Well, a chocolate truffle isn’t what pigs go sniffing out in the forest for, but the name does derive from the luxurious mushrooms due to the resemblance in shape.
These delightful bite-sized chocolate treats originated in France. To make this delicacy, get ready with these main ingredients: chocolate and cream, which are often rolled in cocoa powder. There are two dominating legends about how the chocolate truffle was created. On one hand, we have Louis Dufour who, in 1895, whipped up some ganache and rolled this concoction into balls. These ganache balls were then dipped into melted chocolate, rolled in cocoa powder, and voila – the chocolate goodie was born! On the other hand, we have Auguste Escoffier from the 1920s. His apprentice’s creation of the was actually an error. He mistakenly poured hot cream into a bowl of chocolate chunks though the cream was meant for another bowl. He took the ganache he had accidentally created, rolled it into balls, and then rolled those balls in cocoa powder, resulting in truffles. Whichever of these stories is actually true, one thing is for certain when it comes to these delicious treats: the ganache filling must be present for it to be considered a “true” chocolate truffle.
Although the French version is the traditional blueprint, many countries have developed their own truffle-inspired creations. We have truffles of the Swiss, American, Belgian, and other varieties. Their chocolate truffle ingredients can include things like praline, hot cream, and butter, syrup, milk powder, butterfat, even coconut oil! Even if it is square-shaped or coated with anything other than cocoa powder, it is still an authentic truffle as long as that ganache centre is there. So don’t let those creme or fruit-filled chocolate confections out there fool you into thinking they are truffles (though they are still delicious and loved by many).
Whether you enjoy them rolled in classic cocoa powder, crushed nuts, coconut, or any other type of topping, just make sure they have that ganache filling – and that they are actually made of chocolate, so it’s not their fungi namesake. Today of all days, you should head out your door and pick up some chocolate truffles at a chocolatier or candy shop near you, as it is National Truffle Day!