Truffle Dinner Party at home
Soy and I were so fortunate to get our hands on this 44g of black truffle. We knew we had to do it justice, and felt well-equipped for the task, having experienced a truffle dinner put together at the Hyatt and having attended our very own truffle cooking class at Le Très Bon. We planned to have a dinner party with Aunty L, and tried our hand at recreating a well-designed menu in order to truly showcase the gorgeous truffle. I knew that my job would be dessert. I’m all for specialisation of tasks according to ability! It was quite uncanny how Soy and Aunty L were totally on the same page when it came to designing the rest of the menu! And it was different working with Aunty L in her kitchen. Normally when I’m in the kitchen, I banish Soy from it because I tend to work much better when I have all the space to myself. But our teamwork for our dinner party was perfect and it worked out really well!
The week before the dinner party, Aunty L infused all the eggs in her house with the truffle in this huge jar. We used all those eggs in our dishes, and it made all the difference using infused eggs.
Aunty L made the 2 appetisers- very simple nibbles to go with our bubbly- pink Mumm champagne. We had this simple chorizo and cucumber morsels…
… and these savoury muffins that were delicious! Made with parsely, pine nuts and smoked sausage, they were pillowy soft and made me want to eat more and more.
We then had a cauliflower and smoked bacon soup, with a poached truffle infused quail egg. Soy and Aunty L wanted to do a warming winter soup also because truffle went so beautifully with the soup we had at the Hyatt dinner. The smoked bacon bones added a savoury, smoky undertone to the sweet cauliflower. And the quail egg was cooked to perfection, bursting in my mouth with a truffle flavour explosion.
Auntie L made the cauliflower soup, what made it so taste so flavourful was that she used smoked bacon bones to get a really smoky wholesome stock and that she cooked it the night before to let the flavours settle. It was really funny how we both read each other’s minds in how this dish would come together. Cauliflower soup on its own just needed something to aesthetically bring it out other than shaved truffles. We both decided that a simple poached quail’s egg yolk would get the wow effect and that burst of truffle flavour that little yolk held was just orgasmic!
For the main, Soy and Aunty L put together a variation of Christophe’s chicken à la périgordine. First of all, Soy could not purchase a reasonable amount of foie gras from the deli, as they all came in huge sizes! We only needed 30g of foie gras for the dish, so we could not justify buying 300g of it. In the end, our innovative chefs used chicken liver to achieve a similar result (which Soy will elaborate on when she includes the recipe later). I could not help but take a photo of the chicken cooking to a beautiful golden brown, with slices of truffle peeking out from under the skin.
We initially wanted to use spatchcock for the main, but figured that 1 bird was going to be too big and 1/2 was too small……Uncle K then suggested corn fed chicken. Corn fed chicken has a unique flavour and they brown perfectly too. Great teamwork even though Uncle K could not join us for dinner that night.
The chicken was beautiful, and the sauce complemented it perfectly. My favourite part of the chicken is the breast, and it was perfect and moist.
Soy served the cheese platter with some of her homemade truffle honey. The sweetness of the honey and sliced pear partnered perfectly with the cheeses. We had a double brie, tallegio, blue brie and a washed rind.
And no dinner will be complete without dessert, which was my contribution. We decided to make Christophe’s gorgeous truffle crème brûlée, as we thought it would be a delicate end to the dinner. We’ve made this crème brûlée about 3 times now, and they’ve all turned out wonderful. I mentioned it before, but this really attests to the simplicity and ease of Christophe’s recipe.
All in all, this was a very successful and satisfying dinner party that we were very proud of. Best of all, the dishes are so do-able by anyone at home!
Cauliflower and smoked bacon soup
with truffle infused quail egg and truffle oil
- 750g bacon bones
- 1 brown onion, chopped
- 6 black peppercorns
- 2.5L water
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1kg cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
Poached truffled chicken
with white wine and truffle reduction
adapted from Christophe’s recipe of truffled chicken à la périgordine.
pieces of chicken (with truffle stuffed under the skin), rub the insides with truffle butter before tying it up up
20 grams butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 bottle of dry white wine
500ml chicken stock
1 small carrot diced
1 white onion diced
1 tbsp plain flour
80gms chicken liver (pan fried in some butter) and pureed
4 grams of julienne truffle
Pan fry chicken with butter and olive oil, this way you won’t burn your butter and you’ll be able to have the lovely brown caramelisation on the chicken skin. Take chicken out.
Add onions and carrots to the pan, fry till brown. Add flour and fry for a while.
De glaze pan with white wine, I used Mr Rigg’s Viognier but you can use any dry white wine.
Add chicken stock, bring to boil, add chicken, simmer for 30 mins —If you are using chicken drumsticks/ thigh, add it in, if you are using chicken breast, poach only during the last 10 mins.—
Transfer sauce out from pan into a small saucepan, keep chicken warm.
Add pureed chicken liver, bring to boil, season to taste.
Strain, add julienne truffle and pour in to a sauce jug.
Place chicken onto warm plate with desired condiments (vegetables, mashed potatoes etc), pour sauce around the chicken and serve.
Truffle crème brûlée
from Christophe Gregoire, Le Très Bon
makes 6 crème brûlées
6 egg yolks
95g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
6g julienned truffle (omit this for a vanilla crème brûlée)
6 shaved truffle slices (omit this for a vanilla crème brûlée)
Preheat oven to 140°C fan forced.
Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar until pale and thick. Add the vanilla and cream and mix well. Put 1g of julienned truffle into each ramekin, and top with cream mixture. Make sure the sides of the ramekins are clean. Bake in a bain marie (put the ramekins on a tray and fill halfway with hot water). Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until just set. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of your ramekin, so make sure you watch your crème brûlées closely.
Leave the crème brûlées to set in the fridge.
Before serving, put a thin layer of white sugar on top of each crème brûlée and swirl to distribute evenly. Use a blowtorch to caramelise the sugar, or if you don’t have a blowtorch, you can place them under the grill of the oven. Place a shaved truffle slice immediately on top of each crème brûlée and enjoy!