While I’m visiting my in-laws in Taiwan with my family, I’ve asked my long time blogger friends to blog-sit for me like asking a good friend to house sit when you go on vacation. They have prepared wonderful holiday recipes for Just One Cookbook readers so I hope you will enjoy reading their recipes. My blog sitter today is Sissi of With a Glass.
Sissi lives in Switzerland but I often joke with her that she was probably Japanese in her previous life because she definitely has a palate to appreciate subtle taste of Japanese cuisine. She shares both savory and sweet dishes on her site and some of her creations are very unique. I think she’s very talented when it comes to food and she spends quite a bit of thoughts in preparing her dishes. Since I’ve never been to Europe it’s been fun to educate myself on European food from her blog. I always look forward to her new posts and wonder what else she’s cooking up with her imagination.
Besides her delicious recipes, I have to mention she’s also an expert in canning fruits and making fruity drinks. Sissi’s recipes are very creative and she is not shy to challenge her culinary limits (although she’s a little shy as a person. hehee). Her innovative dishes capture a lot of foodies including myself and it’s been wonderful to read her culinary adventure. Now please welcome Sissi with her Japanese flavored delectable sweets.
Welcome Sissi! Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I live in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and, as you might have already guessed, cooking is a big passion of my life. I have always been a very curious and adventurous cook and consumer, enjoying new food discoveries. Even though I cook mainly French and Japanese, I also adore other Asian and European cuisines. I am also a big wine amateur. Nowadays German and French wines are my beloved ones.
Please tell us a little bit about your blog and how do you feel about your own food blogging experience so far?
I have been blogging for over a year. I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed every single post I published, even at the beginning, when I hardly had any comments or discussions online. Of course meeting other bloggers with similar passions and interests made my blogging much more exciting. Sharing the recipes I love, discussing food-related issues and learning new recipes or cooking tips are only some of the reasons why I love blogging and why I hope to keep on doing it for a long time. Actually, even though there are obviously ups and downs, I think I enjoy blogging more and more.
If you can give one advice to a new food blogger, what would it be?
I feel awkward giving an advice to any blogger, since I am not really a specialist or a famous blogger. However, I suppose I could share what I have learnt from my short blogging experience so far. The important thing is not being shy at the beginning and meeting the bloggers’ community as soon as possible. Finding a friendly group of people with the same passion for cooking is the most important thing for a blogger.
What would you advise to a new cook or someone who wants to start cooking at home more?
The most important thing is to find good teachers. It might be an excellent cookery book or a wonderful website, or both. There are many books and cooking websites with inaccurate, not tested recipes, but when you find good learning sources, cooking becomes a very rewarding activity.
Thank you Sissi! From here I will let Sissi take over and show us what she prepared. Enjoy!
Hello, my name is Sissi and I am honoured to guest blog today on Nami’s wonderful website. I met Nami several months ago, but our frequent discussions, as well as her precious friendly advice, help and encouragement make me feel as if we have known each other for long years. She has also been an excellent, inspiring teacher in my exploration of the Japanese cuisine. Thank you, Nami, for inviting me to your blog!
The recipe I have decided to present today is a modified version of chocolate truffles I have been making for years. If, like me, you love the soft chocolate truffles bought at confectioner’s shops, you will be happy to learn they are quite easy to make at home. Set in individual paper cases and placed in a nice box, they are quite an impressive edible present. They are also an elegant alternative when served with tea or coffee at the end of a meal.
The basic preparation of such truffles is called ganache (pronounced “ga-nash”), a mixture of melted chocolate and cream, sometimes with a bit of butter. Confectioners often coat such truffles in melted chocolate, but I prefer to coat them in different ground nuts, cocoa or dessicated coconut. Dark chocolate ganache is my favourite, but, especially for today, I have decided to modify these festive treats and adapt them to Nami’s magic world of Japanese cuisine.
Until now my experiments with matcha (powdered green tea) proved successful, so I have decided to use it as the Japanese touch in my chocolate truffles. Opting for white chocolate was a very wise decision. It was a perfect pairing for the sophisticated, subtle taste of matcha. The truffles are not overly sweet and have a very original, slightly bitter, typical matcha taste, mellowed by the buttery creaminess of white chocolate. If you are a fan of matcha, I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.
- During the chocolate melting process, keep a very low heat, stir constantly and do not let it boil.
- While forming the truffles, make sure your hands are not too warm, running cold water on them from time to time and rolling the truffles between your fingers and not on the palm of your hand (which is warmer).
- The truffles should be kept in the fridge (it can be the warmest part of the fridge), so make sure you say it while offering a box to someone.
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- 150 g high quality white chocolate
- 100 ml liquid cream "medium/coffee cream" (at least 25% fat)
- 2 heaped teaspoons matcha
- A couple of tablespoons each: cocoa, ground almonds and dessicated coconut
- Break the chocolate into small pieces. Put into a small pan with matcha and cream.
- Let the chocolate melt on a very low heat, constantly stirring.
- Pour into a food processor and mix until very smooth.
- Transfer the mixture into a container, close tightly with a lid and refrigerate until the ganache has thickened (at least 3 hours or it can also stay in the fridge overnight or even for several days).
- Prepare small, deep bowls with the coatings you have chosen.
- Run your hands under cold water every five or six truffles and clean them quickly with a paper towel. Your hands shouldn't be too warm, otherwise the ganache melts and truffles are impossible to form.
- Dust the inside of your hands with the chosen coating, quickly form a truffle, but using only the fingers (the palm of your hand is always much warmer), put it into a bowl with coating and, moving the bowl, coat the truffle thoroughly.
- Repeat until you want to switch to another coating.
- Place the truffles on a plate or in paper cases and refrigerate a couple of hours before serving or before offering them.
- The truffles should always be kept in the fridge (it can be the warmest part, but the fridge is obligatory).