving to take the chill off.
Roll in the matcha/powdered sugar mixture again, if desired.
Yield: Approximately 30 small truffles.
Serve and enjoy!
Note: For a more elegant desert, serve the truffles as Islands in a sea of Crème Anglaise.
Assemble dessert by spooning a pool of Crème Anglaise onto a saucer or into a small dish. Drop one Green Tea Truffle into the pool. Sprinkle a pinch of Matcha Powder over the truffle and into the cream. Garnish with white chocolate curls and bits of candied ginger.