Truffle Butter Recipe with Black Truffle
Preserved truffles are in fact black truffles that are lower in quality (not enough anyway to be sold raw) and they are ideal to chop up and mix into lots of foods. That’s what makes them just perfect for my truffle butter recipe here. You might find them in gourmet supermarkets. They are mostly kept in tiny little glass jars. You can also find them sliced or even ground into a flavorful truffle tapenade.Can you see that truffle juice that keeps the truffle moist? I’m surely going to add that to my truffle butter recipe because I don’t throw stuff away in my kitchen. The rest is fairly easy: chop the truffle up as finely as you can. If you are using fresh truffles you can even grate them. It’s up to you.
My favorite way to use this homemade truffle butter recipe? Well I love to spread it onto some warm toast and sprinkle it with sea salt. Add a lovely bowl of squash soup to that and you got a fantastic lunch meal idea! I once served my toast with truffle butter with a poached egg, brown shrimp and samphire, also a lovely lunch idea! Check it out here.
Or maybe you are looking for a romantic dinner idea with this truffle butter? Then also check out my al dente truffle butter spaghetti below!! Or how about a lovely steak with truffle butter? You can find more truffle butter recipe ideas and truffle oil recipes at the bottom of this post!
Black Truffle Butter Recipe
A nice and easy truffle butter recipe... spread it on toast with sea salt or add it to al dente pasta to make a delicious truffle butter spaghetti!
- 1 oz black truffles (30 g), fresh or preserved (+ juice)
- 3,5 oz unsalted butter (100 g), diced
- garlic powder
Let the butter soften at room temperature for a couple of hours. It has to be very smooth and creamy for this truffle butter recipe.
Then finely chop or grate the (fresh) truffles and add it to the soft butter. If you are using preserved truffles, peel them carefully, chop them up finely and add this together with the truffle juice to the butter. Season the butter with a pinch of pepper, salt and garlic powder.
Stir well again until you get a very creamy mixture. Then scrape the butter together using a rubber spatula and transfer it to a clean jar. If you want to make a cylindrical log, read on!
How To Roll Compound Butter Into A Log
So here’s a choice you have to make now. Will you scoop your freshly made truffle butter in a clean jar and just use it as a spread? Or do you want to make a nice restaurant style compound butter log? Here’s an easy way to shape that beautiful soft butter in just a couple of seconds.
If my description below is not clear enough, just take a quick look at this very instructive video by ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen:
Happy with how my truffle butter recipe turned out? Now you surely want to make a nice restaurant style log! Let me show you how.
- freshly made truffle butter
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a clean surface. Scoop the truffle butter if the middle of it. If you made a large batch of compound butter, then divide it evenly in one line.
- Then fold the upper part of the parchment paper over the butter and gently tuck it under the butter. Now take a thin chopping board, a rectangular plate or a cupcake tin. With one hand keep the lower part of the parchment paper in place. With the other hand gently push against the butter log.
- The compound butter will be pressed against the parchment paper until it is nicely shaped into a cylinder. Once you got that nice and even butter sausage twist the ends tightly. Then place the truffle butter back in the fridge to set fully again. Slice the butter up and remove the parchment paper. Serve chilled.
Truffle Spaghetti (Spaghetti al Tartufo)This next truffle butter recipe here below doesn’t need a lot of explanation. Truffle butter spaghetti. Spaghetti, butter and truffles. As you can see above I made a batch of truffle butter today.
I love to spread it on a slice of warm toast sprinkled with sea salt but it’s also a great spaghetti ‘sauce’! Cook spaghetti, drain it and then immediately add a knob of the truffle butter to the hot pasta.
Stir, season and dig in! Enjoy this truffle spaghetti…
This next truffle butter recipe doesn’t need a lot of explanation. Truffle butter spaghetti. Spaghetti, butter and truffles!
- 9 oz dry spaghetti 250 g
- 2 tbsp truffle butter
- 8 thin slices black truffle (preserved or fresh)
- garlic powder
- Fill a large and high pan with tap water and add a good dash of salt to it. Place the pan over high heat and bring the water to a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling, add the spaghetti.
- Cook the spaghetti until tender. Check the tenderness regularly. Don’t overcook it. Once the spaghetti is al dente, drain it and then throw it back in the same pan. Add the truffle butter to it.
- Stir the spaghetti a little and then put a lid on the pan for a minute. Then stir it again until the butter has nicely melted away and the spaghetti is fully coated. Check the seasoning and add extra pepper or salt to taste if necessary. Scoop the spaghetti onto plates and scrape the remaining butter and truffle bits in the pan together with a rubber spatula. Drizzle this over the pasta as well. Garnish with the truffle slices (optional) and serve.
So! Did you enjoy my truffle butter recipe? Let’s talk about truffles in general now. Do you know what truffles are exactly?
What are truffles?
Truffles are a fungus, a type of mushroom. The Latin name for this species is Tuber. They are typically found in temperate forests because truffles thrive between the roots of trees such as oak, pine and birch where the soil is rich in calcium and alkaline. They also require a particular climate without extreme summer heat or extreme winter cold.
Truffles also like shadow and darkness so you won’t see them. They have to be dug up. Truffles grow very slowly. Patches of trees where truffles are feeling at ease sometimes take 10 years before they produce good quality truffles.
Black truffles are easier to cultivate when you provide the necessary environment and soil they like. Black truffle farming is in fact becoming more and more popular.
Why do they use pigs to find truffles?
You probably heard about the truffle hunters and their trained pigs (truffle hogs) looking for truffles. The sense of smell pigs have is excellent. Did you know that they are able to find truffles up until 6 feet (1.8 m) underground? Scientists have a theory why pigs are sensitive to the smell of truffles: it is apparently very similar to the smell of the natural sex hormones of the male pig.
The hunt for truffles with a pig is forbidden in Italy since 1985, apparently the hogs are not only excellent truffle hunters but their brutal force while doing so also caused a lot of damage to the forests. Other countries still allow it.
The hunt for truffles and the use of them in cooking goes as far as the Middle Ages. Nowadays truffle dogs (truffle hounds) are mainly used. Their sense of smell only picks up truffles up until 3 feet (1 m) but instead of the pigs the dogs know exactly where the truffle is located. The pigs dig up a larger area and therefore can destroy an area.
Where do you find truffles?
I mentioned Italy before. But also France and Croatia are excellent hunting grounds for truffles. Here’s the funny part: the white truffle (Tuber magnatum) can be found in northwest Italy, more specifically in the Piedmont area and in Croatia. Although they can be found in other parts of Europe, the Alba white truffle is the most popular, but also the most difficult to find. The black truffle (Tuber melanosporum) however likes France more, more specifically the Périgord area more to the south.
Truffles can also be found in other countries of course like America and China. However the truffles from Italy and France are highly regarded as the best in the world when we are talking about quality and flavor. Let’s say that the headstrong truffle just loves these natural areas the most, which makes them thrive. Again like I mentioned before, truffles are very picky about the areas they want to grow in.
They like soils with a higher pH level which is easier to find in Europe. Some countries where this soil is not natural try to raise those levels by manipulating it by adding minerals.
When is truffle season?
The truffle begins to grow in the soil in the beginning of the summer when they are most vulnerable to damage from high soil temperatures and dry conditions. Smaller low quality black truffles (the ones I used for my truffle butter recipe) are harvested during that same summer. The black summer truffles are usually harvested in late spring or very early summer before they are overripe.
The white truffle season goes from September through December. The harvest is at its peak in October and November. They must be harvested at the peak of their season, which is in the very late fall or the early beginning of winter before the ground is too frozen to dig them up. The white truffle season is followed by the black winter truffle season a bit later: this one spans from December until February.
What’s the difference between white and black truffles?
Well first off: their color of course! But there’s more than that. If we are comparing flavor, then white truffles are more delicate and subtle than the stronger nutty black truffles. Chefs often call it the white diamond. Keywords I keep reading over and over about that particular white truffle flavor: earthy, musky and with hints of garlic.
The white truffle itself can smell very strongly and is very different from its taste. Some even go as far as to say that they are quite pungent, almost unpleasant to smell.
Black truffles have a much stronger nutty flavor and so is their smell. Lots of people (and chefs by the way) prefer the black truffle over the white truffle and it’s not only because they are less expensive.
How to cook with white truffles
Because that white truffle flavor is very delicate and essential, you don’t want to lose that. That’s why it is best to use white truffle raw and uncooked. One thing to keep in mind when cooking with white truffles: keep your recipe simple! It has to be the star of the dish. It would be a shame to pay loads for a white truffle and not respect it.
Be aware that you don’t have to use the whole truffle all at once. You can start off by serving it grated or shaved over a simple meal. My personal favorites fresh pasta or risotto with lots of butter. The heat from the pasta or risotto is enough to bring out maximum flavor. Shave or grate the truffle once you have plated up your meal. Don’t add it to your pots and pans, that’s way too hot for that delicate white truffle! If a recipe asks for that, better opt for a black truffle instead.
If you are absolutely not certain about the flavor and portion, then begin with some toast spread with butter and shaved white truffle. You only need a tiny portion for that.
How to cook with black truffles
Here’s the difference with white truffles: black truffles are great to use in warm meals because they can cope much better with the higher temperatures. And it doesn’t decrease their flavor level at all. But of course you can also use black truffles raw, grated or shaved over a simple meal. So both ways are OK which makes black truffles easier to introduce into your kitchen and cooking. It just depends what kind of meal you are preparing.
What also makes them cool to work with is their strong flavor. A small portion will likely be more than enough to get the necessary flavor kick into your food. You can add them to just about any dish you want: pastas, risottos, my truffle butter recipe above, cream sauces… My favorite: grated on top of a gooey omelet and sprinkled with sea salt. This is a great recipe by the way to start experimenting with black truffle if you have never cooked with it before.
If you want a black truffle that is not too expensive and easy to work with, go for a black summer truffle. Or start with a preserved one, just like the one I used in my black truffle butter recipe.
Are black or white truffles better?
That’s a highly personal question which one you like best. Before you go out to buy truffles, it is always good to know what you are intending to prepare with them or to which dish you want to add it. Be aware of the flavor difference between the two.
Are black or white truffles more expensive?
Why are truffles so expensive? Because they are not in abundance on this world. So their small harvest means that prices can go very high up. The white truffles are in general the most expensive because they are the rarest to find. That’s also because farming white truffles is near to impossible. Be prepared to pay a couple of hundreds of dollars for an ounce of white truffle.
The most expensive species of white truffle can be found in the Alba region in northern Italy. In contrast to this, the most expensive black truffles are the ones that are dug up in the Périgord region in France. Black truffles are less expensive than the white ones but still expect to pay a hefty amount per ounce though.
The higher the price, the better the quality. It is not always correct in daily life but if we are talking about truffles, then that’s the best way to know what you are buying.<
What do you cook with fresh truffles?
Here are a couple of recipe ideas with fresh truffles that caught my eye!
1) Truffled Macaroni & Cauliflower Gratin (Zen Can Cook)
But wait, from now on it gets even better: why not think out of the box for just once and turn this delicious classic into a spectacular dinner? Flavor bomb!
Look at this beauty right here: an awesome macaroni gratin with cauliflower… and black truffle! Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables by the way. This recipe is by French chef Stephane who is behind the food blog Zen Can Cook.
Pasta, cheese sauce, cauliflower and freshly grated black truffle? That seriously sounds like heaven on my plate. Count me in for sure. Thanks again, Stephane!
2) Meatballs in Black Truffle Sauce (Woman and Home)
I prepare meatballs fairly often for dinner throughout the year, how about you? A meatball dinner is always a hit here. What’s your favorite meatball recipe? I usually prepare classic meatballs in tomato sauce or carbonara sauce.
But way a second here, I think I just found a third recipe idea that will be a big hit as well: these lovely meatballs in a delicious creamy white wine and truffle sauce! Credits for this winner go to Woman and Home. Thanks for the inspiration! Yum!
3) Baked Black Truffle Stuffed Brie (Sprinkles & Sprouts)
Then listen up: have I got news for you. Look at this baked brie with black truffle! I mean, just look at it.
Oh my god! I can honestly smell the melted cheese infused with truffle right now. Get me a loaf of bread and I’ll polish this treat off in just a couple of minutes.
Awesome recipe by the very talented Claire who is the photographer, recipe developer and writer behind the wonderful Sprinkles & Sprouts. Thanks!
4) White Truffle Butter Risotto (Williams Sonoma)
The previous recipes ask for black truffles: let’s sneak in another truffle recipe here but one that asks for white truffle. And I want to keep it classic: here’s a delicious risotto with white truffle butter. I love a good risotto. And how I love the idea of adding truffle butter to a risotto! I’m sure that this white truffle butter is a perfect match for the shaved parmesan cheese on top. But I could see it work with my black truffle butter recipe as well.
Anyway, credits for this beauty go to Williams Sonoma! Dig in.
5) Baby leeks with truffle butter sauce (Great British Chefs)
Are you into sous vide cooking? Then this is the perfect recipe for you: sous vide baby leeks with black truffle butter sauce from chef Russel Brown over at Great British Chefs.
Hey look, if you read this recipe you will see that you don’t necessarily have to know how to cook sous vide: I’m sure that steaming the leeks is just as good.
That black truffle butter sauce intrigues me though. Leeks and truffle, I can definitely see those two come together perfectly.
I love Great British Chefs, very inspirational ideas!
6) Black Truffle Ice Cream (The Macadames)
Thank Anisa for this awesome recipe here, plus I love the plating and the pictures as well! I could eat a bowl of this truffle ice cream in under a minute.
And I also like Anisa’s idea of serving this truffle ice cream with her delectable apple and rhubarb walnut crumble. What a lovely dessert!
So what about truffle oil then?
Truffle oil can be very strong in flavor. You only need a few drops of truffle oil to add flavor to your dishes or it will overpower the rest of your food. Be gentle with it! So is truffle oil made with truffles? I’m afraid not. It’s actually olive oil to which a chemical is added that smells like truffle. Nothing natural about it. But that also doesn’t mean that truffle oil is not a good ingredients. On the contrary.
Which is better black or white truffle oil? Again, since it doesn’t contain any truffles the flavor will be just the same. I’m sure no one could tell the difference between a drop of black truffle oil or white truffle oil. The good news though is that cooking with truffle oil is a much cheaper shortcut if you want to add some truffle flavor to your dinners.
If you are using fresh truffles, then you will know that you can peel them first. Don’t get rid of the truffle skins. Add them to a small bottle of olive oil and let it infuse for a couple of weeks.
How to use truffle oil?
I like it on salads and in pastas. If I don’t have any truffle butter in my fridge, I like to add a drop of the truffle oil to freshly seared scallops. You can also sprinkle the truffle oil on top of a pizza or add a few drops to a creamy squash soup for instance.
What do you cook with truffle oil?
Here are a couple of recipe ideas with truffle oil that also caught my eye!
1) Truffled Deviled Eggs with Creme Fraiche (Local Milk Blog)
Everyone has made deviled eggs before, right. And I have to say that sometimes I’m looking for a good deviled eggs recipe with just that little extra.
And that’s what I find here: these eggs look like the classic ones but I can just imagine that truffle flavor explosion when you bite into one. Yes, I’m all in!
Transferring this deviled egg recipe to my to do list for my upcoming dinner party with neighbours…
2) Truffled Cauliflower Puree with Sautéed Mushrooms and Sage Butter (Victoria’s Table)
And how I love the sound of this dish: truffled cauliflower puree with sautéed mushrooms and sage butter. Every single ingredient has my name on it.
Credits for this gorgeous mash go to Viktoria behind Victoria’s Table. I find it the perfect hot autumn lunch. And I’m sure that my husband will just love it.
3) Skirt Steak with Truffle Oil Parmesan Fries (Foodness Gracious)
But what if you don’t have or find truffle butter? Let’s use truffle oil instead!
Let’s see how Gerry over at Foodness Gracious serves steak with truffle. This stay at home dad with a serious passion for food has this cool idea: a grilled flank steak served with truffle oil fries and grated parmesan cheese. Can I repeat that for you? I mean, how awesome does this sound!
No doubt this is a fantastic recipe, thanks Gerry!
4) Mushrooms Pizza Bianco with Truffle Oil & Fresh Herbs (Port and Fin)
So when I spend time making my dough, I also like to add my favorite toppings. I usually go for a simple tomato sauce base and then top it with sliced salami, mushrooms, anchovies and other goodies.
But here’s a challenge for me next time! A white pizza from Port and Fin. And not just any white pizza: homemade pizza topped with caramelised onion, mushrooms, goat cheese and last but not least: truffle oil! I’m all ears.
Thanks Finn and Chelsea for the inspiration!
5) Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Fried Sage and White Truffle Oil (Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary)
And I find just what I need at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary: her roasted pumpkin soup with fried sage and white truffle oil really has me dreaming already.
Pumpkin and truffle. Definitely a match for each other. And I’ll be trying this soup out for sure.
Thanks Elizabeth for the inspiration!