What is a Chocolate Truffle?

What is a box of assorted chocolates without a truffle? This tasty confection is traditionally filled with chocolate ganache and coated with chocolate or cocoa powder. Truffles are usually shaped like a sphere and can have other centers besides ganache, such as caramel, nuts, nougat, toffee, mint, marshmallow, berries, and even liqueur.

Different Types of Truffles

The credit for creating the first chocolate truffle goes to M. Dufour of Chambery, France in 1895. However, recognition of the sweet treat didn’t truly spread until the establishment of the Prestat chocolate shop in London, which to this day, still sells the original recipe for ‘Napoleon III’ truffles. Today, you can choose from three main types of chocolate truffles in the world: American, European, and Swiss.

The “American truffle” typically uses a blend of dark or milk chocolates with butterfat. It comes in a half-egg shape coated with chocolate. In Canada, graham cracker crumbs and peanut butter are added to what is called the “Harvey truffle.”

Cocoa powder, milk powder, fats, and other ingredients are paired with syrup to create the “European truffle.” At least 10% of the truffle should include butter, which is then mixed with ganache cream. Butter creates an enhanced flavor and a melt-in-the-mouth experience.

Melted chocolate combined with a boiling mixture of dairy cream and butter creates the base of the “Swiss truffle.” The mix is then poured into molds to set. A sprinkling of cocoa powder finishes off the confection. It is a must to eat this kind of truffle within a couple of days.

Ways to Vary Your Truffles

If you are interested in making chocolate truffles from scratch, there are plenty of ways to spice up your recipe. Add Frangelico to your chocolate and cream mixture to create a hazelnut-flavored truffle, and then coat with chopped hazelnuts. Truffles with a coffee flavor are achieved with the addition of one tablespoon of espresso powder into heated cream, and Kahlua to the truffle mix. Adding two tablespoons of fruit puree or jam to a recipe will make fruit-flavored truffles.