SHF #16: Matcha Truffles

February 11, 2006

matcha truffles

Two truffle combinations of matcha, milk chocolate, and white chocolate.

What is more delectable than chocolate? Perhaps matcha. In my mind, they share the same qualities of ecstasy. I love them both. So why not put them together? Matcha truffles in two varieties: one a white chocolate matcha ganache with a cocoa coating, the other a milk chocolate matcha ganache powdered with matcha. This is my Recipe for Love for Sugar High Friday.

Pop a green one in your mouth. The matcha powder around the ganache teases you with a complex, yet completely unsweetened flash of flavor. Bite into it, and the rich sweetness of the chocolatey ganache fills your mouth. Repeat with a brown one, and your tastebuds do a summersault . . . matcha, chocolate, cocoa, matcha… swoon.

The flavor of matcha is rich and complex, frighteningly similar to cocoa. However, in its most common form (whipped tea), it’s not at all sweetened. Put it in an unconventional dessert with raspberries and/or chocolate, and matcha can hold its own against them. In fact it pairs beautifully.

For those not familiar with purchasing matcha, I highly recommend trying Ippodo Tea, which is the most famous tea store in Kyoto, and happens to be only a few minutes walk from my house. Their tea is of especially high quality, and their prices remind you of the fact. For cooking and baking, it’s best to use usu-cha, or thin matcha, rather than koi-cha, thick tea, which might be compared to a very fine wine.

Be careful in choosing your matcha to not buy the cheapest one, because the lower the price, the more bitter the tea. Take something from the middle of the price list. Each tea has a name. The tea I bought is called “enishi no shiro,” which means “the innocence of destined relationships.” *

Matcha Truffles
(makes at least 27 truffles… more if you don’t taste test too much)

3.5 oz. milk chocolate

3.5 oz. white chocolate

1/3 cup heavy cream (perhaps a little more to make up for sticking to the pot)

1 1/2 tsp matcha powder

matcha and cocoa powder for coating

In a small pot, heat the cream and add the matcha powder. Over low heat, vigorously whisk the mixture until the tea is completely blended with the cream. Turn off the heat if the cream begins to boil.

In a double boiler, completely melt the milk chocolate. Slowly add 3 tbs of the cream to the melted chocolate. Mix thoroughly, but not too long. As soon as the it’s evenly mixed, cover and place in the refridgerator. Repeat with the white chocolate. Let the ganache rest in the refridgerator for 1 to 2 hours or until it’s reasonably hard.

Take the ganache out of the refridgerator. Roll into little balls. (I like my truffles small, so it feels like you have more. The bigger they are, the more overwhelming the sweet ganache will be.) Since handling the ganache makes it melt again, let the ganache rest for another 10 minutes.
Prepare two small dishes with matcha powder and cocoa powder. Roll the dark ganache in the matcha and the green ganache in the cocoa.

Bon Appetit! I enjoyed my truffles with a rustic genmai-cha green tea, which offset the rich truffle flavors.

This recipe is open to multiple of variations. Try covering the ganache with kinako powder, nuts, powdered sugar, or add different components to the ganache, and explore the flavors!

Ippodo Tea

Address: 京都府京都市中京区寺町通二条上る
Kyoto City Nakagyo-ku Teramachi-dori Nijo-agaru
Directions: On the east side of Teramachi street, 5 minutes walk south of Marutamachi street or 5 minutes north from Oike street. It’s just north of Nijo street in a traditional machiya (townhouse).

* “Enishi no shiro,” the tea I used, costs ¥525 for 20g. I’m sorry to report that this tea is not sold in their online store.


17 Responses to “SHF #16: Matcha Truffles”

  1. Christine Says:

    Wow! I wish we had tea shops like that here. I guess it’s a good reason to visit Japan.

  2. Linda Says:

    I realize I’m terribly behind…didn’t know what matcha was. Sound intrigueing to use it in and on truffles!

  3. sha Says:

    and a small tin here in Athens cost 15euro
    time comes i will try this macha

  4. Jennifer Says:

    Matcha and chocolate are one of my favorite flavor combinations. These look wonderful!

    Thanks for taking part in this month’s Sugar High Friday.

  5. Hanna Says:

    Christine, please do some to Japan. And when you do, tell me! I love showing people my favorite parts of Kyoto. It’s truly a fascinating place full of temples, gardens, and absolutely delicious (and often stunningly beautiful) food.

    Linda, your truffles look delicious! They have more aphrodisiacs than mine. I don’t know if matcha is an aphordisiac further than its being a personal one, though I have a few friends who would agree. We study tea ceremony together.

    Sha, if you can find some, try it! I have a friend in the states who misses the flavor, but can’t seem to find any in even the huge Asian stores around DC and New York.

    Jenn, thank you so much for hosting SHF! I really enjoyed my first time joining the event.

  6. sha Says:

    of course I will.. i found a chi chi store in town that sells it
    I saw a blogger who made a french dessert and used macha as a filling
    i will give you her link later.. you can see her name at obachan
    nordjlus (keiko)

    if u get blow torch then yr neighbours will say HMM WE HAVE A PYRO MANIAC HERE ;-)
    You can use yr oven as well….

  7. Paige Says:

    I’m so glad to have found your blog through SHF! The matcha truffles look amazing. I lived in Kyoto for a year in college also (through the Kyoto Center for Japanese Studies) and it is wonderful to hear about your life there. Gambatte ne! Happy cooking!

  8. Hanna Says:

    Paige, Yay! Come back to this site often! Although I just started, I have great plans. There is so much food to discover in this city, and I’m sure you know it. I often think the refinement of Kyoto’s food parallels that of Paris, as I’ve seen it through C&Z. Kyoto deserves a food blog, no?

    Update:  My boyfriend actually ate one and said he liked it.  I made these truffles to please myself and my lovely roommate, who has devoured a good number of them.  Sadly, my dear boyfriend doesn’t like matcha.  But he likes chocolate, and he gave these truffles good marks.  Perhaps a high-quality tea will change people’s minds?

  9. Anita Says:

    How lucky that you get to live in Japan and experience their unique culinary traditions! I am a big fan of matcha and your truffles look delicious!

    And you get to be around those fabulous Japanese bakeries all the time! They have totally taken French patisserie and made it their own.

    I will visit your blog again!

  10. Ruth Says:

    Wow they look beautiful and now I have a new ingredient to hunt for – matcha powder.

    Thanks for sharing

  11. keiko Says:

    Hi Hanna, your truffles look delicious and I’m jealous that you live in such a beaiutiful place :) I hope you enjoy staying in Japan, look forward to reading more of your posts.

  12. Morgan Says:

    Hey, I just discovered your food blog. What a good idea.

    I’m learning some “down home” Japanese cooking and have been trying new recipes, sometimes from watching and learning, sometimes from, and I am making my own (handwritten) Japanese cookbook.

    I’m thinking of making these matcha truffles for V-day. They look simple and delicious. Luckily Seattle has lots of places to get Japanese ingredients (Uwajimaya, Japanese style cake/tea shops).

  13. Makeup Tips Says:

    Hi hun, nice website! I genuinely appreciate this post.. I was curious about this for a long time now. This cleared a lot up for me! Do you have a rss feed that I can add?

  14. […] a bitter-sweet combo. But I am not one to be choosy and I like Cooking with Chopsticks post on Matcha Truffles, which gives equal weight to the variety of matcha and chocolate pairings. But matcha truffles are […]

  15. […] spending a day making truffles from morning until mid-afternoon, waiting for each step of the process to be finished, I threw […]

  16. […] why not make truffles and really celebrate the chocolateyness of the holiday? He doesn’t like matcha (though he did compliment me on those), and I didn’t really want to repeat what I’d made […]

  17. […] I usually leave truffle-making to my sister and her previous SHF contribution, I decided to jump into the sea of chocolate goodness and try to swim. I figured, simple is better, […]

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