It’s time for a treat: why we love chocolate truffles?

October 8, 2018

There are two types of people in the world – one, who believe in therapy and the other, who have chocolates. Do you remember the first time you tasted chocolate? The way the sinfully dark solid melted in your mouth filling you with a strange warmth that tasted like a slice of heaven in your mouth. There is a reason children, adults, and senior citizens love chocolate. If there is something that can bring generations together, it is chocolate.

As we have gathered wisdom and knowledge, we have come to know that chocolate comes in different shapes and forms. You can add chocolate to different recipes and transform them to ethereal delicacies in seconds. It is a pure miracle that can change lives. The chocolate truffle is one such instance.

Why should we be thankful for some whims?

According to legends, the culinary masterpiece is the creation of a French Patisserie. Like most culinary work of art, it was the product of an eccentric genius. Louis DuFour created this unusual treat on a Christmas Event in 1895. To serve his customers something brilliant and exclusive he created truffles made of chocolate in Chambray France. The gooey chocolate ganache coated in cocoa powder soon became a sensation that we can find in almost all corners of the world.

We, chocolate aficionados will always be thankful for this serendipitous accident. We might call them truffles due to their striking similarity to the aromatic mushroom that chefs use in pasta and gourmet dishes, but chocolate truffles share no flavor with the slightly pungent extract of these mushrooms. These chocolates do not contain any mushroom extracts. They might contain some exotic and rather unusual fillings, but you can be sure that they are always delicious inside and out. The classic recipe calls for dark chocolate and heavy cream ganache rolled in fine cocoa powder. The result is a bittersweet melt-in-your-mouth magnum opus that deserves to be a part of every birthday, Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, Anniversary and Fourth of July celebration!

The hard ganache vs. the soft ganache: the best part of a chocolate truffle

The typical way to make the ganache is by boiling the heavy cream and pouring it on the bitter chocolate flakes. The chocolatier or chef them mixes them, cools them and rolls them into semi-solid spheres. Then, they roll these tiny balls of chocolate in powdered cocoa and chill them to give them shape. That gives us the dense, gooey chocolate center and the slightly harder shell. You will find two basic kinds of chocolate truffles. One that has a soft ganache center and the other has a harder center. The latter is easier to manage than a soft center. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare, and you might not even need molds for making those. These need not be perfect spheres. You can coat them in the cocoa dust as soon as you manage to give them a lumpy round shape.

The chocolate truffles with a soft ganache center can be a little tricky to make. It is better to get chocolate molds for forming the outer shells. The inner ganache has the same components like the hard filling, only the proportion of the cream and chocolate are equal. In case of the hard ganache, you can use a 1:4 heavy cream and chocolate ratio. For the soft ganache, you need to work fast and let the outer chocolate shell settle for a while before piping in the filling. Use a spatula to scrape off the excess and cover them with the remaining chocolate for the crust. Freeze them to harden them. Upon freezing the chocolate should contract and come off the mold quite quickly.

Why do you need practice?

While offering chocolate truffles as a gift, perfection is of utmost importance. Making chocolate truffles at home is not impossible, but it takes considerable practice to form perfectly round, cubic or other fancy shapes. The ones you can buy from chocolate shops always have bespoke designs on them. Some of them are too beautiful to eat. Getting those at home without the professional equipment might not be possible. However, do not feel sad. Homemade chocolate truffles have the personal touch that mass-produced chocolates can never have. So, you need to keep practicing till they look as good as they taste. Even if you fail, there can be no downside. You will have enough dessert to make the entire family happy every day!

Chocolate truffles with a post-modern twist

Nowadays, you will find several types of chocolate truffles containing a variety of fillings. Many have an exotic coating in place of the plain cocoa as well. You might find pistachio, coconut, hazelnut and white chocolate coated truffles in the market. If you are allergic to something, it is always double checking the coat and ganache before you take a bite. You might find at least one of these items in place of the regular chocolate ganache –

  • Caramel
  • Fudge
  • Nougat
  • Toffee
  • Fruit cream
  • Marshmallow
  • Nuts (hazelnut, almonds, and pistachios)
  • Liqueur
  • Peanut butter

You can make liqueur filling for your choco truffle at home as well. When you make the chocolate ganache at home, swap out an ounce of the heavy cream for an ounce of the liqueur. You can use cognac, champagne, Irish whiskey or flavored vodka as well. The choice of liqueur will depend upon the occasion and the personal taste of the person. It will make the ganache more liquid and softer than the cream would, so you need to take its heat tolerance into account while pouring it inside the shell.

Chocolate truffles are amazing! They are perfect for any occasion. You can serve them to your guests if you are too tired to make antipasto or you can offer them to your children as special desserts. Many gourmet restaurants serve a selection of premium handmade chocolate truffles to their guests while they wait for their dinner. Since almost everyone loves chocolates, it is a great way to make everyone happy without putting in an extensive effort and wasting a lot of money.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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