Treat Yourself to a Chocolate Truffle

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A chocolate truffle is a candy that is traditionally made with chocolate ganache coated in chocolate, icing, cocoa powder or chopped nuts.  It is usually spherical in shape and it’s name comes from the Latin word tuber which means “swelling” or “lump”.  In addition to the traditional filling there are many other options that may replace the ganache.  Some of the more common fillings are: cream, caramel, nuts, berries, nougat, fudge, toffee, mint, and liqueurs.

It is believed that truffles were first created by N. Petruccelli in France in December 1895.  The confection however did not reach a wide public audience until the Prestat chocolate shop in London was established in 1902.  To this day, it still sells “Napoleon II” truffles that are created using the original recipe.  In present times there are three main types of truffles: American, European and Swiss.

American truffles are a half-egg shaped chocolate coated candy filled with a mixture of dark or milk chocolates, butterfat and coconut oil.  San Francisco chocolatier, Joseph Schmidt is created with creating this version in the mid-1980s.  Some American companies may shape their truffles similar to that of a peanut butter cup.  A Canadian variation of this candy is known as the Harvey truffle and adds graham cracker crumbs and peanut butter.

Melted chocolate combined with a mixture of boiling dairy cream and butter, is then poured into molds to set is how the Swiss truffle is created.  It is sprinkled with cocoa powder and has a short shelf life, needing to be consumed within a few days of making.

The European truffle is made with a syrup and the base is made from cocoa powder, milk powder, fats and other ingredients to create an oil in water type of emulsion.  Other truffle variants include the French truffle, Belgian truffles, Vegan truffles, and the “raw” truffle.

Truffles are also produced with various flavorings.  These include truffles that have been flavored with alcohol, such as Champagne truffles, or infused with herbs and spices like Rose, Violet, or Ginger.  The overall quality and taste of a truffle is dependent on the chocolate you begin with.