I have long been intrigued by the use of savory elements in desserts. While I feel like a 'Japanophile' in so many regards, I have never been able to enjoy unsweetened green tea (or natto, but the Japanese expect that!). But after adding sugar, I really like green tea (though it truly horrifies my Japanese hosts.) The tricky thing about powdered green tea -is that it can vary a bit in texture, intensity and flavor. So in candy making or baking with it, you have to experiment. In developing this recipe, i found that I wanted a very clear flavor presence of green tea. The correct strength also brought with it an excess of bitterness, but i was surprised to learn that the kosher salt, even in its small amount, countered and removed the bitterness. I find matcha an excellent match for white chocolate because, like coffee, it is bitter enough to counter the cloying sweetness of even the best white chocolate. And its green tea flavor is able to shine through white chocolate, where it is rather obscured by dark chocolate. White chocolate has a lovely creaminess to it, and these small candy leaves rest very comfortably, melting in the roof of your mouth. With the added contrasting textures of a small amount of ground pistachios and krispies, the leaves gain another dimension of elegance. —LE BEC FIN
approximately 18-20 leaves
Caillebaut white chocolate, shaved/sliced small
1 1/2-2 tablespoons
high quality green tea powder (matcha)
pinch Kosher salt (counters the bitterness)
ground roasted unsalted pistachios
crushed puffed rice cereal
1 or 2
any pan or dish****, or CK # 90-13035 clear plastic leaf candy mold makes 14 leaves @
In This Recipe
Spread out a layer of white chocolate in small ceramic dish or heavy plastic container. Put in microwave and cover lightly (not tight saran or a cover that snaps shut). At medium power, heat for 2 minutes. Stir with rubber spatula til chocolate is all melted , or repeat process til all melted. Should be smooth, shiny and loose. Remove dish from microwave; and add matcha, stirring with fork til smooth. If chocolate is not very loose, try further microwaving. a bit longer. Fill molds or add krispies and pistachios and then fill molds.
Use a narrow rubber spatula or teaspoon to fill the molds, taking care that the chocolate fills in the leaf stem. This is messy going! After the molds are filled, finish by holding straight up at a 90 degree angle a metal pastry scraper or dough scraper (or a 'graduated icing spatula',held sideways on its edge) and dragging it across the surface of the stationary mold, taking the extra chocolate drippings with it. Refrigerate the mold a minimum of 1/2 hour til leaves set up. Leaves will pop out easily. If you have more chocolate, remelt it, fill mold, chill and pop out as before.
****There are many sizes and shapes of leaf molds available on-line. but you can also use things like mini muffin tins as a mold, or just pour the chocolate mixture into any (non-stick sprayed) dish or pan, let set, chill, and cut into any shapes you like.
* if surface of leaves is not shiny, wash out the mold with hot water and sponge, dry thoroughly and use again.
** If chocolate cannot be melted thin enough, a tiny amount of oil or crisco can be added to thin it.
*** There are many sizes and shapes of leaf molds available on-line. but you can also use things like mini muffin tins as a mold, or just pour the chocolate mixture into any non-stick sprayed dish or pan, let set, and cut into any shapes you like.
I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom.
I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??!
While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines.
Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!)
I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me.
I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.