Even if your kitchen isn’t stocked with liquid nitrogen, a thermal immersion circulator, or an anti-griddle, you should consider picking up the Volt Ink. cookbook, which hit bookstores yesterday. The recipes within come courtesy of brothers Michael Voltaggio (Ink.) and Bryan Voltaggio (Volt), two of the county’s most avant-garde celebrity chefs, made famous by their fraternal food battles on Top Chef. Complex dishes like the Pork Belly with Big Squid Ramen or the Mock Oyster are somewhat simplified for the home cook, but the top-notch food photography and chef anecdotes ranging from stoic to nostalgic are reason enough to have this on your shelf. One recipe you can whip up without too much kitchen wizardry—provided you can obtain some black truffles—is Michael’s truffle brioche with nori-goat butter, which he describes as having “the look and feel of the freshly baked cinnamon rolls that we drooled over as kids.” What? You didn’t have goat butter at your childhood breakfast table?
MICHAEL – These small brioches have the look and feel of the freshly baked cinnamon rolls that we drooled over as kids. As you pull them from the oven, the heady, elusive aroma of truffles permeates your kitchen. The nori butter, made from finely ground seaweed and tangy whipped goat’s milk, imparts a hint of the ocean to the dish. The finished breads deliver a wonderful balance of surf and earth, ingredients from opposite ends of the pantry.
Truffle Brioche, Nori-Goat Butter
1/2 cup plus 4 teaspoons (150 g) whole milk, plus 2 1/2 tablespoons (40 g)
2 tablespoons (16.8 g) active dry yeast
1 2⁄3 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
1 teaspoon (6 g) fine sea salt
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup plus 1⁄2 tablespoon (175 g) unsalted butter, diced
Nonstick cooking spray
1 large egg
Truffle Coulis (below)
Nori-Goat Butter (below)
5 ounces (140 g) canned truffle peelings
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (70 g) white truffle oil
1⁄4 teaspoon (2 g) truffle salt
2 sheets (6g) nori, ground to a powder 7 ounces
(200g) goat’s milk butter, at room tempature
Pour the ½ cup plus 4 teaspoons (150 g) milk into a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high power for 5-second bursts until the temperature reaches 80°–90°F (27°–32°C). Rain in the yeast and let stand until the yeast is hydrated, about 5 minutes. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. On low speed, add the milk-yeast mixture. Add the egg yolks one at a time, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated. Add the butter bit by bit, mixing until all of it is fully absorbed. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Use your hands to gently deflate the dough, then divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin, roll out half of the dough into a 12-inch (30-cm) square about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Spread half of the truffle coulis over the dough. Roll up the dough lengthwise into a tight log, and place it, seam side down, on the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining dough and coulis to make a second log, and add it to the pan. Refrigerate the dough logs until firm to the touch, at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
Lightly spray the two 10-inch (25-cm) round cake pans with cooking spray. Cut each dough log crosswise into 11 equal slices. Arrange the slices, cut sides down and evenly spaced, in the prepared pans and let stand in a warm spot until the dough rises and the slices look puffy, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and 2 1/2 tablespoons milk to make an egg wash and brush over the tops of the proofed rolls. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. While still warm, brush with some of the nori butter and pass the extra.
In a blender, combine the truffle peelings, oil, and salt and process until smooth. The coulis may be stored in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days before using.
Nori Goat Butter
In a food processor, combine the nori powder and butter and pulse until uniform mixture forms. Scrape the butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll up into uniform log. Refrigerate until firm. The butter will keep up to 2 weeks. Makes about 7 ounces (206g).