How to Cook with Fresh Truffle

The Perigord Black Winter Truffle is a seasonally harvested fungi that ripens in South Africa’s winter, harvesting occurs from late June through to end of August.  The aroma is a delicate combination of nutty and earthy flavours, with a subtle musty and woody aroma mixed with a gentle mushroom taste.

When cooking with truffle, it's important to understand that the aroma is quite delicate. You can shave truffle freshly over a dish to give flavour and visual appeal or you can infuse a sauce with the truffle aroma. Heating the truflle too much and you will loose the aroma, so its importand to use the truffle at the last moment before serving, which is why it is often shaved over the dish at the table. 

Using truffle as garnish can take on many forms, slicing shaved pieces into fine sticks, using cutter shapes to get uniformity or simply shaving slivers randomly can all add to your dishes’ level of elegance.

Truffles emit their aroma continually until it is totally exhausted, so caring for your truffle properly can extend its life. Truffle should be kept in the fridge at 4 degrees Celsius, use a small closed container and dry off the moisture daily with a paper towel. The truffle de-hydrates over time and this process will reduce your aroma gradually. You can lightly brush off any soil or discolouration using a vegetable brush under running cold water, therafter keep it dry and in the fridge. Adding a little risotto to the container, helps keep the moisture low but may reduce aroma over time. Consume your truffle while its fresh for the best experience.

Most preserved truffle products contain the chemical flavouring 2,4-Dithiapentane that tries to emulate the real truffle aroma. It is important to know that this flavouring is very different from the real thing as it is a chemical imitation.

Chefs all across South Africa have been using the Northern hemisphere season of truffles to introduce the novel truffle taste to the local market.  Imported Tuber Melanosporum (Black Perigord Truffle), and the less aromatic imported Tuber Aestivum (Summer Truffle) have been sold over the years in small quantities.  Now for the first time (from 2016) local South African Black Winter Truffles are harvested and consumed with indulgence, and the chefs have been very complimentary. 

During season you can order Black Winter Truffles directly from our distribution centre in Cape Town and we will courier directly to you.   Contact Kathi on +27 (0)83 441 9948   or email

Basic Truffle Cream Sauce

A basic truffled cream sauce can be used in a pasta, over a steak or even over a slice of grilled fish.

This basic recipe can be adapted, although take care not to add ingredients that may overpower the truffle aroma.

The sauce should take no more than a few minutes, so prepare your dish in advance and set aside. Save some of the truffle for slicing over the dish.

Ingredients :

  20g fresh Truffle or more if you feeling generous.

  250 ml cream.

  A shalot or a small red onion.

  1 tblsp butter.

  Salt and pepper to taste.

  a little grated parmesan 

Method :

Lightly saute the finely chopped shallot/onion in the butter. Add your cream and heat. Allow to reduce and thicken slightly, add a little grated parmesan then shave or microplane your truffle into the sauce. Warm briefly then spoon over your pre-prepared dish. 

Shave xtra truffle slices for visual appeal and maximum aroma at the table.

Truffle Ice-Cream

DSC07401 graded cool

The truffle aroma infuses into ice-cream and showcases the truffle aroma extremely well. This recipe makes 1 litre of ice cream. Its preferable to use an icecream machine. You can place a shaving of truffle onto the serving as garnish .

Ingredients :

  3 egg yellows

  250ml cream

  350ml full cream milk

  110grams castor sugar

  1 vanilla pod

  10grams Truffle

Method :

In a glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks into half the castor sugar until the mixture lightens and the sugar has dissolved, then set aside. Gently warm the milk, cream and remaining castor sugar, stir gently to dissolve the sugar, without letting it boil. Cut open the vanilla pod, scrape the seed out and add to the milk mixture. Slowly combine the milk mixture into the egg mixture while whisking. Add the microplaned truffle and stir, allow to cool before placing into icecream machine.

Truffled Butter

Truffle butter can be used as a spread on breads or simply placed onto steak as melting garnish. Truffle butter will keep for up to 10 days covered in the fridge or can be frozen, but should rather be consumed as soon as possible.

Ingredients : 

  100gram salted butter

  5 grams Black Winter Truffle

Method : 

Soften your butter using a spatula until its a smooth creamy texture. Microplane 5 grams Truffle into mixture and work evenly throughout. Place into dish or turn out onto wax paper to roll into a cigar shape, refrigerate. When solid, cut into discs for use. 

Seafood Risotto with Truffle

Ingredients : (Serves 4)

350g   Rice – Carnaroli type

1   Clove of garlic

8   Baby calamari  tubes, washed

12 Prawn tails

20g White onions

100g Butter

50g Fresh parmesan cheese

2   Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

30g Prawn  bisque

1  Litre Fish stock

Method : In a saucepan (20 cm X 20 cm), brown off 20g of butter with the onions and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add the rice and warm up for about 1 minute, gradually adding the fish stock. In a different saucepan, brown off the calamari and the bisque.  Then add to the rice .

After approx. 8 minutes, add the sautéed prawn and continue the cooking for a further 7 minutes, constantly adding the fish stock.  When cooking is complete, switch off the flame, add the remaining butter and parmesan and serve. To finish add shaved truffle.