There is nothing more elegant than a snowy-white wedge of creamy, savory Brie, the famed soft cheese named for the French region where it originated – unless it’s brie layered with paper-thin shavings of fresh summer truffles.
Brie’s remarkable journey from milk to plate begins with a unique process, including an inoculation with a special cheese mold, a critical step in producing brie’s distinctive flavor and signature white “bloomy” rind. The rind (yes, it IS meant to be eaten) has a mild, faintly mushroom-like flavor that makes brie especially well-suited for pairing with summer truffles.
Summer truffles (Tuber aestivum), rough and black on the outside, but with a delicate tracery of pale veins on the inside, are among the most mild-flavored of truffles, lacking the intense, swoon-inducing aroma and flavor associated with their uber-expensive winter cousins. But that’s not to say that summer truffles aren’t worth the bother. Indeed, their delicate flavor is exceptionally well-suited for many uses where they won’t overpower other ingredients – and they won’t bust your budget.
In short, it turns out that dark, lumpy-looking summer truffles and pale, gooey brie are nothing short of a match made in heaven. The volatile essence of the truffle is easily absorbed by the rich, creamy brie, quickly permeating the entire cheese with its delicate, but absolutely unmistakable flavor.
This is another one of those dishes that is ridiculously easy to make once you have assembled the ingredients – in this case only two: brie and summer truffles. You’ll need a little bit of equipment, but chances are that you already have them, or a reasonable facsimile, in your kitchen drawers. Making truffled brie is easy; the hard part is waiting a week to eat it!
- 1 wedge or wheel of good quality Brie, about 8 oz
- 1 medium summer truffle, about 1 oz
- fresh baguette, rustic bread or crackers
- accompaniments of your choice, such as fresh fruit, sausage or other cured meat
- 18″ – 24″ clean fishing line, dental floss or wire
- plastic cling wrap
- truffle slicer or mandoline
Stand the brie on end, pointy-side up. If you’re using a round of brie, just stand it on edge, since it won’t have a point.
Cut a piece of clean monofilament fishing line, dental floss or wire approximately 18″ – 24″ in length. Grasping an end in either hand, carefully pull downward to slice through the center of the cheese. A helper may make this process a lot easier. As you slice slowly downward, have your helper gently pull the cut sides apart, since the soft cheese may simply seal itself back together again.
Once you’ve cut all the way through the cheese, lay the halves rind-side down. Using a very sharp adjustable truffle slicer or mandoline, shave off paper thin slices of fresh truffle, spreading them evenly across the cut surface of one half of the cheese. Don’t skimp – make sure that the cheese is well-covered with overlapping truffle slices at least 2 or 3 layers deep.
Carefully press the top half of the brie back onto the bottom, sandwiching the truffle slices between the two. Wrap tightly and securely in plastic cling film, then place into a zip lock bag and return to the refrigerator. Leave wrapped in the fridge for at least 4 or 5 days, or preferably one week to allow the subtle flavor of the summer truffles to permeate the entire cheese.
When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes ahead of time. Unwrap and garnish with additional fresh truffle shavings; serve with baguette rounds, rustic bread or savory crackers, assorted sliced cured meats and fresh fruit.
Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.
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