living underground in the real world

ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY BEET TRUFFLE!

Everyone said it couldn’t be done, and that it shouldn’t be done, because who wants earthy chocolate paired with earthy beets?

Pomegranate truffles (with rose petals) and sweet beets!

Well, ok: you were about half right. The truffle looks amazing, but…the taste is, um, a different matter. It’s pretty damn beety. Spectacularly beety, in fact. OK, crazily beety.

Are you wondering what possessed me to make a beet truffle? A farmer with a surfeit of beets, of course! My chef-turned-farmer pal Jessica mentioned to me that she made some beet powder from her own beets, and did I want any? Of course the mention of any fine powdery substance makes me think of truffles (nothing else, I promise you), and so the beet truffle was born.

I made two batches: one with a beet syrup mixed with the ganache (the chocolate in the center), which made it sweet, but still exceedingly beety. The other had a ton of freshly ground coriander seeds in the center, and the powdered beets on the outside. How can anyone resist the combination of coriander and beets, right? It’s one of my all-time favorites. With a little white wine vinegar, you’ve got a great salad. But adding chocolate certainly does add, well, an exciting challenge to the mix. Still, the coriander one was the clear winner. In need of work, yes, but it handily won round 1.

And yes, it has a while to go before I can say it’s perfected. It’s not exactly a sweet. It’s more like a savory, melty, pleasantly gritty, gorgeously red amuse bouche. Which is an OK thing to exist in the world, for sure. But it is absolutely not for everyone.

I adore savory truffles. Savory truffles, people! Creme tangerine! A ginger sling with a pineapple heart! Why did The Beatles think “savory truffle” meant sweet treats, when I think of them as, well, savory? Interesting.

I’ve made white miso truffles, pumpkin seed oil truffles, curry truffles (Thai green, Thai red, and Indian), chipotle truffles, ancho truffles, sea salt truffles, wasabi truffles, black sesame truffles. I love them all.

And the beet is going to be my biggest challenge yet, I can see that now. The trick will be adding enough of another flavor so the beet outside doesn’t overpower…coriander extract, maybe? Lemon? A Lemon-beet truffle!!

I also experimented with cutting the beet powder with cocoa powder and rolling the truffle in that, but meh. It’s all about the zingy red outside for me, so I can’t do that.

More to come on this little red menace, for sure.

Also, I realized something great about my fabulous induction stove yesterday. I was looking for a bowl to make a double boiler to melt a tiny bit of chocolate, when I realized that since the bowl was stainless steel I could theoretically cook in it on the induction stove. I set the power very very low and it melted the chocolate like a dream. No harm to the bowl or the chocolate!

Induction stove and beet truffle, you will get me through this election cycle and economic morass, won’t you?

(Confidential to Veronica in case I forget to tell you later: the secret to the rzbz truffle–you know of what I speak, I am sure–is adding in a tiny bit of plain melted chocolate to the ganache!!)

11 Responses to “ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY BEET TRUFFLE!”

  1. Allison

    I think they look beautiful and amazing and I would eat them just like that.

    Reply
  2. Veronica's sister Rachel

    I want to try the Thai green truffles! I am intrigued by the idea of savory truffles, and think that they sound excellent. I also just read your most recent entry, and can think of no reason why people would not like truffles with liquor in them. Those are the best! (ESPECIALLY Kahlua).

    Reply
  3. kittee

    i love making and eating gorgeous hot pink sweets with beets, and i wholeheartedly support you and your beet mission. proceed!

    xo
    kittee

    Reply
  4. lagusta

    Thanks for the beet love, ladies! Look for these in a truffle box soon, woooo!!

    And Rachel – I bet Veronica would make you some Thai green curry truffles! They are pretty wild. And awesome!

    Reply
  5. Benito Santiago

    Those beet truffles do look incredible. Keep up the innovation.
    PS-I found this really compelling essay from an amazing eco-anarchist/feminist Lierre Keith (who does a lot of work with the equally fabulous anarchist Derrick Jensen). I, like you, am a vegan anarchist, however her essay has me rethinking some things.
    http://lierrekeith.com/vegmyth.htm
    I thought you’d be interested. And I love your writing.

    Reply
  6. Chutney

    Lierre Keith is an amazing activist, but I can’t get over that she cited some random message board as proof that vegans are ignorant about the nature of life.

    Reply
  7. lagusta

    Yeah, Benito, I have to agree with Chutney on this one. I’m supposed to rethink my entire diet because of an essay by someone who not only relies on nuts who post on message boards (is there any other kind?) but also can’t spell January?

    OK, that was mean and yes, Lierre is amazing. But her essay didn’t persuade me at all. Yes, death is a part of life, but isn’t our task to minimize useless killing?

    I know lots of farmers up here who keep and kill animals with great care and concern, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to eat a needlessly slaughtered cow when I don’t need to, and can eat veggies grown with care and concern instead.

    And I’m too busy to get into it, but I bet a smart biologist or sciencey person could easily debunk her business about “without ruminants, the plant matter will pile up, reducing growth, and begin killing the plants. The bare earth is now exposed to wind, sun and rain, the minerals leech away, and the soil structure is destroyed. In our attempt to save animals, we’ve killed everything.”

    Yeah, that essay didn’t do it for me. She gets all weird and spiritual, too, ick.

    Reply

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