Black truffles are the sweetest smelling mushrooms in the world. They grow in volcanic areas where temperatures are high and they require extremely low light, allowing them to survive without shade.
Because of their tenderness, black truffles are not just for the rich and famous, or the high-end restaurants. The humble chef is using black truffles as an ingredient in his recipes for inspiration.
While home chefs have been utilizing these savory little mushrooms for centuries, only recently have home food enthusiasts and the health conscious embraced them as a main ingredient in their menus. New cooking trends have been embraced by chefs as well as home cooks. Here are some of the more popular ways to use them.
Pâtisserie, or French baking in its most simple form, is the classic way to utilize black truffles as a main ingredient. In fact, it's the basis for most home French bistros. For the perfect truffle flavor, a batter is used to make a truffle-type crust.
The truffle salt is applied to the crust and allowed to cook down into a golden brown color. Once cooled, the truffle salt will spread into the pan, creating a buttery crust for the truffles to linger in. Carefully placed truffles and other salty ingredients are allowed to seep in the salty butter, to soften the center.
For another type of pâtisserie, where using black truffle sea salt and butter is essential, you need to make the pate dough first. The key to success is to use high quality turkey or chicken pate that has been dried in a dryer. Once you have done this, your next step is to cut the page into sections, or cubes. Next, for flavor, warm up some black truffle salt in a skillet and add your minced truffles, one by one.
To taste, pour the paste through a fine sieve. The pate should now be a little salty, but still retain its body. When done, do not set the plate aside. Simply refrigerate the pate, covered in the refrigerator, until firm.
To cut back on the fat and calories of your meal, think about using black truffles that have been infused with flavor, rather than the white truffles. These are called a "black truffle boule". Once again, the key is to find the best truffles to fit your flavor preferences.
Any type of meal that can be cooked with black truffles can be pate with black truffle salt. The only real difference is that you will want to use a higher level of truffle salt.
A great technique for making the boule is to steam your mushrooms. It's important to get the water out of the mushrooms, as the steam will kill the small nutrients contained in the mushrooms. In fact, you can remove any excess water by using a spoon or scoop to pierce the top of the mushrooms, thus releasing the moisture.
Before placing the mushrooms in the sauce, they should be trimmed and cleaned of any excess moisture. A large saucepan with a lid is necessary for this preparation. Add a bit of water to the mushrooms and cook at high heat until all water is evaporated, and the mushrooms have become tender.
Then, use a fork to gently break the vegetables apart, slicing them with a spoon or vegetable peeler. Once the mushrooms are ready, pour the wine, and the black truffle salt and butter mixture into the saucepan, and pour in the water, covering it completely. Bring it to a simmer, turn the heat to low, and allow it to cook for about an hour.