What Is Truffle Butter?

Add a dose of decadence to any recipe with a scoop of this luxe compound butter.

<p>OlgaLarionova/Getty Images</p>

OlgaLarionova/Getty Images

Truffles are synonymous with decadence in the culinary world. And this is true whether you're talking about the rich chocolate candies or the mushroom-like underground fungus. But either white or black, the latter is arguably one of the most luxurious — and expensive ingredients — you can eat. Fresh truffles are often shaved over foods like pasta, but they can also be used in other mouthwatering ways, like truffle butter.

What's In Truffle Butter?

In order to use every last bit of truffle, the ends and pieces that come from processing whole truffles are often used to make truffle butter. These pieces are blended with softened butter, and sometimes salt or other ingredients, to create a truffle-infused compound butter. Some truffle butter also includes truffle oil made from steeping similar pieces of truffle in oil to reinforce the truffle flavor.

Related:11 Compound Butter Recipes to Easily Elevate Any Meal

Sadly, some manufacturers add artificial truffle flavor into their butter to cut the cost of adding real truffles. This gives the butter a distinct, artificial flavor that can be described as plastic-y and slightly like dirt. To avoid this disappointment, always make sure to read the ingredient list and check for any artificial flavors.

What Does Truffle Butter Taste Like?

Truffles are prized for their earthy, fragrant flavor, and truffle butter blends this with the sweet richness of butter. Truffle butter usually utilizes black summer truffles because they're less expensive, rare, and have an extremely intense flavor. Truffle butter has an extremely rich, mushroomy taste that is bursting with savory, umami notes. It’s frequently used to top steak, but can be added to any number of dishes to give them a decadent, savory boost.

How to Make Truffle Butter

If you already have some black truffles that you've mostly used up in other recipes or chunks that have broken off from shaving, it is the perfect time to make truffle butter.

  1. Start by softening two sticks of unsalted butter. Once the butter is very soft, add it to the bowl of a food processor or stand mixer.

  2. Add in a tablespoon of very finely minced black truffles, more if you like a stronger taste. Optionally, you could also add up to a tablespoon of truffle oil here as well.

  3. Finally, sprinkle in a big pinch of salt and process or mix with the paddle attachment just until everything comes together.

  4. Divide the mixture in half and shape into a loose log shape on top of a large sheet of plastic wrap.

  5. Pull one edge of the wrap over your log shape and press the butter through the plastic into a more precise log shape using a bench scraper or the back of a butter knife.

  6. Once the log is fully formed and the plastic is taut over the butter, roll the log the rest of the way and tie off the ends. Refrigerate until the butter is firm, and then slice into discs as needed.

You can also experiment with adding other flavors such as a teaspoon of minced herbs like rosemary, sage, or thyme. Several cracks of freshly ground black pepper would also be welcome.

How to Use Truffle Butter

Truffle butter is a great ingredient to have when you have truffle tastes without a truffle budget. You can also use truffle butter to reinforce truffle flavor within a dish if you plan to shave fresh truffles on top without spending a ton of money on loads of truffles.

If you like the flavor, try adding truffle butter to recipes that already call for butter as a flavorant, like mashed potatoes or a pan sauce. Truffle butter is also a phenomenal addition to nutty mushroom risotto or pasta. Lean into truffles' earthy flavor and pair it with similarly flavored foods that bring out its nuttiness — like grains, well-browned meat, or woody herbs like rosemary.

Related:30 Recipes for Creamy Mushroom Cravings

For a show-stopping roast chicken, try using truffle butter on and under the skin before roasting to make a centerpiece your family and guests won't be able to stop talking about. Or embrace the flavor by simply spreading a heaping pat on some warm bread with flaky salt and savor all the nuance truffles have to offer.