What is it about a sphere of chocolate that is so alluring, seductive, enticing! I am speaking about the good old chocolate truffle and it’s captivating charm. Is it the fact that it is made from chocolate? That would be reason enough for me to be,(ahem!) hooked to it. Or is it that it resembles, in the looks department, to the epicurean truffles from Périgord? Or is it because at some point in History both the chocolate and the lumpy little fungi have been associated with being an aphrodisiac? Is it all of the above?
Chocolate truffles originated in France. But the stories about who made them first vary. One legend states that N. Petruccelli created them in 1895. According to another legend, the chocolate truffle was created in the kitchen of the great Auguste Escoffier during the 1920s. It is said that his apprentice, while attempting to make pastry cream, accidentally poured hot cream into a bowl of chopped chocolate. As the chocolate and cream firmed up, he probably did what most of us would do – Fix an error. He rolled the firming chocolate mix into little spheres and voila – Truffles were born. After rolling his creation in some coco powder he noted the resemblance to the truffles of the fungi kind and hence named them truffles.
A lot has changed in a century if we go by the N. Petruccelli legend or almost a century if we go by the chef’s apprentice story. Instead of being just French, we now have chocolate truffles that are American, Belgian, Canadian or Swiss. What hasn’t changed is the heart and soul of the truffles – the velvety ganache. Made by gradually heating up heavy cream and then pouring it into chocolate and let the hot cream work its charm to melt the chocolate. The mixture is then stirred until everything combines and a ganache is formed. After the ganache cools, it is either poured into molds or rolled into balls. And then coated with good quality cocoa powder, or dipped into a prepared couverture or coated in nuts, sea salt and even pepper or chilli flakes.
I made these classic chocolate truffles to share with friends and neighbors during Christmas. I personally just love the traditional French ones. Which ones do you like? Nutty? Salty? Swiss? American?
Classic Chocolate Truffles
- 16 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped fine
- 16 ounces 2 cups heavy cream
For the final coating
- A small bowl of good quality coco powder
Make the Ganache
- Gradually heat up the heavy cream until it is scalding hot but not boiling.
- Keep the chocolate in a heat proof bowl and when the cream is hot, pour it over the chocolate.
- Allow the cream to slightly melt the chocolate, then using a silicon spatula gently mix the chocolate and cream
- When the chocolate is completely melted and mixed into the cream, allow to cool sightly, then cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3- 4 hours
Make the Truffles
- When the ganache is cool enough, you simply scoop out a little portion with a spoon, tip it into the bowl of coco to coat, pick it back and give it a roll to make an even sphere
- Refrigerate the ones you could not finish eating while making and eat them later.
This recipe made more than 50 truffles, I actually did not count 😉 It is easy to just divide or increase the recipe as both ingredients are equal in quantity.
You can use semi sweet chocolate if bittersweet is not your thing.
Use good quality chocolate.