Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How to Cook with Truffles + Easy Truffle Recipes


A Truffle Cooking Class with the Truffle Hound

Disclaimer: I did not pay for this masterclass, the Truffle Hound hosted a number of bloggers. The opinions reported below are based solely on my thoughts at the time of my visit.

Before you read any further, be prepared to drool all over your keyboard/iPhone/android/tablet. When I attended a preview of the Truffle Hound’s truffle cooking class a little while ago, I clogged everyone’s Instagram feeds with truffle porn and received a barrage of food envy comments (you can follow me at @fi_bird, should you so desire). This blog post is a detailed recap of that fabulously decadent morning, with the addition of a couple of truffle recipes. 


My naughty weekend began when I was invited to the Princes Hill Secondary College food tech lab to try out the truffle class. We spent the morning learning how to cook with black gold under the passionate direction of Sara Hinchey—that’s Mrs. Truffle Hound to you. Barrister by day and truffle goddess whenever she can fit it in, Sara was drawn to truffles after dining out in France. Now, she’s made it her mission to introduce truffles into everyday kitchens, breaking the perception that you have to spend a fortune to cook with the black beauties. As she pointed out, $30 can buy you a truffle that will go a long way and put your dinner party a notch above the rest. 


Sara also explained how a CSIRO study showed that Aussie truffles are just as good as prized European truffles, which can come in at over $3,500 a kilo (a kilo of gold at the time of writing this will set you back $46,862, which makes truffles look even more affordable). Aussie truffles may even be better than their European counterparts, as there is an inferior truffle that can find its way into European batches and bring down the quality for the buyer while the supplier rakes in dollars. Apparently it all comes down to the aroma. So if you buy truffles in our land girt by sea, you can rest assured you’re buying the superior product. 


Before Sara’s masterclass, I’d never really handled or cooked with truffles. Aside from the knowledge she imparted, the best part about the morning was that we were able to eat as we learned. It was awfully indulgent. We made three dishes, including the creamy truffled velouté pictured below. I thought I’d share the other two recipes with you because they are ludicrously easy and great to make when you’re having guests around (or when you just want to spoil yourself). 



Truffle Infused Triple Cream Brie 

Ingredients

- A wheel of chilled, firm, high quality triple cream Brie 
- 10g of black perigord truffle, grated or cut into thin slithers 
- Crusty baguette or crackers 

Method 

1. Cut Brie horizontally down the middle so it’s split into two like a sandwich 

2. Layer one inside half of the cheese with truffle, covering it evenly 


3. Close the cheese halves so that the truffle is sandwiched in the middle, then double wrap it in foil 

4. If you have time, leave the wheel in the fridge overnight to let the truffle infuse, otherwise skip this step and go to the next one! 

5. Ensure the Brie is room temperature, then place in a preheated oven at 120 degrees Celsius. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until it’s soft beneath your touch 


6. Remove from oven and unwrap carefully, then turn cheese onto a serving platter 


7. Surround with bread or crackers and serve hot 



Homemade Truffle Butter 

Ingredients 

- A block of high quality, salted, room temperature butter 
- 1bsp finely chopped black perigord truffle 

Method 

1. Chop butter into cubes 


2. Place butter in mixing bowl and mash with a fork until relatively smooth 


3. Add truffle to butter and mix well 


4. Place mixture on a sheet of baking paper and roll the paper so that the butter forms a log 


5. Refrigerate and then serve in slices 


Note: Truffle butter is fantastic on top of steak, to fancy-up your veggies or even just on white toast with coffee for an indulgent breakfast! 



Sara’s Truffle Hound classes are running in July (yep, that’s next month) on the following dates: 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th. It costs $115pp and you are guaranteed to eat your money’s worth, not to mention acquire some fantastic skills and knowledge. Visit trufflehound.com.au to book or for more information. Just a heads-up, there was talk of truffle tiramisu in-the-making when I attended.


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