Photos courtesy of TCHO and Third Culture Bakery

As part of its TCHO Pro initiative, the Berkeley-based chocolate maker tapped into the creativity of Sam Butarbutar, founder of West Berkeley’s Third Culture Bakery. Best known for his wildly popular mochi muffins, Butarbutar came up with Chocolate Truffle Daifuku Mochis, a dessert inspired by renowned cookbook author and truffle maker Alice Medrich.

Butarbutar, who was born in Indonesia, explains that the Japanese word “diafuku” translates as “great luck,” and that in East Asian cultures, the stretchiness of mochi represents longevity. Mochi (rice cakes) are traditionally filled with adzuki red bean, ground nuts, or strawberries, but Butarbutar fills this mochi with truffles made with TCHO’s 62% Mosaic Dark chocolate. “They contain neither added sugar nor added cream, so the purity of the bright chocolate flavor really shines,” he says. “The addition of the cacao nibs creates a lovely crunch as well.”

As a way to spotlight outstanding American chefs and pastry chefs, TCHO launched the TCHO Pro initiative in 2020. Three chefs—Sam Butarbutar, Erin Kanagy-Loux, and Nathan Lyon—were chosen in 2021 to create chocolate-centric recipes using TCHO. If you’re feeling inspired to get in the kitchen with some chocolate and mochi, here are the recipes for Butarbutar’s Chocolate Truffle Daifuku Mochis and his Mochi Brownies with Roasted Matcha Whipped Cream.