As Valentine’s Day approaches, WTOP asked local chefs to share their favorite quick and easy recipes that readers can learn and cook for their friends and significant others. Tonari Chef Mary Mendoza demonstrated how to make nama chocolate and rice pudding with caviar.
Nama chocolate is a kind of Japanese truffle. The recipe only requires three ingredients, but Mendoza says that “the world is your oyster” when it comes to this dish, as home cooks can add optional matcha powder or strawberry powder instead of cocoa powder when finishing it.
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To see a demonstration of how to make nama chocolate, check out the video above, filmed at Tonari.
Mendoza also demonstrated how to make another tasty dessert — rice pudding. But this approachable and easy treat has a twist: It’s finished with grated white chocolate and hazelnuts, with a dollop of caviar on top to add a fatty, salty, briny finish.
“Rice is life,” said Mendoza, who added that she feels rice gets pushed aside too often. This inspired her to create a dessert that highlights the fluffy, soft grain.
Alas, the rice pudding recipe for Hole in the Wall is proprietary and was not provided to WTOP, but you can use any rice pudding recipe or you can buy pre-made rice pudding.
See the above video, as well, for more step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the delicious rice pudding dessert.
Tonari is a Wafu Italian restaurant, which means Japanese-style Italian. “We want to take Italian dishes and cook them with Japanese sensibility,” Mendoza said.
Here is the recipe for nama chocolate. Enjoy!
- 340 grams dark chocolate, chopped, even sizes (any would do as long as it’s above 67%; no lecithin)
- 355 grams heavy cream (at least 36% fat)
- 28 grams butter