This week our Australian food-phenom, Sarah Coates of The Sugar Hit, tackles an ingredient mostly known for its luxurious applications, but finds it difficult when trying to translate that into a sweet treat. We think she turned truffle salt into one decadent dessert – Success!
When someone says to you ‘hey, can I mail you some truffle salt?’ you just don’t say no. And it was with that happy little conversation that my Truffle Salt Odyssey began. Because, friends, this stuff is potent. I thought I had it tough with Vegemite last time. Turns out, Vegemite is a cake walk in a butterfly park compared to Truffle Salt.
Let me just clarify though, that the only reason it was tough is because I insisted on trying to come up with a sweet pairing. When it comes to savoury options Truffle Salt is the giant black Chanel sunglasses of the kitchen; it goes with everything. Sprinkle it on popcorn, scrambled eggs, fries, steak, mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus, even tater tots for a delightfully high-low combination of flavours.
What does it taste like? Well, Truffle Salt is what it says it is – salt infused with truffles. And due to the fact that the majority of the flavour of the truffle is in its aroma, the infusion works spectacularly well. I would definitely choose truffle salt over truffle oil any day of the week for bringing a realistic truffle-taste into your kitchen on a budget.
The taste of truffles themselves is a lot more difficult to define. The most common answer to this questions is either ‘earthy’ or ‘like mushrooms’ but I think both of these fall way short. I don’t claim to have the literary powers to bring this taste to life in your mouth, but here’s my best shot: it tastes like a garlic flavoured mushroom that’s been sautéed in butter and dusted with parmesan cheese.
Now, as you might imagine, that taste is somewhat difficult to harness in a sweet iteration. Until, that is, I decided to get out of the box that I usually sit in, stop being so prescriptive about what I think of as ‘dessert’. Before you know it, BLAMMO, I landed on this. A Parmesan Dutch Baby, smothered in Truffle-Salted Honey. This one takes direct inspiration from the fantastic Mediterranean tradition of serving salty cheese drizzled with honey.
If the idea seems weird, that’s because at first glance it is. But once you taste the salty, umami-rich cheese with the funky, dark aroma of the truffle, all drizzled with sweetly floral honey it will make total sense. The other beautiful thing about this recipe, is that it’s so versatile. This recipe looks just as at home on the brunch table, as it would as the cheese course at a very left-of-centre dinner party.
Or just as dinner for two on a night where you feel like indulging in something that is usually reserved for only the swankiest of tables. Which, for me, is often.
Parmesan Dutch Baby with Truffle Salt Honey Serves 2-4 For the Dutch Baby: 2 tbsp (25g) butter ⅔ cup (100g) plain flour 2 tbsp sugar pinch of salt 3 eggs ¾ cup (185ml) milk ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese For the Truffle Salt Honey 1 tsp truffle salt ½ cup runny honey instructions
- Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
- Place the butter into a heat-proof baking dish and slide it into the oven (I used a small enamel baking tray, but a more traditional cast iron skillet would be fine).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and salt.
- Add the eggs and begin slowly whisking them in, adding the milk as you go, until the batter is combined and lump-free.
- Whisk in the parmesan.Once the butter in your baking dish has melted and is bubbling, carefully remove it from the oven, and working quickly, pour in all the batter and place it back into the oven.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until it is puffed up, and dark golden brown.
- While the dutch baby is baking, place the salt and honey into a small saucepan and heat them up slowly, just until the truffle is very fragrant and the honey warm.
- Serve the puffed up dutch baby straight from the oven, drizzled liberally with the truffle-salted honey.
Have you found ways to improve upon truffle salt? We want to hear your secret ways below!