Sunday, 2 March 2014


Tartufo of Chocolate & Vanilla gelato incased in a White truffle oil infused Dark chocolate shell , Chocolate fudge sauce , Cookie crumble Dirt & Sand , Shaved Black summer truffle & bee pollen granules.

                This is a dessert of pure indulgence and is a perfect way to see out the last summer days as we enter our first days of autumn here in the land of oz. As the heat is still around here in Brisbane, we are destined to see a prolonged late summer and the overlap of seasonal offerings but this also means a perfect scenario for raising autumn seedlings, giving them a strong start and establishment before the temperatures drop and day light decreases hindering photosynthesis. Anyway enough in the garden and more about this little stella. This dish isn't about showcasing expensive ingredients rather a dish with a perfect flavour pairing. What I noticed the most with this sweet, earthy flavoured pairing is the truffle gives the dark chocolate flavour the ability to last on the palate for ever, kind of like a fixative in soap holds the fragrance of a soap, truffle fixes the taste of the dark chocolate to the palate.
                This plate was fairly simple to put together, having said that I cheated with the gelato and opted for a store bought split flavoured gelato. This removed the a huge amount of time from the overall planning but in hindsight, next time I do this dish I intend to make my own vanilla flavoured gelato. As I found the store bought version didn't stand up to the plating and had melted inside the shell. With making my own I can adjust the gums and thickeners to my needs and produce a more durable gelato. The preparation of this dish started with the cookie crumbles, the first being the 'sand' or shortbread crumble of which I made a simple butter, flour and sugar dough, rolling out to 3-4 mm thick and cutting into cookie shapes before being baked in a 170 deg. oven for 15 minutes until golden in colour, the tray was then removed from the oven and allowed to cool before the cookies were pulverised to a crumb consistency. For the 'dirt' crumble I did a house-made Oreo cookie dough by mixing flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, a little baking soda, salt and sugar with an egg and unsalted butter, this was then rolled out to 3-4 mm thick, cut into cookie rounds and baked at 180-190 deg.c for 10 minutes before being removed and allowed to cool. I then placed the cookies in to a plastic bag and pulverised them to a crumb consistency. The trick to a good crumble is to shape the dough into cookies before baking rather than cooking as a flat sheet of dough, the biscuit shape is what gives a hardened crumb. I made the tartufo ( truffle ) next by melting some good quality ( 70% ) dark chocolate and adding to this a little white summer truffle oil. Using a melon baller I scooped balls of the gelato and with the truffle infused chocolate I coated the gelato balls, working fast to get them onto a parchment lined tray and into the freezer to set. While the tartufo were setting a began making the fudge sauce by bringing some cream, golden syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and dark chocolate to the boil over a medium heat in a saucepan. I then reduced the heat to a low simmer and while stirring I cooked the fudge sauce out for about 5 minutes before removing from the stove and adding unsalted butter, vanilla extract and some more dark chocolate. This was then stirred until smooth in consistency and set aside to cool. The fudge sauce was then reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds to serve. And for the finishing touches I carefully shaved slithers of black summer truffle to accompany and garnished the tartufo with some delicate bee pollen granules.

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