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How to make truffle vodka

What’s better than soft and smooth vodka? How about truffle vodka?

Do you remember when I went to Canberra for the truffle festival? I ended up making this Truffle infused vodka not long after. I had some fresh black truffles from The Truffle Farm and it seemed really silly not to try and make Truffle Infused Vodka, so I went ahead and did it.

 

Infusing Truffle Into Vodka

The process is quite simple. You just need to mix truffle with vodka and let it sit, and that’s it. The only questions you might ask is how much truffle you need, and how long should you wait before you can enjoy it.

After conducting some research (i.e., rummaging around the internet), I discovered that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to making Truffle Infused Vodka. Obviously, the more truffles you use, the stronger the taste is going to be. I think a 8-10% weight/volume ratio of truffle to vodka is enough to impart a nice and savoury truffle flavour into the vodka without making it too strong or overwhelming.

As for how long you should wait for it to infuse, following my little experiment. I’d have to say a minimum of one week.

I’ve gotta say… I’ll be making this again during the truffle season this year. And it will be a bit more (or a lot more) than 300ml!

Here’s a quick video on how you could do it.

And here’s the recipe!

How To Make Truffle Infused Vodka

Ingredients/Equipment:

  • 330ml good quality vodka (I use Grey Goose)
  • 30g sliced fresh black truffle (mine comes from The Truffle Farm)
  • Glass bottle
  • Funnel

Method:

  1. Slice black truffle thinly
  2. Using a funnel, pour vodka into the bottle. Add sliced truffle.
  3. Close the lid and turn a few time. Sit for at least a week before consuming.

 

Enjoy!

Keren x

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Mushroom Risotto with Black Truffles

Oh, those little black gold nuggets… A couple of months ago I impulse-purchased a couple of black truffles from The Truffle Farm because, well, (a) they were in season and (b) I’m weak around fine foods… like… completely helpless! So I made this dish –  Mushroom Risotto with Black Truffle.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto With Black Truffle

Mushroom risotto and black truffle is like the perfect marriage made in foodie heaven I think.

I got a bit nervous (like pretty much every time I make risotto). Did I add enough stock? Did I add too much stock? Is the flavour okay? Is it going to be soggy or too dry?

I just wanted it to be good.

Because..

I can’t live with a bad risotto – at least not from my kitchen.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto With Black Truffle

But it turned out beautiful! I don’t know why I worried so much. It was creamy, perfectly al-dente and the flavour of Swiss brown mushrooms…. man, it really made this dish shine. And the thinly shaved truffle… sprinkling it all over the dish was almost like making that crunchy caramel top of crème brulee, it made the dish perfect.

This dish is rich, comforting, and full of the earthy and savoury flavours that I adores so much. I also added a sprinkle of vegan parmesan, and just like that – magic happened.

mushroom-risotto-2

Making risotto requires patience. You have to stand there in the kitchen for almost an hour just stirring the thing. But I guess that’s why it tastes so good – because of all the love you put into it. I’m lucky enough to have a Cuisine Companion, a cooking machine that cooks and stirs at the same time, so I don’t have to go to so much trouble. But I’ve made risotto without it before and it wasn’t too bad, as long as your heart’s in it. Besides, that’s how people have made risotto for years – in a saucepan, over a stove.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto With Black Truffle

Mushroom Risotto with Black Truffles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Arborio rice (I use SunRice brand)
  • 1 large brown onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 200g Swiss brown mushroom, sliced to 1cm thickness
  • ¼ cup extra virgin oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup vegan parmesan
  • 20 gram black truffles (or you can substitute with truffle oil)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter (I use Nuttelex)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper

Cuisine Companion Method: 

  1. Place in the bowl fitted with the mixer. Add the oil and onion and launch the P1 slow cook program without the stopper for 3 mins.
  2. Add the rice then launch the P1 Slow Cook program without the stopper for 3 mins. Add white wine and relaunch for 1 min.
  3. Add the vegetable stock stock and launch the Slow Cook Program P2 at 95°C for 15 mins without the stopper.
  4. Meanwhile slice mushroom to 1cm thickness.
  5. Add mushroom at the end of the 15 minute program and then relaunch for 5 minutes.
  6. Add the vegan parmesan, salt, butter and gently mix. Adjust the seasoning.
  7. Sprinkle with shaved black truffle or drizzle with black truffle oil.

Manual Method:

  1. Place stock in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until mixture starts to simmer. Turn the heat to low and cover to keep hot.
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 3-5 minutes or until onion has softened.
  3. Stir in rice into the cooked onion. Cook, for 1 to 2 minutes or until coated. Add wine. Stir for 30 seconds or until wine has absorbed.
  4. Add ½ cup of hot stock to rice mixture. Cook, stirring, until stock has absorbed. Repeat with remaining stock, ½ cup at a time.
  5. Add sliced mushroom after adding the last cup of stock and cook until liquid has absorbed and rice is tender.
  6. Remove pan from heat. Stir in spinach, parmesan and butter. Set aside, covered, for 2 minutes. Season. Serve with grated parmesan.
  1. Add the vegan parmesan, salt, butter and gently mix. Adjust the seasoning.

Tips:

  • Infuse the rice with the black truffles for five days for a boost of truffle flavour.
  • You can shave truffles using a cheese shaver or a vegetable peeler.

Vegan Mushroom Risotto With Black Truffle

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and/or share a picture on Instagram and tag me :)

Big love,

Keren

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Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

The last time I went to Canberra was six years ago for the Tulip Festival. I went with four of my girlfriends. I navigated, we got lost (Google Maps failed me) and it took us five hours to get to Canberra, from Sydney, by way of the Blue Mountains (I know…). Despite the slow start, it ended being a great trip and I have a lot of fond memories from that day (including eating too many scones and cookies at Ginger Catering’s high tea buffet). This year I went back to Canberra, not for the Tulip, but for the Canberra Truffle Festival. I was invited by a girlfriend and went on a whim. I had no expectations: I just was hoping for a similarly pleasant experience as to last time, but instead, I was blown away.

We started our 2-day Truffle Festival adventure with a three-hour truffle hunt at Tarago Truffle, which was an amazing and eye-opening experience that makes me appreciate this nuggets of black gold so much more. You can read more about my truffle hunting experience, and the ethics of eating truffles as a vegan, in my last post.

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

Tarago Truffle

 

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

 

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

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After the truffle hunt we went to the Canberran CBD to try The Cupping Room – they’re reputed for making good coffee. We got there in less than an hour and to my surprise, there was a queue at the door- the young and hip, lining up and eager to get in the café for some hot brew. I hate lining up for food, but it didn’t look like there were any other cafés nearby, and since everyone was keen on trying this place, I made an exception. About five minutes later one of their waiting staff came out and offered us some free plunger coffee. I felt much better already.

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Thirty minutes later we got our table. I ordered my usual soy flat white and chose one of the few vegan dishes they have – Avo & his mates (veganised).

It was a pretty good plate, but would have been miles better with a dash of truffle salt (it was hard not to be obsessed with truffles after the previous night)! But, hey, at least they didn’t skimp on the avocado, that’s for sure. So much avo mash on that toast.

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

Veganised Avo and His Mates

The dish was served with some radish and cress salad which was quite tasty. It gave the dish a nice crunch and a bit of zing. The waiting staff also gave me a side of cashew cream which was creamy and lovely.

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

Crunchy hot chips at The Cupping Room

Coffee was really good! Their Cascara tea – made from the cherry of a coffee tree – was interesting. It tastes fruity with the tiniest hint of coffee and smells a bit like berry, sour and sweet both at the same time.

The Cupping Room

The Cupping Room

The Truffle Degustation

On the Saturday night we went to a five-course truffle and wine degustation dinner, at the Chifley Hotel, as part of the Canberra Truffle Festival event. The hotel made me a special vegan menu, which is always a nice touch, and I even got my own plate of appetisers while everyone else had to share.

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

Tomato Carpaccio with lots and lots of truffle shavings – Best dish of the night

 

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

Pumpkin Soup

It was a fun-filled night (like most nights involving food and wine are). We were the only group younger than our 40’s there, rocking our jeans and boots while everyone else were either in a dress or in a collared shirt. We looked a little out of place, no doubt, but I don’t think we cared. We were there for the food and the wine. But there was nothing to worry about because everyone was really nice and friendly.

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

Risotto with, you guessed it – truffle!

 

 

We ate a lot of truffle-full dishes and met the winemaker who brought Prosecco into Australia, Otto Dal Zotto from Dal Zotto Wine, and drank heaps of his wine. He even gave us tips on how we can perform better at wine-tasting, including starting as early as seven in the morning!

The food was good but the wine was outstanding. We bought a few bottles each – they have arrived in Sydney by the way, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on them very soon.

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

After dinner we went to Molly, also in the CBD (thanks to a tip from a wine distributor who sat at our table). Molly is an underground speakeasy bar which reminds me of Palmer and Co in the Rocks in Sydney. It’s so underground that it doesn’t even have a sign at the door. We (I) had to ask a local Canberrian for directions, and in exchange he asked me for some water as I was carrying my water bottle. It was a pretty random exchange (I gave him the whole bottle) but the directions were on point. We saw a door with a bright light next to a building and inside, a girl sitting on a stool welcoming people in. It would have looked pretty shady had she not been super-nice-friendly-looking. As I walked down the stairs I could hear the crowd and music. This is not the Canberra I once knew. This is so much better.

 

We stayed overnight at Medina in Belconnen, in a two bedroom serviced apartment. It was very nice for that sort of accommodation: It was clean and airy and with a full-size kitchen. I slept like a baby.

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016 The morning came and we all had to quickly pack up and check out. We started wandering our way back to Sydney that afternoon, but not without a visit to the local vineyards and one last truffle farm on the way.

 

At the dinner at the Chifley the night before, we heard Jayson Meysman’s story about his inspiring journey leading him to the truffle industry, his $100,000 dog Samson and The Truffle Farm that he now owns at Majura. We decided to drop by to check out his farm and, perhaps, get some more truffles.

The Truffle Farm

Have you heard of truffle-infused vodka? It was our first taste, too.

 

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

Black Truffle

And we did end up buying more truffles (how could you not?) before making our way to Murrumbateman Winery and then Eden Road Wines.

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

Eden Road Winery

As is always the case with me and winery visits – I started telling myself ‘I don’t need more wine, I’m just gonna enjoy some free wine’ here and ended up with the ageless ‘I can’t not buy this, it’s so good’ dilemma with my own conscience. Luckily we only visited two wineries so I didn’t completely exhaust my willpower. I ended up buying only a couple of bottles of wine and was feeling pretty proud of myself.

 

Canberra Truffle Festival 2016

So we did everything we wanted to do: We ate lots of truffles, we drank lots of wine and we spent some quality time with each other. It’s amazing how much you can do in two days.

We ended our trip to Canberra with a toast of Eden Road Cabernet Sauvignon, a bunch of full bellies, sweet, truffle-filled memories, and the hope to return to the capital city again next year.

Until we meet again.

 

Keren x