Jen Yee is the pastry chef at NYC’s Lafayette Grand Café and Bakery, an expansive all-day bakery and restaurant in the heart of New York’s NoHo neighborhood. Yee’s kitchen mastery and innovation have launched her baked goods and sweets to the top of dessert aficionados’ most-wanted lists. Know what’s hot right now? Jen does, and she’s using it everywhere: matcha. Get ready to melt, bake and sprinkle with this bright green tea powder. Here she tells us about her simplified truffles recipe in a kickoff series of recipes using the chef’s favorite ingredient.
I grew up eating green-tea ice cream, which is made with matcha, a form of powdered green tea. Since then, I’ve added it to lots of desserts for its earthy, grassy, almost seaweed-y flavor. People are getting into it nowadays because it’s said to be healthy. You can find matcha in Asian supermarkets or tea shops, packaged in a small can. It might seem expensive, but a little goes a long way. Matcha is caffeinated, like coffee, but it gives off more of an even-keeled buzz.
This recipe makes quite a lot of truffles, but don’t worry. The naked truffles can be frozen in airtight containers and defrosted overnight in the fridge before being dredged in the matcha powder. Please do not skimp on the quality of the chocolate. This is the whole point of making truffles, right? For the best firm yet silky texture, leave them at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving.
- 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon matcha powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces high-quality milk chocolate (I like Valrhona Jivara)
- 2 1/2 ounces very soft butter, in small pieces
- About 3 1-ounce cans matcha powder for dredging (you will have some left over)
1. Bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil and remove from heat. Whisk in 1 teaspoon matcha powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Gently melt the chocolate in a medium bowl over a pot of simmering water (or you can microwave it in 30- to 40-second increments). You don’t want the chocolate hot, just melted.
3. Now pour about 1/4 cup of your still-warm cream into the chocolate. With a rubber spatula, vigorously stir in the cream. The mixture may look grainy at this point, but that’s okay.
5. Now add your pieces of very soft butter and stir until it melts into the chocolate. If you find you still have bits of butter, use a whisk to incorporate. You have just made the perfect ganache!
6. Immediately pour the ganache into a 9-by-13-inch sheet tray lined with plastic wrap. Tap the tray on the table to level out the ganache. Carefully place another piece of plastic directly on the surface of the ganache. Chill to set, about 2 hours, or overnight.
7. Have another tray lined with parchment paper or plastic wrap ready for your truffles. Remove the top sheet of plastic and flip the ganache onto a cold cutting board. Using a thin bladed knife dipped in hot water and wiped dry, cut the ganache into 1-inch squares.
9. Rechill these and pack into gift boxes or keep in airtight containers. Consume within five days. Alternatively, you can store the naked squares in airtight containers in your freezer for your next truffle craving. Just defrost overnight in the same container in the fridge and dredge in matcha.
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