What Are Chocolate Truffles? – that is the question! There’s nothing quite like sinking your teeth into a luxuriously smooth, velvety chocolate truffle. It’s a chocolate lovers paradise and can convert even the most set-against anti-chocolate friend. If you’ve ever wondered what chocolate truffles are exactly, what they are made of, and how they are made, you’re in the right place! Get ready to dive into chocolate truffles!
Chocolate truffles are a sheer pleasure for those who love the finest of chocolate flavors and the smoothest of textures. They are a perfect match with coffee, a smooth spirit, or white wine — although a Pinot Noir is not ruled out —, and they also go well with a warm glass of milk, a complex tea, or a unique herbal infusion. However, despite their decadent taste and silky texture, there are still people who don’t quite know what chocolate truffles are.
Are they candy? Some kind of chocolate? Or are they made from actual truffles? If you clicked on this post to find answers to all these questions, get ready to take notes because today we’ll show you EVERYTHING you need to know about this world-famous bite-sized treat!
What Is The Difference Between A Chocolate Candy And A Chocolate Truffle?
In the vast world of chocolate, it’s easy to get lost among the different types of sweets and flavors. There are chocolate bars, bonbons, chocolaty drinks, and many other variables that can confuse anyone, especially if they are looking for the differences between each one. For example, a big question mark that it’s still unclear is whether chocolate truffles are the same thing as chocolate candies or not.
But before we shed some light on this truffle vs. candy mystery, let’s see what a chocolate candy is. This category of sweets is known for being, as its name suggests, sweet since it contains high amounts of sugar. From this, we can already conclude that truffles do not have much in common with chocolate candies, because they usually are made of a rich, deep chocolate ganache without lots of sugar. That is the main difference between the two.
What Are Chocolate Truffle Balls Made Of?
Chocolate truffles are made of what everybody loves: chocolate. To be more specific, chocolate ganache — a French word for a heated mixture of chocolate and heavy cream —, cocoa powder to give it a “black truffle” look, and sometimes melted chocolate to coat them. The result is a mouth-watering concoction that’s similar to a creamy icing, except not as spreadable and firmer that melts in the mouth of whoever tastes it.
The ganache, which is the truffle’s key ingredient, can be altered in different ways with liqueurs or other ingredients such as vanilla or butter — to make it softer —, but the presence of chocolate and heavy cream always remains unchanged.
Why Are Chocolate Truffles Called Truffles?
To find out why chocolate truffles are called “truffles,” we have to go all the way back to their origins, around 1895. The story goes that Louis Dufour, a master chocolatier and patissier living in Chambéry (France), created chocolate truffles that year after running out of raw materials to prepare his desserts.
His chocolate creation was so well received that his customers began to constantly eat them and talk about them, nicknaming them the truffles of Périgord — another region of France —. The reason behind this name? Simple: the irregular appearance and dark color of Dufour’s truffles reminded them of the actual black truffles found in Périgord. It was this resemblance that gave the name “truffles” to this sweet, which has stuck to this day.
Why Are Chocolate Truffles Expensive?
Chocolate truffles are not particularly expensive on their own as they are not that difficult to make. What can drive up their price point are the ingredients they are made from, e.g., extra premium ganache, exclusive cocoa, and so on, or if they contain really complex flavors. The truffles that do get very, VERY expensive are the ones used in cooking — fungi, real truffles. But that’s a topic for another post!
What Do Chocolate Truffles Taste Like?
Think about deeply indulgent chocolate; THAT’S the taste of chocolate truffles. Some truffles also feature other things besides pure chocolate — more on this below —, and those are the ones that offer a multi-layered taste sensation. The ganache from which they are made can be flavored with a myriad of ingredients such as coconut, strawberry, rum, coffee, vanilla, mint, and the list goes on and on. The flavor can also vary depending on the percentage of cocoa contained in the ganache, which can be 60%, 70%, 80%, or even 90%.
How Are Chocolate Truffles Made?
So, we already saw what chocolate truffles are made of, but how are they made? Honestly, it’s not rocket science: the most important thing is the ganache, which is made by heating heavy cream and then pouring it over some chopped chocolate — it doesn’t matter if it is dark or semi-sweet, what matters is that it is chocolate! —. That’s when the ganache becomes, well, ganache.
The rich mixture is then popped into the fridge and chilled until it becomes a dense, more manageable chocolate. The ganache is then shaped into small balls — they don’t necessarily have to be perfect spheres —, and finally, dusted with cocoa powder or dipped in melted chocolate to create a “shell”. This is the OG recipe, as easy as ABC.
Are Chocolate Truffles Actually Made With Truffles?
Despite their name, chocolate truffles are not made with actual truffles. As mentioned above, the name is mostly due to a visual thing. Yes, there may be truffles infused with black truffle butter, but in the recipe of almost every chocolate truffle, there is no trace of truffles — just chocolate, heavy cream — sometimes butter and vanilla —, and a coating. The flavor of chocolate truffles is intense, and so are the true truffles — how many times have we said “truffles” already? —, so we can’t imagine exactly how those flavors would complement each other… We’ll have to try it!
Different Types Of Chocolate Truffles
Contrary to popular belief, there is not only one type of chocolate truffle. The two main types of truffles are those made with ganache coated in tempered chocolate as a “shell” and those that simply are ganache formed into a ball and dusted with cocoa powder or other coatings.
Just so you can see the difference between the two, an example of “shell” truffles are the world-famous LINDOR ones — those are perfectly smooth balls, with no imperfections. On the other hand, truffles that do not have a tempered chocolate coating are the ones that are usually made at home — much easier to prepare. Other types of truffles can also be those containing flavored ganache, such as the ones mentioned in some headings above.
Plus, there are some truffle-like Brazilian bite-sized treats called brigadeiros, which, although they are made with cocoa powder and condensed milk and covered with chocolate sprinkles instead of cocoa powder, some people also consider them a type of chocolate truffles.
Our Favorite Chocolate Truffle Recipes
There are many chocolate truffle recipes, and most of them are very easy to make… The hard part is choosing which of these recipes to make and, of course, trying not to eat all the chocolate balls in a single swing once they’re ready.
Back to the recipes, we have to mention that we have tried countless chocolate truffle recipes. However, without a doubt, one that we keep coming back to is the one from Feel Good Foodie — it’s so simple, yet so creamy and decadent that it makes our mouths water just thinking about it. All you need is chocolate, heavy cream, butter, and honey, and while the last two ingredients aren’t essential in a classic truffle recipe, they both add delicious qualities to the final product.
If you want an adults-only twist, here’s this recipe from More With Less Today, in which you need heavy cream, Grand Marnier, orange zest, chocolate, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and cocoa powder to create a finger-licking truffle. Believe us, these tipsy truffles will make a wonderful gift to that party-loving best friend and an impressive addition to any party, holiday, or celebration.
Going to a wedding but don’t know what to get? Say no more: champagne-flavored white chocolate truffles! Yes, we know there are white chocolate haters out there, but they can’t deny that it has a unique and very characteristic flavor. Besides the white chocolate, heavy cream, butter, and more white chocolate for the coating, the champagne is what really gives this truffle the kick. The Spruce Eats hit the nail on the head with that combo!
Last but certainly not least, if you’re in the mood for something classic and extremely easy to prepare, the New York Times cooking section has the perfect recipe, 3 simple ingredients: heavy cream, chocolate, and cocoa powder. You can top the truffles with powdered sugar, chopped almonds, or shredded coconut… But we prefer to stick with cocoa powder to enhance the chocolate flavor even more. Without a doubt, these OG truffles will satisfy even the most die-hard chocolate fans.
How Do You Eat Chocolate Truffles?
First, we strongly suggest that if you stored your truffles in the fridge, take them out and let them come to room temperature. The real magic of a good chocolate truffle comes from its ability to melt in your mouth as you eat it, but if you eat it straight out of the fridge, that won’t happen.
Once the truffle is at room temperature, look at it, sniff it, take a deep breath, and… Just kidding, you don’t need to do a whole ritual — unless you want to! Just place the whole truffle inside your mouth, and allow it to slowly melt all over your tongue. However, this is not the only way you can eat chocolate truffles.
In addition to enjoying them in one bite, some people like to eat them in two parts — biting them in half. Rumor has it that by doing so, the chocolate flavor enhances, but honestly, we think both ways are just fine. The choice is up to you!
Are All Truffles Chocolate?
Yup, all chocolate truffles are chocolate — truffles aren’t truffles unless they are made with chocolate ganache. E.g., chocolate-covered balls or squares filled with nuts, fruits, or whipped cream do not count as true chocolate truffles. Now, if the question is whether every single truffle in the world is a chocolate truffle, the answer is no — there are also truffles that are fungi.
What Is the Difference Between Chocolate And A Chocolate Truffle?
In a nutshell, the difference is that truffles are made of chocolate, but they are not chocolate per se. Chocolate truffles are considered to be in the same category of candy as chocolates, but in reality, they are just a type of chocolate confectionery, whereas plain chocolate can be a stand-alone product.
What Is The Difference Between Chocolate Truffle And Chocolate Ganache?
Ganache is the thick and rich chocolate mixture from which truffles are made, so essentially, chocolate ganache is an ingredient in truffles. We wouldn’t say that there are differences between the two, but that they are different things in the same context… If that makes sense!
What Is The Difference Between A Bonbon And A Truffle?
Unlike truffles, bonbons are not only filled with ganache, but can be filled with everything from caramel and sea salt to buttercream and nuts. Plus, they can come in any shape or size since they are made using molds.
Fun-fact: In French, the word “bonbon” is used to refer to any type of candy, be it a real bonbon or a strawberry hard candy.
Is Ferrero Rocher A Truffle?
It turns out that, no, Ferrero Rocher is not a truffle; it’s more of a bonbon. Long story short, they share the essence of a chocolate truffle: a chocolate ganache center — hazelnut chocolate ganache, to be specific —, and a coating on the outer shell — chopped hazelnuts — but because of the inner cookie-like crust and the nut, it falls out of the truffle category. It is worth noting that the brand itself does not refer to Ferrero Rocher as truffles or bonbons.