It’s no secret, we love to eat. And while 99% of the time you’ll find us posting about our various, in-office meaty adventures, we also make time to enjoy the sweeter treats in life. So last week, when there was a rogue truffle floating around the D’Artagnan kitchen, we put it to good use by mixing up a batch of Black Truffle Ice Cream.
While sweet fungus-studded ice cream may sound strange to some – it was absolutely delicious. The earthy truffle aroma was subtle and nicely balanced by bourbon vanilla. We started with the best vanilla ice cream recipe we know of, David Lebovitz‘s version from his brilliant book, The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments. (If you have an ice cream maker and don’t have this book – run, run, run out and get it – it’s the only one you’ll ever need!) David’s recipe starts with a traditional French custard, to which we added a couple of extra yolks. (You could actually substitute duck eggs for an even richer custard – next time!) We added a splash of the aperitif, Lacheze Liqueur a la Truffe, a holiday gift from Chef David Malbequi. We crowned the finished glace with crisp, truffle honey Florentine cookies which we adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies book. Very, very good and super easy. Recipe is after the jump…
Black Truffle Ice Cream (adapted from David Lebovitz’s vanilla ice cream recipe)
Makes about a quart of ice cream
7 large eggs (you will only use the yolks in the final product)
1 cup whole milk
A pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon pure bourbon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Lacheze Liqueur a la Truffe (optional)
Truffle Honey Florentines (adapted from Martha Stewart’s honey Florentines recipe)
makes about 16 (or so) cookies
2 tablespoons D’Artagnan Black Truffle Butter
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons truffle honey (store bought or homemade, see below)
2 tablespoons a-p flour
A pinch of salt
For the ice cream:
1 day before you plan on making the custard, cut the black winter truffle in half and place in an airtight container with the whole eggs. Keep this in the fridge overnight. The black truffle aroma will permeate the eggshells, scenting the yolks.
When ready to make the custard, remove the truffle from the egg container, and using a truffle shaver, fine mandolin or very sharp vegetable peeler, shave one half of the truffle into paper-thin slices. Reserve the other half for another use (like making truffle honey! see below for directions).
In a medium pot over medium-high flame, heat the milk, truffle slices, truffle peelings, salt, and sugar. Heat, stirring occasionally, until all sugar is dissolved and mixture is just steaming. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep for one hour.
After one hour, set up an ice bath. Set a fine strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Re-warm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.
Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.
Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Reserve truffle and truffle peelings in a small container wrapped in plastic, refrigerate. Stir custard over the ice bath until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.
When ready to make ice cream, freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (We used a KitchenAid mixer ice cream attachment.) Midway through churning, chop reserved truffle slices and peelings and add into the mix.
For the Truffle Honey Florentines:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare 2 sheet pans with silpat mats or parchment paper. In a small saucepan over medium flame, melt truffle butter, sugar, and truffle honey, stirring occasionally. Once the sugar has completely dissolved, transfer to a small bowl. Add flour and salt, whisk until smooth.
Working quickly, drop ½ teaspoons of batter onto the prepared sheets, spacing at least 3 inches apart. Bake until cookies spread flat and turn golden, 4-6 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure they don’t burn. Cool on the pans on a rack (Florentines will crisp as they cool). Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
To make truffle honey: Using a microplane grater, grate ¼ – ½ of a black winter truffle. Carefully stir the grated truffle into a new jar of honey (we used a 4 ounce jar of Mel de Portugal) without getting sticky honey all over. A chopstick works well for this task! We added a few extra slices of truffle on top before closing the lid and putting into the fridge. A few days later – et voila – truffle honey! Besides in the Florentines recipe, truffle honey is delicious on a cheeseboard. Try it drizzled over hard, aged cheeses like a cave-aged gruyere or manchego, or with funky bleu cheese, like Roquefort or Fourme d’Ambert.