Saturday, January 10, 2009

Truffle Butter

Pam from The Backyard Pizzeria here in Melbourne is the host for this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I'm taking a good, long look sniff of Truffles

Périgord Truffles© by Haalo

This is Tuber melanosporum, more commonly known as Périgord Truffle. They are found in many countries in Europe and have successfully been cultivated here in Australia. This year the Australian industry produced 2 tonnes of truffles, half of it from Western Australia, 25% from Tasmania and the rest coming mainly from New South Wales with a small amount from Victoria. The good news about the Victorian segment is that there is plenty of future growth expected as the Yarra Valley, Gippsland and the Otways come into play.

Périgord Truffles© by Haalo

Truffles are a bit of a luxury so if you do treat yourself to one, you want to make sure you'll get the most out of it. You do get caught up in that "I want to eat it all now" versus the "I want to savour it". What you want to aim for is to get the most out of it.

Truffles are perishable so you'll only have about 2 weeks in which to use them. I'm going to advise you not to store them in rice. I did this in Italy and found that the rice actually dried the truffle out - what is best is to store them in tissue paper in a sealed container, big enough so that you can store a few eggs in there with them and keep it all in the fridge. Replace the eggs as you use them and for as long as you have truffle.

While the majority of these truffles ended up in our Christmas Eve dinner and New Years Day breakfast, I still have one more way to use them and in this case, preserve them.

I think this is one of the simplest and best ways of extending that truffle love - make your own truffle butter.

truffle butter© by Haalo


Truffle Butter

black truffle, finely chopped
butter, softened

Just because I felt like and just maybe because it comes in this rather lovely can, I've used a New Zealand butter.

red feather pure creamery butter© by Haalo

It's exceptionally smooth with an almost sweet note.

red feather pure creamery butter© by Haalo


The proportion of butter to truffle is a matter of personal choice. In this recipe I've used the end bits of truffle, utilising the wider mid section for presentation purposes - in this way, nothing is wasted.

Place the softened butter in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Tumble in your chopped truffle and fold through.

Take a sheet of baking paper and spoon out the truffle butter to form a sausage shape.

truffle butter© by Haalo

Roll the baking paper around the butter and then twists the ends of the paper to form a sealed sausage.

truffle butter© by Haalo

Place in the fridge to set. When they have set you can keep them in the fridge or for longer storage, wrap in foil and place in a sealed container in the freezer.

To use, just slice as much or as little of the roll as you desire and return to the fridge or freezer.

truffle butter© by Haalo

8 comments:

  1. That looks fabulous, Haalo. I've never worked with truffles myself...your post is inspiring, though, so I'm going to give it some thought. Truffle butter over a steak would be really lovely.

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  2. Thanks for the info. Where is the best place in Melbourne to buy truffles and what should we look for, or avoid? We are new to truffles and would like our first experiences to be positive.

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  3. What a lovely truffle...
    But the truffle butter - yum! Is it appropriate to just use a spoon? Or a finger?

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  4. I have never tried a dish with truffle before, but I would like to, so it is good to have some storage tips. The truffle butter looks gorgeous!

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  5. OMG, that looks amazing. If I ever manage to come to Australia you must promise to cook this for me!

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  6. Thanks Genie - it is very lovely over steak!

    HI MA - if you want to make sure you're getting a real truffle then you need to find a reputable dealer - someone like Damian at Prahran Market and for Italian truffles, Enoteca in Carlton. Truffles are a seasonal ingredient - they are at their best for australian grown in late autumn-winter, for european grown, look around november onwards. There are summer truffles in european but they aren't as good as winter.

    Thanks Katie - oh I think whatever is good for you is appropriate!

    Thanks Holler - truffle butter is the gift that keeps on giving.

    Thanks Kalyn - you'd have to come in truffle season

    Don't be Laurie!

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  7. Bought a Thumb-sized truffle at Fruits on Coventry in South Melbourne Market. Had 2 days to enjoy with eggs, then the rest made into truffle butter. hope it lasts lol.

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