OK, so that’s not a super elegant picture, but I really wanted to convey the awesome goo of this to you.
Because it’s JAPAN WEEK! And today I offer you this totally gaijin dessert recipe, featuring one of my favourite Japanese ingredients; Matcha powder. Matcha powder is an elegant and complex ingredient; a fine powder made from milled green tea leaves. Matcha is a high quality ingredient, with an almost mystical quality to it, and is the integral ingredient of the fabled Japanese tea ceremony.
So I made a chocolate fondant with it.
HEAR ME OUT! Because this is a delicious dessert. The fine, grassy quality of the matcha stands up incredibly well to the dark chocolate fondant. I mixed the matcha powder into a white chocolate truffle base, and then used these luridly green truffles in the centre of a traditional fondant base. Firstly – it is delicious. Secondly – it’s super easy. Two bowls, max (one for the truffles, one for the fondant mix).
And thirdly, don’t you think that these would be PERFECT FOR HALLOWEEN?!?!?!?!
That’s right folks – it’s a double whammy. Because not only do these fit in great with Japan Week this week, but look how awesome they would be for a grown up’s Halloween party! They’re chocolate cakes filled with GREEN GOO!
Delicious, sweet tea scented, japanese inspired green goo, made with the finest white chocolate. But green goo nonetheless!
Anyway, whether you’re interested in sampling a part of the rich and varied cultural history of Japan, or in creating a sophisticated dessert that also appeals to the kid in all of us, I really can’t recommend these enough. Even if you’re not a fan of green tea, I think this is a great gateway dessert. The tea is definitely present, but in a totally accessible way, next stop a matcha latte (and you should totally try one if you buy matcha powder) and then BAM, you’re a fully fledged matcha lover!
Anyway, I know these aren’t a very traditional choice for Japanese week, but I think they represent modern Japan well. In modern Japan, French pattisserie is extremely popular – and if you want to see some crazy pastries check out this guy – and traditional japanese ingredients like adzuki beans, black sesame and green tea are creatively incorporated.
Either way, my internet guru Lorraine says that the Japanese people have a long history of adapting recipes and food to suite their taste – so this is my contribution to that history! I think you will love these, give them a try!
One more thing!
[Don’t forget that if you want to get involved with JAPAN WEEK, you can create something and post it on your blog this week, and I will incorporate it into this weeks Sunday Supplements post, which, you guessed it, will be all about Japan! Even if you have an old post about Japan, let me know about it! Tweet me, or Tag me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest!]
Chocolate Matcha Fondants
An original recipe by Sarah Coates for The Sugar Hit.
Makes 4 fondants.
85g (3 1/2oz) dark chocolate
85g (3 1/2oz) butter
85g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar
40g (1 1/2oz) plain flour
pinch of salt
75g white chocolate
1 tsp matcha powder
Grease four small ramekins very well, and place in the fridge. To make the fondant mixture, place the chocolate and butter in a large heat-proof bowl and melt them together either in the microwave or in a bain marie. Leave to cool briefly before mixing in the sugar and flour, followed by the three eggs. Place this mixture into the fridge to chill for 1 hour – this makes it easier to create melting-bellied fondants, but it can be skipped if you’re pressed for time, just reduce the baking time by 2 minutes and keep a watchful eye on the fondants.
In the meantime, melt the white chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave and then sift in the matcha powder and stir to combine. Place in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes – you want it to be just firm enough that you can roll it into four small truffles. Once the truffles are rolled, they too can chill in the fridge until the fondant mixture is ready.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180C/375F, for at least 15 minutes – the oven needs to be nice and hot before the fondants go in. Divide the fondant mixture between the four greased ramekins, and then press a green tea truffle into the middle of each one. Be sure to press them into the centre, but make sure they don’t touch the bottom of the ramekins, and then smooth over the fondant mix to ensure they are competely covered. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, and then let sit for a minute before turning them out onto plates and eating them!