Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Truffle myths


SWISS_CHEF
 Share

Recommended Posts

I have always lived by the rule:

White truffles should only be shaved (raw) over a dish and should never be cooked.

Black truffles should only be cooked in a dish and never served raw.

But recently I have read about Michelin-starred restaurants shaving black truffles over dishes.

Is there something to it or is it just table-side BS? Does it depend on the truffle?

Thanks for your help.

Edited by SWISS_CHEF (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

if I am lucky enough to have a black truffle I will shave it over hot dishes (I have never eaten them on cold dishes however)

especially egg dishes ..eggs and black truffles are of God to me!!!

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if I am lucky enough to have a black truffle I will shave it over hot dishes (I have never eaten them on cold dishes however)

especially egg dishes ..eggs and black truffles are of God to me!!!

Sorry I should have made myself clearer.

... Serve white truffles shaved over the hot dish.

Cook black truffles in the dish, don't shave them over the top (hot or cold).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never heard of you're general rule of thumb before. We use to do it interchangeably. Cook with or slice on top...

Then again could be different cultural preference, seems like you're in Switzerland and I mainly cooked in NYC/North East America.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always lived by the rule:

White truffles should only be shaved (raw) over a dish and should never cooked.

Black truffles should only be cooked in a dish and never served raw.

But recently I have read about Michelin-starred restaurants shaving black truffles over dishes.

Is there something to it or is it just table-side BS? Does it depend on the truffle?

Thanks for your help.

its funny you say you live by this rule... for it should be fairly obviously in this day and age there are NO rules for any type of food.... hell you can put a foam on anything and everything... theres no rules!! if it tastes good they put that sucker in!!

again for amazing domestic truffles!! check this site out

Edited by SeanDirty (log)

**********************************************

I may be in the gutter, but I am still staring at the stars.

**********************************************

Link to comment
Share on other sites

its funny you say you live by this rule... for it should be fairly obviously in this day and age there are NO rules for any type of food.... hell you can put a foam on anything and everything... theres no rules!! if it tastes good they put that sucker in!!

For me it is not really an issue of rules vs no rules. These things are very expensive and it is nice to know you are using the truffle optimally.

I did a little searching and Forbes had a very interesting article outlining a few different types of truffles and how to use them. They say Alba whites are usually eaten raw and Perigord blacks are usually cooked.

http://www.forbes.com/2002/10/30/cx_1030featb.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've read the same things as you. Serve white truffle raw over hot food, cook black truffle (but only briefly). The reasoning is presumably that the more discreet aroma of black truffle will develop by a brief heating and also that the aroma is robust enough to allow it to infuse sauces etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I get spare time I like to watch old episodes of Great Chefs on YouTube and the other day I saw one of the chefs shave black truffles all over a dish then douse it in truffle oil!

I wonder how often good truffles are misused by professional chefs simply out of ignorance? Proper storage and shelf-life are also a big concern. No wonder people are so blown away when the come to Piemonte and get the genuine article that has been treated properly.

If you consider the amount of time it takes a truffle to grow and the hours and skill it takes to find it, shouldn't we at least have the respect to take the time to learn how to optimally prepare it. It deserves that at the very least.

I suppose this can be said of all ingredients.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I inadvertantly tested this idea over thanksgiving, and my results came out on the side of tradition.

I made brussel sprouts with truffle butter. Super simple ... sprouts were blanched and then sauteed, truffle butter was made with a super pungent fresh perrigord truffle, minced and infused in the butter 24 hours earlier.

I just melted the truffle butter on the sprouts after they were cooked. So the truffles didn't get any cooking. And ... you could barely taste them. Real bummer. I should have tossed the butter in with sprouts at the end, and cooked until the fragrance developed.

Live and learn.

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I inadvertantly tested this idea over thanksgiving, and my results came out on the side of tradition.

I made brussel sprouts with truffle butter. Super simple ... sprouts were blanched and then sauteed, truffle butter was made with a super pungent fresh perrigord truffle, minced and infused in the butter 24 hours earlier.

I just melted the truffle butter on the sprouts after they were cooked. So the truffles didn't get any cooking. And ... you could barely taste them. Real bummer. I should have tossed the butter in with sprouts at the end, and cooked until the fragrance developed.

Live and learn.

Next time try this simple test:

- rub two ramekins with a cut piece of garlic and butter very well.

- break two eggs, one in each ramekin, add some salt and a tiny touch of white pepper.

- in one ramekin grate some of your truffle.

- put the ramekins in a meduim oven and bake until half-way cooked.

- remove from the oven and grate some of the same truffle over the untruffled egg.

- compare the two eggs and post your findings.

Eggs are the ultimate paring with truffles and garlic enhances the truffle flavor.

Edit: use exceptional eggs only.

Edited by SWISS_CHEF (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I did a simpler, less scientific comparison. I reheated the leftover sprouts the next day (already smothered in the truffle butter) in the microwave. After getting heated to the point where they were steamy, they tasted like ... truffles!

That's enough for me. In the future I'm going to make sure anything with black truffles gets cooked, or at least heated, enough to release the aroma.

To the question about truffle aroma being soluble in fat, the answer is emphatically yes. It's highly soluble in fat, at least reasonably soluble in alcohol, and not very soluble in water.

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To the question about truffle aroma being soluble in fat, the answer is emphatically yes. It's highly soluble in fat, at least reasonably soluble in alcohol, and not very soluble in water.

Sounds like a black-truffle & sausage "sawmill" gravy over some biscuits would work out well, assuming you microplane truffles into the sauce a few minutes before serving?

And if I am following this thread right, shave black truffles into the raw scrambled egg mixture before I start cooking and not shave them over the egg when done?

Edited by sickchangeup (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a black-truffle & sausage "sawmill" gravy over some biscuits would work out well, assuming you microplane truffles into the sauce a few minutes before serving?

When I use truffles in sauces, I like to make a compound butter with the truffles the day before. Store very tightly wrapped in the fridge. Then incorporate the butter into the hot sauce at the end of cooking, and hold over the heat until the fragrance releases. Strain through a hot strainer if you want to. You're trying to extract the maximum possible flavor from the truffles, and at the same time give that flavor as little chance as possible to escape.

Edited by paulraphael (log)

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I did a simpler, less scientific comparison. I reheated the leftover sprouts the next day (already smothered in the truffle butter) in the microwave. After getting heated to the point where they were steamy, they tasted like ... truffles!

That's enough for me. In the future I'm going to make sure anything with black truffles gets cooked, or at least heated, enough to release the aroma.

To the question about truffle aroma being soluble in fat, the answer is emphatically yes. It's highly soluble in fat, at least reasonably soluble in alcohol, and not very soluble in water.

I did spaghetti squash with last week with truffle butter and simply tossed the truffle butter and squash strands to coat - there was flavor - but the next day when I reheated the spaghetti squash with the truffle butter it was very pronounced - and my DH raved. He wanted to know if we could have that frequently - very frequently!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next time try this simple test:

- rub two ramekins with a cut piece of garlic and butter very well.

- break two eggs, one in each ramekin, add some salt and a tiny touch of white pepper.

- in one ramekin grate some of your truffle.

- put the ramekins in a meduim oven and bake until half-way cooked.

- remove from the oven and grate some of the same truffle over the untruffled egg.

- compare the two eggs and post your findings.

Eggs are the ultimate paring with truffles and garlic enhances the truffle flavor.

Edit: use exceptional eggs only.

So chef - seeing as a I have a Perigord black truffle sitting next to me at my work desk - and this is something that doesn't happen very often - do you mind elaborating on the results?(which presumably show the ramekin that got truffled pre-cooking doing much better)

Also, would a third ramkin where you grate some truffle in and let it sit for 25 minutes do even better flavor wise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's highly soluble in fat, at least reasonably soluble in alcohol, and not very soluble in water.

Do you have any references for that?

From Peterson, Sauces:

"What chefs often ignore when cooking with truffles is that the aroma is far easier to infuse in fat than in liquids such as stock or fortified wines. the flavor of fortified wines such as Madeira works well with truffles but does little to draw the truffle flavor into the sauce. If a truffle sauce contains fat such as butter, cream, or egg yoks, the best way to flavor the sauce is to infuse the raw chopped or sliced truffles with the butter, cream, or egg yolks for an hour or two before making the sauce.

"For butter-enriched sauces, such as Périgordine, store the butter overnight with the truffles and infuse the truffles in the sauce after finishing the sauce with butter. The flavor of the truffles will permeate a sauce containing butter far more completely than it will a flavor base containing no fat"

According to Harold McGee, one of the important aromatic compounds in truffles is dimethyl sulfide, which is not water soluble. Other important aromatics, such as aldehydes and androstenone, are water soluble, but I don't know what conclusions we can draw from this without really understanding the structure and chemistry of the truffle (I sure don't). I think Peterson's practical knowledge, which matches my experience, is as reliable a source as any.

Notes from the underbelly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So chef - seeing as a I have a Perigord black truffle sitting next to me at my work desk - and this is something that doesn't happen very often - do you mind elaborating on the results?(which presumably show the ramekin that got truffled pre-cooking doing much better)

Also, would a third ramkin where you grate some truffle in and let it sit for 25 minutes do even better flavor wise?

I doubt letting the truffle sit an extra 25 minutes would make much difference to the cooked version but who knows, experiment and give us your results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

It's truffle time in the south of France, and so just today I had black truffles grated onto pizza, and atop a pasta. They were warmed by the food, but clearly hadn't been cooked in any way, and they were absolutely delicious. Pictures are here, and you can see clearly that they're just grated on after cooking.

I brought a few truffles home with me, so I'm in search of the best recipes to take full advantage of them. Any suggestions?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's truffle time in the south of France, and so just today I had black truffles grated onto pizza, and atop a pasta.  They were warmed by the food, but clearly hadn't been cooked in any way, and they were absolutely delicious.  Pictures are here, and you can see clearly that they're just grated on after cooking.

I brought a few truffles home with me, so I'm in search of the best recipes to take full advantage of them.  Any suggestions?

IMHO. Omelette is THE way to go with truffles. Why share their unique flavour with anything else.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...