Gourmet Attitude is a New York City-based truffle importer since April 2003 by Céline Labaune. Ms. Labaune always brought the best truffles for her company and ultimately for us, the consumer. Of course, truffles are one of the few ultimate food luxuries to have and I’ve been given the task to create a couple of truffle recipes using Gourmet Attitude’s exceptional truffles. (I am forever humbled and grateful to Gourmet Attitude for sending me their gorgeous and delicious fresh truffles and truffle products to play with (in terms of recipes) and of course, eat.)
Let’s start with the easiest one that most people are familiar with when you have truffles, it’s almost always served on pasta. I have made homemade pasta and served it in a black truffle emulsion (I’ve used Gourmet Attitude’s truffle juice and unsalted butter and kept whisking away at low heat) as a sauce and topped it with fresh sliced white truffles on top. To say the least, it’s an extraordinary plate of pasta especially when everything is fresh and homemade.
For something a little more daring is to create dessert with truffles. I know most people are not familiar having an incredibly savory ingredient and merge to the sweet. But you can think of this like having salted caramel or even salted chocolate that was considered unheard of or daring over a decade ago. At any rate, this ice cream I’ve created is an homage to my pastry chef idol, Pierre Hermé.
If you’ve been reading this site long enough, you should be aware of my obsession with Chef Hermé for his brilliant flavor combinations of various pastries that seem a little unusual but it works oh-so-brilliantly! Every fall/winter time, Pierre Hermé Paris releases the seasonal flavors and the two that I will always remember is the foie gras macaron and the white truffle and hazelnut macaron. The latter was my inspiration – obviously. What makes sense about the flavor pairings are two things – the origins of the two are from Italy and the gentle flavors and aroma from the white truffle are nut-like that it has this affinity to work well.
When you do manage to get your hands on a white truffle and willing to explore the concept of a savory-sweet ice cream, here’s my recipe:
White chocolate, hazelnut white truffle ice cream
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1/4 cup glucose or light corn syrup
1/3 cup minus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup white chocolate gianduja spread (gianduja is a sweetened Italian chocolate spread containing about 30% hazelnut paste)
1/2 ounce fresh white truffles
1. Place the cream, milk, glucose/corn syrup and sugar in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook and whisking occasionally to prevent the milk from scorching on the bottom of the pan until it reaches a full boil.
2. Add the white chocolate gianduja spread. Reduce the heat and continue cooking for 2 minutes, whisking frequently to prevent the chocolate spread settling. Remove the pan from the heat.
3. Immediately pour the ice cream base into a shallow metal or glass bowl. Working quickly to fill a large bowl about two-thirds of the way filled with very cold, icy water. Next the bowl containing the ice cream base into the ice bath, stir until it cools down. Remove the mixture from the ice bath when cool to the touch.
4. Using a truffle shaver or a very sharp vegetable peeler, shave the white truffles into very thin slices into the ice cream base and stir. Refrigerate the mixture to let it cure for 4 hours or overnight to let the flavors meld.
5. Place the base into the bowl of the bowl of the ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream is ready when it thickens and reaches a soft serve texture, about 20-30 minutes.
6. Freeze the churned ice cream into a container with an airtight lid. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of ice cream to prevent ice crystals forming, cover and freeze between 4 to 12 hours.
7. This step is optional but if you have some extra truffle leftover, you can serve the ice cream with truffle shavings to further enhance the truffle flavor and experience.
Tahini Truffle Brownie
8 tbsp truffle butter
8 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used Valhrona Guanaja 70%)
6 tbsp cocoa powder (I used Valrhona cocoa powder)
4 large eggs
2 cup plus 4 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup tahini
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp black truffle oil
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 9×13-inch cake pan with 2 pieces of foil (crossed, and with excess hanging over on all sides of the pan). Lightly brush the foil with butter.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and immediately add the chocolate chips and cocoa. Whisk until smooth.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt to form a slightly thick mixture. Add the tahini and whisk to combine. Now fold in the flour, stir until just incorporated (do not over-stir).
4. Pour the batter into the pan you prepared. Spread evenly. With a spoon, dollop the reserved tahini mixture over the top (imagine a grid, and add one dollop of tahini mixture to each square on that grid). With the tip of a butter or pairing knife, swril the tahini dollops into the brownie batter.
5. Place the pan on the middle rack of the 350 degrees F heated-oven. Bake for 28-30 minutes, until the edges are set but the center remain moist. Remove from the oven. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Lift the foil edges up carefully to transfer the brownies from the pan. Cool for another 30 minutes (do not remove from the foil yet). Brush truffle oil onto brownies (this is to reinforce the flavor). Cut into 2-inch squares. Enjoy!
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