I have an obsession. An no, it’s not cat videos, not the latest season of the Kardashians but truffles. These are not the chocolate variety. I am obsessed with a ‘subterranean Ascomycete fungus usually found in close association with the roots of trees’. And yes, you read that right.
Now at first glance, these are not the most appetising of cooking accessories. However this type of fungi is often called the “diamond of the kitchen”, particularly from those of French or Italian descent.
Truffles are known for their strong, distinctive smell that infuse food and make just about everything delicious and mouth-watering. They have a bad reputation for being one of the most expensive foods on earth due to their extremely stubborn growing conditions which cannot be commercially grown or replicated.
Being utterly obsessed but also slightly scared, I decided to go to a truffle cooking class. 3 Seeds Cooking School is a very popular destination if you live in Canberra, and they know their stuff! Spending a good portion of my Wednesday evening cooking a delicious three-course-meal, drinking wine and enjoying great company I left feeling educated and highly satisfied (and with plenty of leftovers to enjoy tomorrow!).
Truffled Spatchcock ballottine with truffled cauliflower puree – 3 Seeds
If you’re a beginner like myself, don’t get scared away! There are some very effective tricks to make your truffles last, stay affordable and be used to make delicious and simple meals. Read on to see my tips learnt at 3 Seeds Cooking School and enjoy your truffle before the season ends!
Infuse your eggs
Not only is scrambled eggs one of the most delicious truffle dishes, it’s also one of the easies and most affordable! Buy yourself an air-tight glass jar that is large enough to fit at least a dozen eggs. Place the eggs in the jar, along with a regular sized truffle wrapped in paper towel to keep moisture and leave for up to three days. Use your eggs for a variety of dishes like scrambled eggs, mash potato and even cakes!
Infuse your salt
For an easy enhancement to your meal, add a pinch of home made truffle salt! Simply grate truffle into grain or rock salt, mix together and refrigerate. To prolong the use and freshness of the truffle, freeze the salt and take it out as needed.
In an airtight container add cream and one medium truffle. Infuse for at least three days. Use the cream in spaghetti carbonara, on cakes or any other dish you desire!
Infuse your butter
One of the easiest ways to use truffle is to infuse butter! Whip 1kg of butter in a mix master, add 65grams of truffle then pour onto baking paper in a log shaped tin. Wrap the mixture in glad wrap and refrigerate for at least three days before using in your favourite dish.
Follow the second-phase rule for maximum value
This is by far the favourite tip I learnt from my night at the cooking school. After infusing your dairy and proteins with truffle, take it out and re-use for grating over dishes, truffle salt or even truffle vodka! This tip is key to getting the most out of this otherwise expensive food. Truffles are very pungent so when used smartly, can really go a long way.
Make sure you check out 3 Seeds Cooking School for classes, time-tables and recipes!