Friday, November 24, 2006

SHF25 - Matcha Chocolate Truffles

TGIF!!! Ie. Thank God It's Friday. Not to be confused with the US food chain TGI Friday's.

I am a slave of short cut writing. Where 'You' becomes 'U', 'You are' becomes 'UR' and 'In my humble opinion' becomes 'IMHO (not to be confused with I am a Ho.. NOT). We (my friend Bec and I) have become accustomed to starting off each Friday morning by emailing the one liner :'TGIF!!' Such are the days where 'Google' has become synonymous with the word 'Search/ing'. It's a bad habit I know, I try not to do it when I'm commenting on other people's blogs. So I always make sure I proof read my comment before posting it.

Anyway, moving on.. it's Friday and it's also Sugar High Friday, 25th Edition, hosted by Johanna of The Passionate Cook. Johanna decreed that this months mission, should we food bloggers choose to accept it is to:
1) Go out and buy the best truffles in the market.
2) Over indulge on them truffles and then
3) Make your own!
Which was exactly what I did! The Saturday after the theme was announced, I took a trip down to Prahran Market and bought myself some Monsieur Truffe! Monsieur Truffe makes the best handmade truffles I've ever had in Melbourne. I believe Ed of Tomato discovered it, shared it with his friends, who somehow ended up sending some to Deb of The Food Palate up in Sydney and that was how I discovered Monsieur Truffe. (Incidentally, I believe I may have met the man himself on my first trip. Ed describes him as 'the real deal with the full French accent)

So this was my second visit to Prahran to pick up some truffles. On my first visit, I picked up some marzipan filled truffles, chocolate covered with hazelnut praline truffles and some kalamansi lime truffles. This time round, I was intent on sampling his regular chocolate truffles. I mean, the flavoured ones are great and a must but I can't 'NOT' try the normal dark chocolate ones, how else would I know the difference? So I left the Monsieur's stall with $20 less in my pocket, two a small pack of chocolate truffles - dark chocolate and passionfruit; and a pack of caramalised chocolate almonds. I couldn't wait to get home, so I opened then bag of almonds and munched all the way home. LOL! Since I was sharing some with Ellie, I was only able to gobble half of em. Yum yum.. let's just say it was yummilicious! (Ellie: Don't worry, I still have your half !)

Monsieur Truffe chocolate truffles
(Unfortunately, no pics of the chocolate truffles I bought. In my haste to consume, I kinda forgot all about it, so you'll have to be content with one of the old shots)

So after over indulging on some MT, I set about preparing the ganache for my own chocolate truffles. I have probably mentioned a few times (like here, here, here and here) of my love for Matcha. So it was only logical that I would one day try and come up with my own version of a Green Tea Chocolate Truffle.

My inspiration for these truffles are from these lovely Japanese chocolates called Melty Kiss in Matcha flavour made by the famous Japanese confectionary company Meiji. They are little cubes (about 1cm x 1cm) of cocoa dusted candy with a matcha flavoured ganache like center. They litterally melt in your mouth as the cocoa powder dissolves in your mouth and reveals the bittersweet matcha center. A friend's mum brought a large box of these back from HK and since then, I have always associated chocolate and matcha to those chocolates. So with that in mind, I modified the Claudia Fleming's Earl Grey Chocolate Truffles recipe by substituted dark chocolate for white chocolate to make the ganache centre and added some matcha powder into the equation. The result was:

Green Tea ganache

Ok, so the green's doesn't look quite as appetising now, but it was really bright green when I made it about 2 weeks ago? I have been busy with the boy's birthday and moving houses that I didn't really get around to taking a photo of the truffle until a few days ago. :( I guess there's a reason why FRESH is always THE BEST. It's just a tad darker than it was before but it still tastes awesome!

This photo will probably not do it any justice, since I took it at night in bad lighting and bad focus, but it should give you an idea of what it looked like two weeks ago.


If I was to compare it to the Melty Kiss, there would be no comparison of course. Whilst both would melt in your mouth, the Melty Kiss had a stronger matcha flavour, whilst my truffles have an extra coating of dark chocolate and was a bit more creamier and sweeter due to the white chocolate. But no doubt, with a bit of tweaking and practise I am sure I will be able get it right one day. :)

Truffles in a box

Matcha Chocolate Truffles
*Adapted from Claudia Fleming's Earl Grey Chocolate Truffles

1 & 1/4 cup Double Cream (Heavy Cream)
140g White Chocolate, chopped finely
4 tsp Matcha powder*

250g Dark Chocolate (35% - 60% cocoa)
1 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder

*to your taste, I used 4 tsp because I prefered a stronger taste)

Heat cream gently until boil (be careful as heating it too quickly may cause the cream to split). Add matcha powder and stir until the tea powder is dissolved. Remove from heat, let the mixture sit for 2mins. Place chopped white chocolate in a medium sized bowl and pour the cream mixture onto the chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

At this point, you can either choose to: a) cover the mixture and chill for a minimum of 4hrs until the mixture is set. or b) pour the mixture into a lined rectangle or square shallow container before chilling. The first time I made truffles I followed Claudia's recipe to a T and ended up with chocolate covered hands when I was rolling the truffles with my hands into rounded balls. I think I had to wipe my hands clean 3 times throughout the rolling process and I ended up wasting quite a bit of chocolate there, not to mention making a mess on the table.

This time round, I decided to pour it into a shallow rectangular plate that I have. By lining the sides, I was able to remove the ganache from the plate and cut square pieces of ganaches, there by solving the dirty hands issue. I think I got the idea when I bought some truffles from Koko Black once. Come to think of it... Monsieur Truffe's truffles are rectangular in shape too! Why didn't I think of that sooner... anyways.. Your choice. I know some people use a melon baller to scoop it up into perfect round balls. I'm not that skilled with the melon baller, so I chose the latter :)

After shaping the truffles, return to the fridge for 15 - 20mins to firm them.

Meanwhile, melt two thirds of the dark chocolate for the truffles coating using a double boiler or simply by suspending a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the remaining chocolate and stir continuosly until the chocolate is melted, smooth and is at room temperature.

(This is where I erred, and I think that is why my chocolate ended up with a funny white streak when it cooled. :( Something to do with chocolate tempering.)

Place the cocoa powder into a bowl and like an assembly line drop the truffles into the melted chocolate (use a fork to foat them with the chocolate) and when well coated, lift the truffles out of the melted chocolate and drop them into the cocoa powder and roll them until they are well coated with the cocoa powder. Repeat with remaining truffles.

Makes about 24 chocolate truffles.

Note to self: Do not make truffles on a warm day. The ganache filling oozes out of any available cracks. (See the above close up photo)

Green Tea Chocolate Truffles


Cindy said...

So creative! I'm way too lazy to make my own truffles... this is probably a good thing because I am already tempted by the great chocolate in Melbourne far too often. :-)

I just visited Monsieur Truffe for the first time last weekend and fell in love with the Mountain Pepper truffles!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I completely forgot about this event! These look delish, will have to give them a try!

thepassionatecook said...

you certainly too this seriously! i wish i could meet monsieur truffe... and your matcha centres look stunning, such a vivid green, i bet they were as delectable as they were pretty!

ilingc said...

cindy: Thanks! I actually quite like making truffles now. Except for the rolling bit.
But oh the monsieur makes good truffles! Is Mountain Pepper new? I don't think I saw that the last time I went.

ellie: I'll bring you some, if I have any left :)

Johanna: Thank you for the excuse to go see Monsieur Truffe! You must visit the cart if you ever come to Melbourne.
The truffles were beautiful, just a tad sweet because of the white choc. :)

Anonymous said...

Loved the presentation of your truffle (chocolate shell with green centres). I just made the filling tonight with Ujinotsuyu brand matcha ( Could you advise me on how to blend the matcha into the hot cream? How did you get such a uniform filling without small lumps of matcha? My filling had small lumps which I had to break with my fingertips but the final presentation will have small dots of green instead of a lovely uniform green filling like yours. BTW, the filling is fantastic! The white chocolate adds dimension to the astringent matcha. Can't wait to coat them with the dark chocolate and cocoa.

Ed said...

I forgot about this one too. I'll have to cheer myself up with a monsieur truffe.

Jeanne said...

Wow - these look amazing - and I rather like the green filling! I can imagine they would taste very "grown-up" - well done on such an inventive post!

Cindy said...

Not sure if the mountain pepper ones are new with the monsieur... like I said, it was my first visit. If you're into the spiced chocolate kind of thing, e.g. dark chocolate with chilli or cinnamon or chai, then you're a good chance at getting hooked!

ilingc said...

Shuku: Thank you! I used the same brand of matcha too.

There are two ways to blend it in. You can either take a few tablespoons of the hot cream and dilute your matcha powder with it before adding the matcha mixture back into the cream or slowly add the matcha in small batches to the cream and whisk it until it's well mixed before adding the next teaspoon.I used the latter this time, but both ways would work well.

If you are still unsure, try the first method, it always works. I just made sure I whisked it in well.

Ed: Yep :) I've got lots to catch up to.

Jeanne: Thanks! :) They're very grown up indeed.

Cindy: Ahh.. would be good if I read your comment properly the first time :) I will check it out this weekend if I get a chance to go.

Anonymous said...

Lovely lovely truffles! I would just love a piece in my mouth now!!!

ragingyoghurt said...

yum! these look good! i believe i have found the perfect recipe for my inaugural tin of maccha powder. thanks!

Anonymous said...

hi! :) when we make truffles at work we do hundreds at a time. the kitchen gets up to around 40 degrees or higher sometimes so after we cut or mould the truffle mixture into portions we stick it onto a tray and in the freezer. also, milk and white chocolate make a runnier ganache than dark! hope that helps!
ps. love your blog

ilingc said...

Bea: Thank you. I'm sorry, but there are none left :\

Bowb: Thank you. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

Aficionado: Hi there. 40 degrees in the kitchen..? Omg! and I had a hard time when it was probably only 25/26 degrees in the house.

Thanks heaps for the great tips with the freezer and the milk/white chocolate. That definitely helps because I thought I must've been heavy handed with some of the ingredients to cause such a runny ganache!

ps. Thanks :)

K and S said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. These truffles look "to-die-for".

Anonymous said...

Omg...thank you so much for making this recipe avilable ^_^ I'm gonna try it as soon as possible!! Thanks again for positing it up. The pics u took look deliciousssss!!!
And yes the Meltykisses Matcha Chocolates are amazing lol