The other day I was watching my favorite TV program, “Ponta.” It’s a fascinating quiz show which presents many different problems that can arise while cooking and their solutions. (Such as how to prevent that annoying and, frankly, embarrassing clumpy fried rice by utilizing an empty milk container. What?). In the latter half of the program, a few random Japanese celebrities get to show off their cooking skills and unique recipes. This last time, one of the gals made some chocolate truffles with, are you ready for this, tofu. Yes, that’s right my friends. The stuff made from curdled soy milk. Of course, the celebrity panel erupted in a chorus of “Eeeeeeeeh?,” but they really lost their minds when they got to taste the choco-tofu treats. I’m sure if the program hadn’t cut to a commercial, the viewers at home would have witnessed the ensuing riot in which normally mild-mannered and polite Japanese stars punched each other in the face, bit, and pulled hair in a mad dash to stuff the remaining truffles into their mouths. Then, they all made out.
As soon as the show was over, I ran to the computer and found the recipe for these on Ponta’s website: http://blog.fujitv.co.jp/ponta/index.html. I whipped up a batch yesterday and let me tell you, they are ridiculous. It’s a good thing no one else was in the kitchen with me or I would have had to bust out my best K-1 moves in a battle over who got to lick the spoon.
Now with V Day just around the corner, what better gift to offer your sweetheart (or soon-to-be) than these passion inspiring morsels of magic? So, without further ado, I present to you the recipe for “Tofu Truffle Choco.”
Ingredients: (makes ~10 truffles)
Aburaage (Fried Tofu)- 100g
Cocoa Powder- 20g*
Chocolate bars of your choice-3
*Edited to add: made these again today using 50 grams of butter and a smidge more cocoa powder and they were much easier to form into balls.
1. Cut the fried portions off all four sides of the tofu. (Save the scraps for garnishing miso soup.)
2. Mix tofu, butter, sugar, and cocoa powder in a food processor, blender, or with a hand-held blender until smooth.
3. Spread onto a plate or baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap.
4. Refrigerate ganache for 3 hours.
5. Scoop out ganache with your hands and form into truffle balls (messy but hey, maybe you’re into that) or better yet, use a melon baller. Place on top of a plate or baking sheet covered with wax paper (“kukkingu shiito”).
6. Melt chocolate bars over super-low heat (I hold the pan a few inches above the heat source).
7. One at a time, coat truffle balls with melted chocolate as quickly as possible by submerging them in the chocolate with a fork. Lift them out and lightly tap fork against the side of the pot to remove any excess.
8. Immediately after coating, decorate truffles with cocoa powder, crushed almonds, sprinkles, coconut, or any other baking goodies you can find at the 100 yen store. I just put a little on top, but if you prefer to coat them completely, use the fork method as in step 7. Put truffles back onto wax paper covered plate or baking sheet.
9. Refrigerate until chocolate coating sets (about 1 hour).
10. Place on a cute plate or in a pretty box (also available from your local 100 yen store) and give to your honey, yourself, or me.
A word of caution: these are very rich, so pace yourself and enjoy with a glass of wine or whiskey.
Happy Valentine’s Day!