Last July, when I moved to Japan, I lived in a small neighborhood in Osaka. It has tons of little food shops. It was impossible not to find something good to eat. One shop in particular sold Indian food. Over the past few years, I haven’t really eaten too much Indian food, because it was expensive or the restaurants were a little out of the way. Going to that shop and being able to indulge in inexpensive, Indian food was incredible. I loved everything about that little shop.
Now, I live in Tokyo, a food mecca. However, I live a little outside of the city and there are only four Japanese restaurants and a McDonald’s near my house. Luckily, the majority of grocery stores are fully stocked with ingredients from non-Japanese cuisines, so, it’s easy to recreate Indian food at home.
Recently, I’ve been craving Indian food. I wanted to try to make Chicken Tikka Masala from scratch. Overall, the process of making the masala wasn’t as overwhelming as I thought it would be. I’ve only made Indian food about two to three times in my life, and it used to feel strenuous. Making it in a rice cooker helped with the flavor. If you don’t have a rice cooker, try making it in a slow cooker.
Chocolate truffles are an easy dessert to make. You only need two ingredients for the truffle base and one ingredient for rolling the truffle. Recently, I made chocolate truffles for a friend. It had been almost a year since I made them, so I was a little anxious about how they were going to turn out. Also, chocolate and cream are expensive in Japan, so I couldn’t mess them up. Luckily, they turned out great!
During the truffle making process, I had a few less than perfect spheres. Here are some tips to creating perfect, or almost perfect, chocolate truffles.
1. Before rolling, set the chocolate out for a couple of minutes. This will allow you to roll them properly.
2. Don’t skip the cocoa powder! Place a small amount of cocoa powder in the palm of your hand before rolling.
3. Choose your toppings wisely. I suggest sticking with colorful powders, such as matcha or white chocolate powder, or solids, such as chocolate crunchies.
Making truffles can be therapeutic. If you mess up a few, try to stay positive, or just eat the ones that look a little lopsided. It can be your little secret.
First, chop the chocolate into small pieces. Place the pieces into a heat resistant bowl.
Next, on medium heat, bring the cream to a boil. One the cream begins to bubble, remove it from the burner.
Pour about half of the cream onto the chocolate. Vigorously whisk the chocolate until half of it is melted. Then, pour the rest of the cream onto the chocolate and continue to whisk it until all of the chocolate is melted. This process can take about two minutes, depending on how quickly you are whisking.
Next, cover your bowl of ganache with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for about an hour. The ganache should be firm but not hard.
Shaping the truffles
To shape the truffles you will need a small spoon and cocoa powder. Place the cocoa powder on a plate or parchment paper. Place the other toppings on separate plates or papers.
Sprinkle cocoa powder in the palms of both hands. Take one tablespoon of gnache and roll it in your hands until a ball shape is formed. Finally, sprinkle it with a little extra cocoa powder or roll it in chocolate crunchies.