Whether you’re a chocoholic or just like a small, sweet bite of something after dinner, you can never go wrong with a chocolate truffle. With its rich flavor and gourmet reputation, one or two truffles—or maybe an entire box of them—always feels like a treat.

But exactly what is a chocolate truffle? And does it have anything to do with the truffles that are in truffle oil or other savory dishes? In this guide, we’ll demystify the chocolate truffle for you, from where it came from to how to make it, so you can really savor that next bite.

 

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What are chocolate truffles?

A chocolate truffle is chocolate ganache covered with cocoa powder or chocolate coating. Chocolate ganache, which is made up of heavy cream and chocolate, is the basis of every truffle. Truffles are often rolled into balls and given as a decadent gift, though with more advanced techniques they can be rolled into more complex shapes.

There are two different incidents credited with the creation of the first chocolate truffle. The first incident claims that a French patisserie by the name of Louis DuFour wanted to surprise his customers with a new chocolate treat. For said surprise, he decided to roll chocolate ganache into spheres, then coat them in cocoa powder so they wouldn’t melt in one’s hand.

The second incident also ties into the alleged creation of ganache. An assistant patisserie to French chef Auguste Escoffier accidentally poured hot cream he had made over a bowl of chunks of chocolate. Once cooled, the accidental creation was rolled into cocoa balls, leading to the chocolate truffles we know today.

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Whatever the origin of chocolate truffles, there is no doubt they are delicious—and wildly popular. Typically, these truffles are made out of a semi-sweet chocolate that is about 60 percent cacao solids, though any high-quality chocolate will do. The coating typically has more variability, with options such as cocoa powder, solid chocolate and other confections to choose from.

Chocolate truffles were originally filled with ganache, however, nowadays people will flavor the ganache or replace it with other fillings like toffee, nuts or even cake!

What is the difference between a chocolate truffle and a truffle?

Despite their name, chocolate truffles are not actually truffles but instead named for their striking resemblance to the truffle mushroom. They bear the same lump shape as their mushroom counterpart but taste completely different.

A chocolate truffle is a sweet dessert, whereas a truffle is a fungus that grows underground. Consequently, they taste completely different and only bear similarities in their looks.

Is a chocolate truffle a mushroom?

Because a chocolate truffle is not actually a truffle, it is not a mushroom either. As mentioned, truffles are fungi that grow underground, typically under oak, poplar and hazel trees. Truffles have a savory flavor and are used in a variety of different recipes but are not required to make a chocolate truffle.

How to make chocolate truffles

Though chocolate truffles are often perceived as a fancy sweet treat, they are actually quite simple to make! All you need is chocolate and heavy cream to get started. Then, heat the cream and pour it over chocolate and whisk together until you have a ganache.

Wait for the ganache to set, then roll it up into small rolls or balls and dip them in your coating of choice. If you want to take your truffles to the next level, you can make them in molds to make different shapes!

Of course, the best part about chocolate truffles is eating them. Whether you share them with a friend or save them for yourself, there’s nothing quite like this rich dessert. Next time you get them, be sure to get a variety of flavors and fillings so you can sample all the different ways these treats are served!

Sources

Santa Barbara Chocolate | The Spruce 1, 2