For a long time, I have wanted to visit the Japan Centre supermarket in the centre of London. This week, I finally made it down there, and picked up a packet of matcha (Japanese green tea powder). It seems like the sort of thing that is useful to have in the store cupboard when you are called upon to produce something innovative and creative. But not having the patience to wait for the perfect excuse to use it, I started to think what I could make with it. Cupcakes? Dull. Cake? Flavour might get lost. Then it hit me: why not try the white chocolate ganache but with matcha? Rather than making a tart, I made truffles. I imagined that the ganache would be a vibrant green, and I was not disappointed.
I’m not usually crazy about white chocolate, as it can be very sweet and a bit cloying. However, as the green tea is grassy and a little bitter, this cuts through the sweetness and leaves the truffles with a lovely creamy taste with a little bit of a tang. These truffles seem really sophisticated, but are, in truth, really quick and simple to prepare. A really nice accompaniment to tea or as a little something sweet at the end of a meal.
Just a word of warning though: I rolled the first truffle in pure matcha. Way too powerful. The rest were rolled in 50/50 icing sugar and matcha, which was much milder/edible. I would recommend either using this mixture or even pure icing sugar (which will contrast nicely with the colour of the matcha-infused filling).
To make 20 truffles:
• 200g white chocolate, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon of matcha (green tea powder)
• 1 tablespoon milk
• 85g double cream
• 45g unsalted butter
• 2 teaspoons of matcha and 2 teaspoons of icing sugar, mixed and sieved, for dusting
Put the chocolate in a bowl. In another bowl, combine the milk and 1 teaspoon of match until smooth.
In a saucepan, heat the cream slowly, and boil for 30 seconds. Add the matcha paste and stir well. Pour the hot matcha mixture over the chocolate, and stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
Leave the mixture to cool, then leave in the fridge until firm (this can take some time). Form the ganache into truffles (it easiest to work it into a ball between two teaspoons, which also creates an attractive “rough” appearance). Roll the truffles in matcha, and store in the fridge. You may need to re-roll the truffles just before serving.
Worth making? If you like green tea, then you will like this. You can adjust the amount of green tea according to taste, but I would caution against more than 1 teaspoon in the above recipe. These make a nice addition to an afternoon tea or an after dinner petit fours selection where you want to offer guests a selection of tastes to try.