Friday, February 20, 2015


恭賀發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy! This is the Year of the Ram (Year of the Goat, Year of the Sheep). Chinese New Year begins today.

O.K. why the confusion of the symbol for this year, as opposed to last year--the Year of the Snake..or prior years: the Year of the Rat, the Year of the Horse, etc.? An article in NBC News explains this creature confusion in 2015. 

It all stems from the fact that the Chinese use one character for horned animals — translated as "yang" in Mandarin, according to Chinese and linguistics professor Wei Hong. Yang, when used to mean goat, is seen as something strong with a "quiet spirit," Hong said. A sheep is considered softer. 

The NBA's Golden State Warriors unveiled Chinese New Year-themed uniforms that they will wear Friday to celebrate what the team calls the Year of the Goat. Meanwhile, the New York City Council is hosting a Lunar New Year event next week touting a Year of the Ram revelry. Geography can also make a difference. Sheep are raised in northern China, while goats are more common in southern China, which plays into what the year is called depending on one's location.
Generally, people in mainland China seem to be keen on calling it the Year of the Goat — a nod to the country's culinary past, Hong said after reading news reports on the confusion. But she suggests English-speakers don't need to lock horns over the debate, and might want to go authentic: Year of the Yang.

So to celebrate Chinese New Year on this blog, I'm going with Year of the Goat--and goat cheese.  I live in the foodie San Francisco Bay Area. There's always great fresh goat cheese at the market and the Farmers Markets. I especially love goat cheese from the Cowgirl Creamery and Redwood Hill Farm. You should be able to find fresh goat cheese at Whole Foods and other local farmers markets.  As always, use the very best freshest cheese and fresh high quality chocolate.

I've posted different recipes for Goat Cheese Chocolate Truffles, but this is a really easy one that I found on Epicurious. This recipe originally appeared in Gourmet Magazine, October 1993.

I love the tangy, yet sweet taste of these truffles, and the little bit of lemon gives these truffles a very unique flavor.  For your first time making these, choose a mild goat cheese. A really tangy goat cheese can overpower the sweetness in the chocolate, and it won't be to everyone's taste.


6 ounces dark chocolate (60-75% cacao organic fair trade chocolate), chopped
6 ounces (about 3/4 cup) room temperature fresh goat cheese
2 Tbsp confectioners' sugar
1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla
1/8 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder, sifted, for coating truffles

In metal bowl set over pan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove bowl from pan, and let chocolate cool slightly.
In different bowl whisk together goat cheese, confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice until mixture is light and fluffy. Whisk in chocolate until mixture is combined well. Chill mixture, covered, for 1 hour, or until firm.
Form heaping teaspoons of mixture into balls and roll balls in cocoa powder.
Chill truffles on baking sheet lined with waxed or parchment paper for 30 minutes, or until firm.
Truffles keep in airtight container, chilled, for 3 days.

恭賀發財 Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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