Finally! It's Thursday. My bags are packed, my tickets and passport are tucked safely in my Tote bag and Soeren and I are ready to head out to the airport in Frankfurt. We'll be taking off to Dubai later this evening. Tom is already there and so is my brother - it's going to be a rocking Easter. I can hardly wait to be with the whole family. Tom has already been getting spoilt by my parents and I am green with envy
Green was the color of the week for me in the kitchen this week too. I was busy making extravagant pralines and truffles. Outside it was hailing and snowing and inside I was enjoying the colors of Spring. The green was most definitely a soothing color for the eyes.
Why was I making truffles and pralines when I am leaving for two weeks?
Well, so that my dear friends do not forget me when I am gone LOL! See as I will not be around for Easter to spoil them with my Easter brunch, I thought I would make them little treats to nibble on. This way they'll have me in their thoughts and I just love to know that people are thinking of me - in a sweet way. ;-)
I often do this. There is nothing nicer than saying a "Thank you!" or showing my appreciation to a special friend with homemade sweet gifts. So, instead of going out and buying expensive and impersonal chocolates, making delicate pralines spiced with love and care at home gives me a certain pleasure that I cannot compare with anything else.
I have a handful of friends I like to spoil in this way. I love them for all what they give to me. They are there to make me laugh, support me in my need, party with me, cry with me, shop till they drop with me and bitch with me. Just everything what friends do for and with each other. In return I try to be the best friend I can to them and show them my affection with little nibbles. That's another thing I love them for - they are always game for my experiments.
These pralines bring together the delicate flavors of matcha powder, the rich texture of white chocolate and the crunch from pistachios. The ganache for most pralines and truffles is made with cream, in this however, I simply used milk. The ganache is then cooled and beaten till light and fluffy. The result: a mouse-like texture, airy and light. Simply perfect.
For those who have not experimented with matcha powder, I do have to tell you it is a flavor that needs to develop. I am still in the development phase. Trying and experimenting, sometimes the flavors work and other times I do not take a fancy to the recipe. Matcha has a very unique flavor - it's earthy, slightly bitter and sometimes it takes a few tries before one takes a liking to it.
I am sure you will love these though. Enjoy!
The Monthly Mingle gets fruity this month! My guest host Abby has chosen a spectacular theme for this month - Spring Fruit Sensations. So get out your colorful fruit creations and send them over to Abby.
Deadline: April 7th, 2008
Printable version of recipe here.
300g white chocolate, coarsely chopped
75 ml milk
2 teaspoons Matcha powder
100g pistachios, finely chopped
Line a baking tray that will fit into your refrigerator with parchment paper.
Heat the milk in a saucepan until steaming. Add the matcha powder and stir to dissolve. Make sure the milk mixture does not boil. Add the chocolate in portions, stirring until each portion has melted.
Pour the chocolate-matcha mixture into a bowl and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Once cooled, take out and using the whisk attachment of your hand-mixer, beat the chocolate-matcha mixture until light and creamy. Fill the cream in a piping bag and pipe out chocolate balls the size of cherries on the baking tray.
Place the tray back into the refrigerator for another 30 minutes. In the meantime put the pistachios into a large bowl and set aside.
Take the pralines out of the refrigerator. Using the palms of your hands quickly roll each chocolate portion into smooth balls. Place the pralines into the bowl with the pistachios and gently toss them, coating the pralines with the nuts.
Tip: When you are rolling the matcha-chocolate balls with your hands, I recommend placing a bowl of ice cold water next to you. In between dip your hands in the water to cool them. This way the chocolate will not melt with the warmth of your hands.
These were incredibly fluffy and light. I was not expecting Soeren to like them - but the boy surprises me every time! He could not get enough of them. I had to take a few out for him and hide the rest LOL! The aroma of the matcha is very delicate in this. Just a hint but still very much there. I loved the crunchy pistachios - it added a lovely texture rounding the praline up nicely. I hope my friends enjoy these when they open the little chiffon bags and find these pralines inside.
I am also taking a few bags with me to Dubai - after all my parents, brother and Tom deserve to find these jewels on Easter too.
As I am taking my notebook with me, you'll be hearing from me every now and then. I have a few great posts lined up - they'll be strawberries, raspberries, pulses, pot pies and shiny metal all coming your way so stay tuned. In the meantime have a very Happy Easter and have fun hunting for your sweet gifts!
You might enjoy these treats too:
|Nougat Orange Treats|
|Rich Creamy Truffles|
More Matcha creations from other blogs:
Fresh From The Oven: Chocolate Matcha Loaf Cake
Day Dream Delicious: Matcha Cupcakes
Nami-Nami: Matcha Cookies
La Tartine Gourmande: White Chocolate and Matcha Tea Marbled Cake
Jaden's Steamy Kitchen: Matcha White Chocolate Ice-cream
I am thrilled to send these sweet gifts to Danielle of Habeas Brulee, who is the hostess of Sugar High Friday this month. Her theme is wonderful one - a dedication to friends, families and everyone who receives sweet gifts. Thanks for a wonderful theme Danielle!
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