I have always wanted to make truffles again. Christmas would be the best excuse as everyone enjoys little box of chocolates right :). For me, my favorites were the European kind, in particular french pastries and chocolates. European chocolates contained a higher percentage of cocoa mass contributing to a higher quality chocolate. Naturally when I decided to make some chocolates, I gravitated towards French chocolate recipes. I came across a recipe book at VCC a while ago and was blown away by the mouthing watering photographs and recipes. Ironically, the book also included recipes from Valhrona. Valhrona have established themselves to be a high end quality chocolate. Imagine my surprise when the book called Au Coeur des Saveurs was written by Frederic Bau. Bau apparently is one of the best pastry chefs in the world and one of the founders of Valhrona Pastry School. While my skills are far in comparison to Bau, I am paying homage to his talent by making his Sicilian. Hopefully he approves 🙂
First boil the cream and then add the pistachio paste into the hot cream. Add in the cinnamon stick and let the mixture of cream, paste, and cinnamon infuse a few minutes and then pour the hot mixture onto the white chocolate. Add the butter and whip the mixture until fulling emulsified and creamy. Once cool, scoop into balls and coat with milk chocolate.
As an option to this marvelous tasting recipe of Bau’s, I opted to toast some pistachios and ground them for topping. Happy Chocolate Making.
I have been eyeing this pastry chef for a while now. According to Paris Pastries Blog, Aoki was one of the top pastisseries in Paris. Sadly to say, the net only had a few of his recipes posted; nevertheless, now I am the proud owner of his magazine and recipes.
Having a profound fondness of financiers, I tried Aoki’s Financier au Matcha Sale found from Travellingfoodies. To make the financiers, I first browned the butter in the saucepan and toasted some almonds to ground. Next I measured the flour and whipped up the egg whites and sugar. The flour was then sifted into the egg white/sugar mixture. To dissolve the matcha, I combined the matcha with the browned butter. When the flour, egg white and sugar mixture was completely emulsified, the toasted ground almond meal along with the matcha/ butter was added.
Unlike Herme’s and Laduree’s financiers, the recipe had no baking powder; with that in mind, the egg whites and sugar were beat to med-stiffness. Remember to fold. Because matcha oxidizes during baking, a trick I learned was to create a paste first to retain the beautiful green colour. I chose the browned butter. Browned butter was just basically melting the butter in a sauce pan until it caramelizes in colour. It imparted a nutty caramelized flavour to the pastry.
To enhance and contrast the appearance, black and white sesames were toasted and sprinkled on top. Baked the financiers at 350F for about 20 minutes.
Sadaharu Aoki’s Financier Au Matcha Sale (Recipe found here)
Egg White 90 g
Caster Sugar 100 g
Trimoline 10 g (I opted out, it’s invert sugar)
buerre noisette-90 g
50 g Almond powder (I toasted the almonds and ground them)
10 Hazelnut powder (I opted out this time)
30 g Cake flour (I used all purpose)
Matcha powder 4 g
When done, the financiers maintained their gorgeous green colour. I found that there was good matcha taste but found it a bit strong hence will tweak it. Overall, I found the recipe to be a keeper. Not to sweet but with a nice matcha kick. As for the next time, I will try hazelnuts. Enjoy these financiers.