The use of unique ingredients, flavours and aromas are synonymous with the creations coming out of the BETA5 kitchen. This week we’re going to dive a little deeper into one of our favourite citrus fruits - YUZU.
YUZU is a citrus fruit which originates from Central China and Tibet. It was first introduced to Japan and Korea during the Tang Dynasty and this is where they are most widely cultivated today. In Japan, yuzu is not only a popular component of Japanese cuisine - where it’s used commonly in preparations such as ponzu, a citrus-based dipping sauce - it also holds cultural importance during the Toji (winter solstice), dating back to the early 18th century where, the yuzu fruit is traditionally floated in a hot bath for a fragrant soak, to defend against colds, warm the body, and relax the mind. In Korea, yuzu is most commonly found in yuja-cha, which is a traditional tea made from yuja-cheong, or yuzu marmalade.
Yuzu is often described as tasting like a cross between a lemon and an orange, but with slightly less acidity than lemons and aromatic notes of mandarin orange. The fruit itself is not typically eaten raw, as it’s flesh can be quite dry and is filled with large seeds. It is most often used as a souring ingredient through the use of its juice, rind or zest. Harvested in the early autumn, and not frequently found fresh in North America, yuzu is often processed into juice or its rinds dried, to be enjoyed year-round.
We source a premium, cold pressed juice from Japan for our yuzu-based creations, to capture the fruit’s bold, dynamic flavours. Each yuzu fruit will typically only produce about one tablespoon of juice due to its thick rind and large seeds, making this a very special ingredient. Back in the earlier days of BETA5, we were able to source fresh yuzu from a farm in California. Working with the fresh fruit, we were able to craft a traditional yuzu marmalade, and candy our own yuzu rinds for coating in matcha white chocolate. Unfortunately, we haven’t been successful in importing the fruit in recent years, but you can still find the special flavour of yuzu in two different creations; as an award-winning chocolate and in one of our favourite cream puffs.
Matcha + Yuzu Chocolate
The Matcha + Yuzu Chocolate was introduced to the Trademark Chocolate Collection in the spring of 2018 and was recently awarded a Silver medal at this year’s Canadian Chocolate Awards. Taking inspiration from the flavours of Japan, we chose to pair yuzu’s bright acidity against the wonderfully bitter, earthy qualities of matcha. To best exemplify the qualities of these two special ingredients, we chose create two separate fillings, using a base of white chocolate for both. The rich milkiness, and balanced sweetness found in Michel Cluizel’s Ivoire white chocolate, serves as the perfect background for both flavours. On it’s own, yuzu’s acidity can be quite overpowering, but when paired with white chocolate the flavour is mellowed, allowing the fruit’s subtle aromas to shine through. Similarly, the bitterness of matcha can be quite intense, yet when blended with the sweetness of the white chocolate the resulting flavour retains just enough of the bitter, earthiness. To finish this special creation, we designed a hand-painted finish to reference the yellows from the yuzu and greens from the matcha, and tucked both fillings into the perfectly thin dark chocolate shell.
You can enjoy this unique, award-winning chocolate as part of our Trademark Chocolate Collection. Each of the chocolates in this collection has been crafted with a similar attention to detail, to express the best qualities of the chosen ingredients. Pick up your collection in-store, or place your orders online, to ship anywhere in Canada.
Blueberry Yuzu Cream Puff
The Blueberry Yuzu Cream Puff was one of the 5 original cream puff flavours first introduced in the fall of 2012. Pairing sweet, juicy blueberries with a tart citrus like yuzu makes for a light and refreshing treat. Taking inspiration from the classic lemon meringue pie, we substitute aromatic yuzu juice for the lemon and cook a delicate yuzu curd. The rich quality of this curd that’s finished with butter is balanced by yuzu’s sharp acidity. When paired with a juicy, slightly sweet blueberry compote and topped with a kiss of meringue for a touch of sweetness, the result is a delightfully harmonious experience for the senses.
Curious to give this unique cream puff a try? The Blueberry Yuzu puff is back for a limited time, from Saturday November 3rd - Friday November 9th, 2018. Remember, you can always place your pre-orders online and schedule a date and time to pickup in-store!