The Bottom Line: Sweet facts about chocolate truffles.
The Full Story:
- A French invention, the original chocolate truffle was a ball of ganache, chocolate and cream, often flavored and rolled in cocoa as shown in the photo at the left. It was named after the precious black truffle fungus because of its physical resemblance.
- There are three main types of chocolate truffles: American, Swiss and European. 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.
- According to legend, the chocolate truffle was created in the kitchen of French culinary giant Auguste Escoffier during the 1920s. One day, as his stagiaire (apprentice) attempted to make pastry cream, he accidentally poured hot cream into a bowl of chocolate chunks rather than the bowl of sugared egg he should have aimed for. As the chocolate and cream mixture hardened, he found he could work the chocolate paste with his hands to form a bumpy, lopsided ball
- Modern truffles can be coated in peppercorns, sweet curry and paprika and can be enrobed in couverture. But they still have a commonality: balls, squares or other shapes, filled with ganache.