Black truffles are considered black gold at around $2000-$2500 per kg!
Why so expensive? Well they’re hard to cultivate, take 3-4 years to grow and grow, and have a blink or you miss it season from June to July, which makes them a real splurge item.
Manjimup, located in the south of Western Australia is Australia’s largest truffle producer. So with world-class truffles at our doorstep we thought we’d explore some of the best ways to use truffles in your kitchen.
Cooking with truffles can be kind of intimidating, but we’re here to help with tips for cooking with fresh truffles, including how to get the most truffle-scented bang for your buck.
Less is more
First things first, a little of this potent delicacy can go a very long way. So what do you add your truffles to? Fat helps to bring out the flavour of truffles so oil, butter, cream and cheese go hand in hand. And because truffles are such a dominant flavour it’s best to add them to simple flavours. Try adding finely grated or shaved truffle to the below recipes.
Top tip: Truffles lose their flavour with heat so always add them at the end of your cooking.
Mushroom’s best friend
If you’re not sure what to do with your truffles, the safest bet is to add them to recipes that already use mushrooms to enhance that earthy, unami flavour. A sprinkle of fresh truffle will take these recipes to the next level in flavour.
How to store your truffles
Truffles continue to emit their aroma after they’re harvested. For this reason it’s best to keep them wrapped tightly to limit air exposure. However, you can also use your truffle’s permeating aroma to infuse everyday pantry staples into something extra special, and stretch that truffle purchase a little bit further.
Egg shells are porous and soak up the flavour of truffle. Infuse your eggs by placing as many eggs as you can fit into a large glass container, along with your black truffle and leave in the fridge for 1-2 days. Your eggs will be lightly perfumed with truffle flavour. We recommend using them for decadent sous vide scrambled eggs.
Another great place to store your truffles is in a container of rice. Rice soaks up the flavour of the truffle and will also soak up any moisture in the truffle, which helps to extend the shelf life. Leave to infuse in a glass container for 24 hours then use this rice to cook your risotto. This trick also works well for polenta too!
A glass container with good quality sea salt is also a good place to let your truffle hang out for a few days. Like the rice, salt will also help to absorb any moisture in the truffles and you’ll be left with truffle flavoured salt to sprinkle on top of finished dishes.
What to do with the leftovers?
Your truffle will begin to lose its flavour and aroma after a short time – approx. 1-3 weeks. So to make your truffle last longer, consider turning it into condiments which can be added to dishes long after the season ends. This is also a great way to use up any leftovers or bits that fall off your truffle (save those!). As we mentioned earlier, fats are a great carrier for truffle flavour so making your own truffle butters or truffle oil is a great way to make them last longer.
To make truffle butter, mix together 100g softened butter, 2 tsp grated truffle and ½ to 1 tsp salt. You can adjust the ratio of truffle to butter to suit your tastes. Truffle butter is fantastic slathered on crusty bread or add a dollop to your steak after cooking.
You can also purchase pre-made truffle products via the Truffle and Wine Co.