Friday, July 29, 2005

Is My Blog Burning? 17

Taste Tea

Gee the last month has flown by, and it is time for that food blogging marvel IMBB which was created by the lovely Alberto of Il Forno. This month's food extravaganza is being hosted by Clement of A La Cuisine! He has chosen tea, and has asked us to write about our daily tea rituals and make something with it, which I will get to in a little bit .

Well, I think that my tea ritual started as a child, my parents would not let me drink coffee (it was only instant then anyway :P ) but I was allowed to have tea. I started off with milk and 2 sugars, which I think means that tea was really only a thinly veiled vehicle for sugar. I am very happy to say that my tea taste buds have matured and it is now drunk sans milk or sugar.

I love making my tea with the best quality tea leaves, pouring the filtered water into the kettle, warming the pot and the cups, measuring the tea, pouring the water and then watching and waiting for the tea to reach the right colour... Then the best bit of course, drinking it! There are many foods which are better with tea: Vegemite toast, cucumber sandwiches, tea cake, Chinese food, Indonesian food, Japanese food..... and I love them all.

So what is the best way to eat tea? In my opinion there is only one best way.... as powdered Japanese green tea, Matcha. Oh you already knew I was going to use that didn't you??? HA!


Well here it is, dark, luscious, creamy Matcha truffles. OMG they are so easy and so good! A this crisp veil of dark chocolate sprinkled with powdered sencha hides a meltingly creamy matcha scented dark chocolate ganache *drool* . I think that this has to show tea off to it's best and to show how much we revere it!

To make the truffles I used (and altered) Robert Linxes (founder of La Maison du Chocolat) truffle recipe.

Ingredients

6 ounces Valrhona chocolate (56% cacao)
1/3 cup heavy cream (make sure there is no gelatin in the cream!)
3 TBSP of Matcha (Powdered Japanese Green Tea)
Sencha which has been placed in a blender til powdered then sifted as you only want the powder


Finely chop 4 ounces of the chocolate and put in a bowl.

Bring heavy cream to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Make sure your pan is small, so you'll lose the least amount of cream to evaporation, and heavy, which will keep the cream from scorching. Add the Matcha and stir til dissovled, the cream will be green.

Pour the cream over the chocolate, mashing any big pieces with a wooden spoon.

Then stir with a whisk in concentric circles (don't beat or you'll incorporate air), starting in the center and working your way to the edge, until the ganache is smooth.

Let stand at room temperature until thick enough to hold a shape(If it is hot this wont work, wither place the bowl in the fridge to set or turn the AC WAY UP or just wait til the weather cools!), Shape balls of ganache with 2 tsps and place onto a parchment lined tray. Put tray into the freezer for 15 minutes until they set hard.

Meanwhile, melt 2 more ounces of the same Valrhona and smear some on a gloved hand. Gently rub each chilled truffle to coat lightly with chocolate. The secret to a delicate coating of chocolate is to roll each truffle in a smear of melted chocolate in your hand.

Sprinkle truffles with the powdered Sencha. Then just try and resist eating them!

Makes about 15 truffles

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my oh my oh my OH MY! Those look INCREDIBLE! Way to go, Clare! Loved your tea talk, too, but those truffle pictures. . . oh my! 

Posted by farmgirl

Anonymous said...

Hi Farm grl
They look ok then? *grin* Beleive me they tasted even better! 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

Calre - I think you may just have insulted Clement's manhood!

That aside, your truffles look incredible, but please if the cream hs gelatin in it, none of us should be buying it. It's meant to be a natural product!

I bet these would be good with King Island cream. Such decent cream in impossible to come by in the US 

Posted by sam

Anonymous said...

Drooling. All. Over. The. Place.

That is all I can say at the sight of these beauties. I LOVE chocolate and tea truffles.The first time I had them was at this choclatier's downtown.

These look AMAZING Clare, and why does everyone have chocolate on the brain tonight? I must go raid my kitchen for some.

I blame you, Clare and Farmgrl. 

Posted by Amy

Anonymous said...

Hi Clare,

Thanks so much for your entry. Your truffles look so decadent and sound delicious! Matcha and chocolate are one of my favourite combinations, and I've heard so much about La Maison du Chocolat's truffles. I'm going to try your recipe as soon as I replenish my supply of Valrhona! 

Posted by Clement

Anonymous said...

Hi Sam
OH NO!!!! I am so sorry Clement I meant nothing by it at all!!!!!

How did you know I used King Island Cream *grin* I can't beleive you can't get something like it in the USA, that is terrible.I NEVER use thickend cream either, and I wanted everyone to know that it would RUIN such beautiful truffles.

Hi Amy
Because chocolate is good ;) That is why I also only made a half batch!!!

Hi Clement
Oh I am so sorry, I REALLY didn't mean to insult your manhood.( I will change it ASAP). The truffles were so lucious, I couldn't beleive I made them myself!

 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

Crap! I still have to get my act together and make something. Friday and Saturday are devoted to things with tea...yummy looking truffles, by the way! 

Posted by Stephanie

Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie
I can't wait to see what you make! 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

hi Clare, you Matcha Truffles look really good, I think I may wander around and try to get some for dessert now :D ...  

Posted by Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonymous
Thanks heaps! They were awesome! 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

i really think you got a cool posting.wanna see more of what you gotta say..well..me??got nothin' to say anymore..weheehee..just check me out..

buzz me up! 

Posted by Georgina

Anonymous said...

sweet jesus those look good! must try them! 

Posted by Danius Maximus

Anonymous said...

Hi Georgina
Well just keep coming back then, LOL

Hi Danius Maximus
I hope you do, they taste better than they look ;) 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

Drooooooooool! I WANT SOME!! Thanks Clare for making my day today. You know I wish someone would invent a computer screen that allows you to touch the picture and get a sniff of the food. Sure will sell like hotcakes!

The recipe looks easy to make too. Only problem I guess would be what cream to use as we seem to only get Bulla's Thickened Cream.  

Posted by boo_licious

Anonymous said...

Hi Boo,
that is SUCH a good idea! I am glad you like them too!

Hmmm
Not even any "whipping cream" that doesn't have gelatine?
I am sure you could try with the Bulla... I don't know how it will boil, you would just need to be careful I guess 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

hi clare, love robert linxe's book - real eye candy...and your matcha truffles, they look exquisite too! cheers,j 

Posted by J

Anonymous said...

I know about King Island because I ate some in Oz, at a little restaurant in a converted post office in a little town in the Blue Mountains , and it was SO GOOD I will never forget it. (I had 'roo carpaccio too). I LOVE cream, the UK has a great selection, but American cream is nothing like. That's why I remember King island, I dream of something similar, or clotted cream, being available here in CA. 

Posted by sam

Anonymous said...

Oh, YUMMMMMMMMYYYYYYYYY. 

Posted by Mariko

Anonymous said...

Clare those are beautiful truffles. I am going to make me some! 

Posted by Ana

Anonymous said...

Clare Clare, I do declare!
This decadence, just ain't fair!
This will make us fat,
So have a care!
Dear dear precious Clare!

::bummity bum bum:: ;oP

These do look marvelous. I'm gonna have to give them a go. Couple of questions though:
1. Is there a particular reason for the Sencha?
2. Would you prehaps consider a black or oolong?
3. What about jasmine?

Suggestion for the future: Instead of the ganache smear and tea sprinkle, roll them in a mix of either:
1. 50/50 cocoa powder/tea
2. 30/70 powdered sugar/tea
3. 1/5/47/47 cinnamon/powdered sugar/cocoa powder/tea

Sam:
I live just south of San Francisco in Mountain View and I can source British cream, goat butter, creme fraishe (sp?). Email me if you are interested in more details. 

Posted by Jo

Anonymous said...

Hi J
I haven't seen his book sadly, They aren't nearly as pretty as his though. But they tasted fantastic!

Hi Sam
Roo carpaccio *grin* hmm perhaps I need to do a cream taste test ! (I think that the King Island would win hands down though!)

Hi Mariko
I had a feeling that you might like these! So easy to make as well, but I would wait til the weather cools alittle though

Hi Ana
I can't wait to here what you think! SOOO much better than a lindt ball and I made them myself!

Hi Jo
Love the poem *grin*
I chose the sencha because I had no more matcha left, and I wanted a green tea flavour that would match the matcha flavour inside. It worked really well.
You don't have to roll them in chocolate BUT it was really easy and the thin crisp shell worked really well. You can roll that outer shell in tea/cocoa etc too. I like the suggestions for different coatings though mmmm I need to get me some more Matcha powder!!!!
 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

Clare,

I am speechless, and I can't even shake my Bumity bum bum I am looking at the pictures and....I am speechless.


Jo,

WE ARE SO MAKING THEM! 

Posted by milgwimper

Anonymous said...

Hi Milly
Lost your Bummity, bum, bum? Oh no!!! Call the paramedics, STAT!

Remember I only made a HALF batch because I was scared about having them in the house too! (and rightly so) 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

Great pictures - they look so yummy! 

Posted by Joe

Anonymous said...

Hi Joe
They were very yummy, I am glad you like the pictures! 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

::beams:: glad you like the poem! ((hmm, keyboard doing odd things..)) You should hear me making up words to songs! ::giggle::

We ended up making 2 pans of baklava with Kirk, he's a great fillo counter! One was hazelnut and we had purchased some ghiradelli french vanilla bittersweet to drizzel, then we couldn't find it. As Kirk packed to leave, there it was! So umm, Mills, looks like we have the main ingredient already!

So, Matcha is a "product" all of it's own huh? Glad you said that because I was thinking it was any sort of tea powdered. HEY Mills! Can we source Matcha? Is that the sort of thing we could get in any Asian market around here? ::wanders off considering the possibilities here:: 

Posted by Jo

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo,
I think I am learning just how funny your songs would be! (in a good way of course!)

2 pans you say!!!! WOW! Could I get anymore jealous?

Yep Matcha is a product all of it's own, and is very good for you and is made from the highest quality green tea only. Surely you can get it there??? I hope so. That chocolate sounds perfect. I can just imagine you 2 with all that melted chocolate! you wont want to roll them if it is too hot though, that could get very sticky 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

I'm sure we can source the matcha, is there a particular brand we should look for? Would it be stocked with the beverages or spices? It's actually been rather cool the last couple of days or so. We have "natural air conditioning" here in the Bay Area. The configuration of ocean, hills, bay, and valley creat a "drawing" effect so when the heat gets turned up in the valley it spreads out. When it hits the ocean it interacts with the colder air, creates fog, and the heat is "scared" back into the valley pulling all the cool air and breezes with it. That goes in cycles of 3 to 7 days (approximately) all summer long.

That is an extra simple explanation and not necessarily 100% accurate. I'm sure that there are folks out there that can explain it much better if you are interested. Bottom line, there is a saying that the coldest winter day is a San Francisco summer day. Occasionaly, I could say that is true!

So, we need to get the matcha, we need to get the cream... Actually, I've been making FABULOUS ganache with Ghiradelli 70% & a can of condensed. I've turning it into hot fudge for ice cream sundaes by adding additional evaporated milk...

Maybe Matcha with a touch of Sake for the "adult" touch?? 

Posted by Jo

Anonymous said...

OPPS, sorry, nearly forgot! Yep, 2 pans, one pecan one hazelnut... or did I say that? Anyhow, you can make multiple pans as easily as single really. The best trick is to prepare all your nut mixtures the night before then have one person per pan if possible (I can do it alone just fine though) and you can put 2 pans in the oven at a time, no sweat! If we really start a business, want to be "Aussie Connection"? 

Posted by Jo

Anonymous said...

These look great. I'm a bit disappointed with my matcha effort so might try your truffles. 

Posted by Barbara

Anonymous said...

Hi Clare,

Chocolate and matcha...mmmmmm! 

Posted by Reid

Anonymous said...

Wow, Clare--look how popular your truffles are. THIRTY-ONE comments already! Well, I guess this makes 32. 

Posted by Amy

Anonymous said...

Hi Jo
I have no idea about matcha brands... I just bought the only one I could get my hands on!

I wonder how your blackberry shochu would work out?

That's a great idea.. but I think Casey would kill me if I made 2 pans of baklava, unless I gave most(not all ;) ) of it away.

Hi Barbara
Truffles are always good ;) your biscuits look nice I think that maybe you just need alittle more matcha powder in them???

Hi Reid
it sure is a match made in heaven!!!!

Hi Amy
I know!!! how crazy is it? I thought it might be alittle popular..... I think that everyone figure that if I can make them then so can they! LOL! 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

It's really the baklava Amy ;o) 

Posted by Jo

Anonymous said...

whoa! these will hit the spot when i have a chocolate craving... 

Posted by ann

Anonymous said...

LOL! jo :)


Hi Ann
Yes they certainly will! 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

Wow - these look so delicious! Look at all that glossy chocolate. Great post Clare! 

Posted by saffron

Anonymous said...

Hi Saffron
Chocolate sure is perty! (and yummy *grin*) 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

::begins to sing::

Oh baklava, Oh baklava!
How gracefull are thy nuts!
Oh baklava, Oh baklava!
How gracefull are thy nuts!
Thy flaky pastry loaded with
Honey syrup and sugar with,
Oh baklava, Oh baklava!
How gracefull are thy nuts! 

Posted by Jo

Anonymous said...

ROFLMAO!
That is beautiful Jo  

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

wow this is SO yummilicious! 

Posted by babe_kl

Anonymous said...

Spot on babe_kl *grin* 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

Wow. Those look amazing clare. I'm coming for tea. 

Posted by Lyn

Anonymous said...

Anytime Lyn! just give me long enough to make some more! 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

hi Clare - these look to die for! those gooey centers are just making me salivate! 

Posted by melissa

Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa
oh you so know you are making these when you get back home!

It has been so hard resisting the urge to make some more!  

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

These truffles look absolutely gorgeous! Thanks for the recipe & presentation. 

Posted by FoodFreak

Anonymous said...

Claire, wonderful truffles you've got there! *droooooooollls* =P
chocs and tea all in one bite? heavenly...bliss
must go get me some choccies soon...incurable chocoholic made better with these tempting gems made by a domestic goddess ;)

thanks for your entry in IMBB! 

Posted by aC

Anonymous said...

Hi Food Freak

Not a problem I am so glad you liked them! I sure did ;)

Hi aC
Doemestic Goddess? Me? Well I don't know but Thank you so much for the compliment!!!! 

Posted by clare eats

Anonymous said...

HEY! We tried them! Well, sort of... Naturally the proportions were nothing compared to yours, and I used condensed milk instead of cream... But they are DELISI-YOSO! My little guysletts beg all day for them, then they get one before bed. Mike loves them. Milly's parents came over for dinner, we had your chicken with rice, watermelon, and topped it off with the truffles. I'm working on the post for the chicken. Wait till you read what Mike thought of the belacan! You may never live it down I'm afraid ;o) 

Posted by Jo

Anonymous said...

Hello Clare
Love your blog. Did you ever get round to posting the sundried tomato and pinenut dip?
Kind regards
helen 

Posted by helen

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