Choosing Valentine’s gifts for women is relatively simple right? A bunch of flowers, lingerie, jewellery, chocolates…the choice is endless. Men on the other hand are a trickier business and can often result in them not getting anything at all.
In Japan the tables are turned however, as it is traditional for women to give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day, including male friends, colleagues and relatives as well. The Japanese food company www.yutaka.london are keen to introduce this tradition over here (hmmmm I wonder if a man came up with that idea 😉 ) and as such have created 5 very unusual chocolate truffle recipes using ingredients that you wouldn’t necessarily think to use. Intrigued and struggling with ideas as to what to buy my own husband I had a go at making them.
Here’s how I got on:
Basic Chocolate Truffle Recipe
- 200g Dark Chocolate (the higher the cocoa % the better!)
- 60ml Double Cream
- 80g Unsalted Butter
Simply place all of the ingredients into a bowl then melt over a saucepan of boiling water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water or this will cause the chocolate to scorch. Stir every now and again and once it has all melted and everything is well combined, remove from the heat and pour into 5 separate containers. Now you need to add the different flavours.
- 75g Sugar
- 25ml Water
- 50ml Double Cream
- 1 tbsp Yutaka Miso
Pop the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat gently, stirring very occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Turn the heat up to allow the syrup to reach boiling point and leave it until it has turned caramel in colour. It’s really important not to stir it during this stage, or otherwise sugar crystals start to form. Remove the saucepan from the heat and carefully pour in the double cream and whisk immediately until smooth. Add the miso paste and whisk until well combined. Add 2 tbsp of the miso caramel sauce to one of the truffle mixtures.
- 1 tsp of Yutaka Japanese Curry Block mixed with a little hot water
- 1 1/2 tsp Yutaka Yuzu Ponzu Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp Yutaka Shaoxing Rice Wine (warmed)
- 2 tbsp Yutaka Sushi Ginger (chopped)
Once you have added the flavours, cover the containers with a lid and remember to label each one so that you know which is which, before popping in the fridge to cool and set overnight.
The next day, scoop out the truffle mixture with a teaspoon and roll into a ball – you should be able to make about 5 or 6 truffles from each container. Remember to keep the various flavours separate as they will each be coated in something different.
To add even more taste and to give your truffles some wow n the aesthetics department you’ll need to coat them with the following:
Miso Caramel – Cover with 100g of melted milk chocolate and sprinkle the top with Pink Himalayan Salt Crystals.
Cinnamon Curry – Mix 50g of Yutaka Panko Breadcrumbs 3 tsp of sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon. Lay on a flat baking tray and toast in the oven until golden brown. Roll the truffle ball in the crumbs one they have cooled.
Yuzu Ponzu – Roll the balls in grated dark chocolate.
Shaoxing Wine – Coat with chocolate strands (vermicelli)
Sushi Ginger – Dust with cocoa powder.
Because these are a gift, think about placing them in truffle cases and presenting in a giftbox – dark colours or metallics work really well. And how about including a little menu card so your chosen man knows exactly what he’s getting.
I personally don’t like giving homemade food presents unless I’ve tried them out myself and know exactly what I’m giving someone…so gee shucks I probably better have a nibble…just to make sure 😉
If you like salted caramel then you’ll LOVE the Miso Caramel truffles; soft and squidgy, they were so scrummy I maybe, might have had more than just a nibble. The softest of the lot so moulds really well when you roll into balls, but allow the melted chocolate to cool slightly before coating otherwise you’ll end up with an ooey gooey mess!
I must admit, out of all of the flavours this one was the one I was most suspicious of, I mean come on…curry…in a truffle!!! But bizarrely it works; it has a kind of nutty taste with a little curry kick at the end, not so much hot more flavoursome. The breadcrumbs give it a gorgeous crunchy texture, in fact these remind me of a spiced Ferrero Rocher.
Shaoxing Wine was everything you could wish for in a truffle; strong and boozy…perfect. I didn’t actually have any chocolate vermicelli so here’s where you can get creative and coat in whatever you have to hand (as long as it’s not flavoured – you don’t want it to take the focus away from the truffle itself. I chose these red sprinkles as I thought it helped add a pop of colour to the truffles and it is for Valentine’s Day after all!
The Sushi Ginger truffles are the ones with texture; they’re fiery and chewy. My top tip with this one is to make sure you chop the ginger up really small, as the bigger the chunks the harder it is to bind together into a ball.
And finally, the Yuzu Ponzo truffles; smooth, creamy, with a hint of saltiness. My favourite 🙂
I must say I was genuinely surprised at just how tasty all of these truffles were. When I first saw the original ingredients I must admit I wasn’t convinced and anticipated a bit of spitting out into tissues! But they all really, really work and when combined together they make a gloriously flavoursome truffle combo that any man (or woman for that matter) is gonna love!
Give them a go and let us know what you think 🙂
*Products gifted to make (and taste!) truffles.