friends I'm pretty much known as the dessert queen and rarely get challenged to try main meals or elegant entrées. However, intrigued by the fungal food sensation, I decided to sign up for Trufflicious! An evening cooking workshop at Taste Budds Cooking Studio, located at their brand new location at 305 Lord Street in Highgate.
Sophie Budd, teacher and caterer, is head chef of the Studio with a background working with restaurant royalty in England having gained experience with Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver at their cooking establishments.
A warm and calm leader, she quickly took point for our large class of enthusiastic students, primed on tasty appetisers and BYO vin blanc.
After a quick overview on the look, feel and smell of the enigmatic truffle (not to mention its princely price tag – a portion the size of a ping pong ball will probably set you back about $50 - $70); it was on to the menu as Sophie divided us into groups to take charge of each course of the meal.
I was on Team Chocolate Mousse – surprise, surprise – even complete strangers can spot my affinity for desserts! There was Team Croq Monsieur who had to make their bread from scratch for the Parisian French toasted cheese sandwiches; Team Gnocchi, who watched intently when
we were all getting a lesson on how to make the delicious potato pasta pillows; and Team Risotto who had to prep and prepare a basic vegetable stock ahead of putting together their porcini, mushroom and fennel flecked dish. The common ingredient in all was of course, truffles, though I have to admit, my impression of the ingredient upon handling it was of its earthy, savoury quality and wasn't sure how it would make an impression in the sweet dish my team was expected to produce.
Nevertheless, Lyn, Bart and I, in borrowed aprons and sneaking
Dark chocolate truffle mousse with a white chocolate truffle topper
random chocolate pieces in the prepping stages (cook's prerogative!), gave it a red hot go and managed to produce a satisfying meal ender – though there was a moment of crisis worthy of a Masterchef commercial break! Sophie to the rescue, and what could have been a curdled white chocolate disaster turned out to be our icing on the mousse.
discussing kitchen capers while smelling the delicious aromas of our meal coming together. Finally, seated at the long table, we enjoyed the fruits of our labours and the compliments followed thick and fast for all the dishes being shared around.
So, have I been converted? Will I be getting out the gumboots for the annual Truffle Shuffle at Mundaring Shire? The event itself sounds like a