Fungi feast fit for a Queen: My Winter Truffle Train provides a memorable dining experience

truffletrainblog02I don’t often get the chance to cook with something as luxurious as black truffle. But this year I wanted to join in the annual autumn celebration of the fabulous fungi and host my own truffle-themed event.

So I teamed up Nigel Wood from Truffle Melbourne and my friends at Mornington Railway to host a Winter Wine and Truffle Train over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend.

Luckily for me we have our very own truffle farmer on the Mornington Peninsula, so I didn’t have to venture far to source my hero ingredient.

Jenny McAuley has been growing black truffles at her Red Hill property for a few years now. I popped in to see her a few weeks back to load up on her black gold for my event.

Truffle has a lovely earthy umami that pairs well with mushroom, cheese, potato and duck. I worked with those flavours to create my menu. We kicked off with canapés including black truffle and hazelnut macarons, porcini and truffle arancini (pictured below), potato, leek and black truffle soup, smoked trout and truffle salt crostini and my signature Turkish Borecks filled with truffled mash.

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We were lucky to have a beautiful sunny afternoon so could serve the canapés on the platform at Moorooduc station before boarding the train. Once on board our guests enjoyed bento boxes filled with more truffle treats including three cheese and black truffle tart, truffled liver parfait, a truffled mac and cheese croquette and some delicious wine bread from Red Hill Bakery and sour dough made using Mornington Peninsula wheat.

Even though it’s a really savoury flavour, truffle also works well with honey and dark chocolate. I wanted to have some fun with dessert so I collaborated with Tutti Frutti Gelateria who helped me create a black truffle ice cream drizzled with truffled honey and served in a waffle cone with dark chocolate shards (pictured below).

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Truffle also goes well with wine! We served Crittenden sparkling  and a selection of Mornington Peninsula chardonnay and pinot noir. I was thrilled to have Nigel come along and share his own truffle tales with my guests. Truffle Melbourne is the biggest truffle festival outside Europe and there’s not much Nigel doesn’t know about truffles! He has his own 600-tree truffiere in Gippsland and is passionate about making truffles more accessible to home cooks.

• If you missed the truffle train, don’t worry! I’m holding a truffle long lunch on August 4. Click here to book.