What Exactly is a Chocolate Truffle?

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All Truffles are Not Created Equal!

Not to be confused with the highly prized fungus, a chocolate truffle is possibly the most simply elegant and decadent of all chocolate confections.  Traditionally made with a chocolate ganache center coated with chocolate or rolled in cocoa powder, it is usually spherical in shape.

Thank You Monsieur Dufour!

Originating in France, the chocolate truffle was first created in 1895 by M. Dufour who discovered through a happy accident that hot cream and chocolate melted together would form a smooth, velvety emulsion that once left to set up, could be shaped to create bite-sized spheres.

Since the origins of the truffle begin in France, it is logical to assume that the name be French too.  The truffle is a small underground mushroom found in French forests.  Truffles are prized by gourmands around the world; very expensive and originally eaten only by the royals and wealthy citizens, to this day is maintains an elevated status.  Since the chocolate truffle resembles this amazing fungus so much, the French decided it should be named after its savory cousin. To this day, chocolate truffles are associated with decadence and luxury.

Taking the World by Storm

The chocolate truffle soon found its way into Europe.  There it became the newest sensation, tantalizing Europeans with it richness.  Soon after, it made its way into America and the rest of the world.  By the early 1900’s, chocolate truffles were being produced worldwide.  While they are all made in the same manner, many consider the best truffles to still be made by the French.

Modern creation of chocolate truffles includes infusing the velvety ganache with exotic spices, teas, spirits and liqueurs.  There are currently three different types of truffles:  American, European and Swiss.    These types vary both in the method of producing the ganache, as well as in the basic ingredients used for the ganache. While the American chocolate truffle is essentially basic using milk and dark chocolate, the European version uses thick syrup of cocoa powder and butter. The Swiss type is completely different and makes use of dairy cream, which drastically reduces its shelf life.

Chocolate truffles are easy to make, delicious to taste and make the perfect gift.  They also make an excellent dessert and pair beautifully with fresh fruit and sparkling wine.  Chocolate truffles can be enjoyed from breakfast, lunch or dinner!  The chocolate truffle has become synonymous with luxury confections.

photo courtesy of 123rf.com

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2 Responses to “What Exactly is a Chocolate Truffle?”

  1. July 21, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I’m so lucky to have noticed this web page. You actually stated me exactly what I wished to hear and then some. Gorgeous composition and many thanks all over again for getting this 100 % free!

    • Chocolate Guru
      July 31, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

      Thanks for the comment!

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