Friday, November 13, 2009

White Truffle Oil Infused Custards with Black Truffle Ragout

This recipe is (as the title implies) a truffle oil infused custard but the Keller twist is that it is baked and served in eggshells. There is a nifty potato chive chip stuck in it as a garnish. I prepared the chips a day ahead. You slice them on a mandoline (or in my case a V-slicer As Seen on TV!) and between 2 thin potato pieces you place a snip of a chive tip. You press them together and bake between 2 clarified butter coated and kosher salted silpat sheets and cover with a second baking pan.

Mine took much longer than the recipe indicated and I decided to flip them halway through because one side was browning and the other was not. Here are the finished chips.

As a side note, here's what Jim did with the leftovers (wonderfully supportive is getting too long to type out). Obviously he didn't read the fine print about not showing me up. Fantastic spontaneous pantatoes with a little creme fraiche on the side.

The incredible edible egg. It's a good thing they are so darn edible because I've gone through about 2 dozen on this dish. A week or so ago while making an omlette, I decided to practice my shell sawing skills on some non-organic white supermarket eggs. (I know I know...shame on me.) You take a serrated knife and saw the big end of the egg off and then clean out the membrane creating the cooking vessel. Surprisingly it went pretty well, and due to that I was lulled into a false sense of egg security. When it came time to make the real thing, I didn't do as well.

After about a dozen of these, wonderful supportive husband went in search of an egg cutter. Believe it or not, he found one! Another $40 down the project tubes....but hey! I had truffles riding on this. This is the fancy schmancy egg cutter he brought home.. something kind of sick about having a chicken on it.

To complicate matters, the recipe is really not clear about exactly how many actual eggs you need. The ingredients list says "8 large eggs with paper carton" (note: it does NOT say 8 large egg SHELLS) Then in the text there is a reference to 2 extra eggs needed. It does not anywhere state to save those 8 eggs for another use. Since you need 8 shells does that mean 10 eggs? Not using my common sense (which gets me into trouble in the kitchen - once famously for burning the crap out of some sausages and grapes because I "remembered" the recipe said 45 minutes and dear husband ate the damn things saying he liked the caramelization!! what a guy!!) I know that custard does not take a zillion eggs but I was trying to carefully follow the book. Anyways, common sense finally took hold and I realized I only needed 2 eggs for the custard. I think we are eating scrambled eggs again tomorrow.

So, you heat up some cream and milk and put it in the blender, you add truffle oil salt and pepper and your 2 eggs.. I only used one because I was halving this part of the recipe. Whirr it all up and pour into a pitcher, skimming the foamy stuff off the top. You knew there had to be skimming, right? Then you fill your anxious little eggshells 3/4 full and cook them in a hot water bath in the oven for about 45 min.

Meanwhile you make your Black Truffle Ragout which is some of the veal stock we made previously, some minced black truffles, which is reduced to a sauce consistentcy then add some butter and white truffle oil. This stuff is so luxurious.. I wish I could describe the smell, it was heavenly.

When the custards are done you spoon a little of the ragout on top and then poke a potato chive chip into the center. Then, if you are a blogger, you have a little beauty contest to see who is Miss Photogenic. the runners up: ( those in the holding cell together must have been caught drinking or smoking or stealing truffles because they are in jail.)

And the winner is: (first shot before she gets her crown and then after the crowning)
Regarding the "crown" the potato-chive chips had gotten really chewy overnight so I slapped them in the oven to try to crisp them up, got a little too brown but at least got the crunch back.

These things were amazing! So smooth and truffle-y, if you've never tasted white truffle (or oil) it's almost ethereal, there is nothing else like it I've ever tasted in the food world. I wish I had better words to describe the flavor it is so unique and earthy and heavenly at the same time. If I ever have a small dinner party I might make these for appetizers. They were really really good.

See you soon.. no more eggs for a while.


  1. nothing since the truffels? get back in the kitchen lol.

  2. Let me guess... Was that someone from Iowa?