I am far from alone in my addiction to all things truffle spiked and scented. Restaurants the world over employ this most prized of winter delights in their creations, with good reason. Some, like Maison de la Truffe are fully dedicated to “black diamond” decadence, denoted by lithe shavings on top of all manner of dishes.
However, for the devout truffle lover, there is absolutely no need to go about your daily life without a hit of the good stuff and you don’t need to acquire a truffle pig or bankrupt yourself to do so.
With these truffle treasures in your arsenal, you can elevate every snack opportunity, add a hint of luxury to your home cooked meals and debunk the idea that delicious truffle is only for special occasions.
Obviously, the crave-worthy condiment that is truffle honey has a hallowed place on your cheeseboard but more pressingly, on your charcuterie board. A drizzle over slices of lomo or prosciutto will take your meat feast to the next level. You can also get truffled salami, for a double hit.
Liberally dose on your next beetroot and goat’s cheese salad or ball of burrata, or use it as the finishing touch on ricotta toast with figs, which, believe me, is what avocado toast aspires to be.
There are few comfort foods that can’t be taken to new heights with a little truffle honey, and this nectar is in its element cutting through the fat when drizzled over crispy fried chicken or on pizza. Trust me.
Finally, deploy this delicacy in sweet dishes, like vanilla ice cream topped with toasted nuts, or even better, in cocktails. A truffle honey Old Fashioned is a stormy evening by the fire in a glass, simply replace the sugar/syrup with a nice dash of the truffled stuff.
I’ve even heard of some addicts popping a spoonful in their hot toddy when they feel a cold coming on and I am completely on board with this brand of cure.
I see your garlic and herb dip and raise you truffle mayonnaise, the ultimate upgrade for any cheesy pizza. You’ll likely have spotted truffle and parmesan fries as a new side dish staple on menus, and with a vat of truffle mayo you can easily make your own in a greedier quantity at home.
Classic cauliflower cheese can be taken up several notches with a base of good mayonnaise, swapping a third out for truffle mayo, spiked and then topped with your favourite oozy cheese. For a cheffier version, parboil a whole small cauliflower until slightly tender, then smother in truffle mayo and bake at 180C until golden, grating over parmesan for the last five minutes.
For a simpler creamy truffle hit, elevate your next cheese toastie by slathering the outside in truffle mayo and frying until crisp, or pop this king of mayos in to your next BLT or burger.
With sheer delight, I have noted that the Dunnes Simply Better cheese range now includes a divine truffle pecorino, meaning it is widely available for all to devour.
Truffled cacio e pepe (albeit not a purist interpretation) could hardly be a bad thing, so replace some of the plain pecorino in yours with truffle pecorino and marvel at your own culinary prowess.
Truffled scrambled eggs are only a grating of truffle pecorino at the last minute away, a wedge of this always adds interest to a cheeseboard, and of then there is the indisputable fact that a liberal grating of this extra special pecorino makes often bland macaroni and cheese worth eating.
Truffle brie is a little trickier to get a hold of, but Fallon & Byrne stocks Maison de la Truffe’s fat wheels of brie with a black truffle flecked creamy centre when in season. This needs little more than a vessel to pile it on, be it brioche or crunchy chicory to scoop.
If you happen to have a whole black truffle to hand, lucky you. If you also have patience, you can make your own truffle brie by slicing a round in half lengthways, shaving over some truffle and sandwiching back together. Wrap the cheese tightly and put in the fridge to infuse for 7 days.
Truffle oil is a must in your pantry, firstly for all the reasons listed above, you need truffle mayo in your life and it isn’t always easy to find, plus homemade always feels like a treat. Try this recipe and you may be tempted to forego buying it in future.
A bottle of liquid truffle gold is also ideal to add a drizzle of lusciousness to an earthy mushroom soup or risotto or to quickly whisk into some creme fraiche for a creamy sauce to serve alongside a juicy ribeye steak.
A personal favourite use for this oil is a truffled black olive tapenade, replacing some of the olive oil with truffle for a sensational spread on toasted sourdough.
If popping your own corn, a bit of truffle oil in the saucepan will give a delightful subtle hit of flavour, and a little glug on garlic bread goes a long way to making a classic treat even more delicious.
Of course there are delicious Italian oils to be snapped up, but why not try Ireland’s own take on this delicacy with Donegal Rapeseed Oil White Truffle?
Obviously the only way to improve on the humble crisp, a pleasure in itself, is to dust it in truffle. Brilliant Irish brand Keogh’s have a limited edition earthy Truffle & Irish Butter flavour with Glenilen farm, and how could that be anything but amazing? I also highly recommend Torres Trufa Negra, having extensively tested them.
In addition to a tempting bag to mouth preparation, truffle crisps make a surprisingly good crunchy garnish for a carpaccio starter, and in a similar vein, they make a fine accompaniment to a charcuterie board.
The single best use for these crisps however, is as a whole baked Mont D’Or dunk-able, the most addictive of Autumn/Winter delights. Serve with anything bubbly (Champagne if you’re feeling especially extra) and this will quite possibly be the lowest effort but most bougie fireside snack you will ever devour. You deserve it.
WRITTEN BY DARINA COFFEY