Truffles

Monday, 29 August 2016 16:23

The History Of The Chocolate Truffle

A French invention, the original chocolate truffle was a ball of ganache, chocolate and cream, often flavored and rolled in cocoa.

Truffles aren't truffles unless the hardened ball is filled with ganache. Chocolate covered balls that are filled with fruit cream or whipped cream aren't true chocolate truffles as they were originally conceived of in France. Over the course of the 118 years since Louis Dufour came up with the idea for what is now known as the chocolate truffle, bakers and pastry chefs around the world have experimented with different ingredients to add to their ganache, and today, the ganache filling includes everything from fruit to nuts.

There are two kinds of truffles in this world, and both are considered the crème de la crème of their respective food groups: the subterranean mushroom and, of course, the rich balls of ganache that melt in your mouth.

Originating in France, the chocolate truffle was named after the aforementioned truffle fungus because of their similarities in shape and size. Supposedly created in the 1920s when an apprentice under the culinary legend Auguste Escoffier made a botched batch of pastry cream, these luxurious chocolate treats were the result of one big accident. Mistakenly pouring hot cream over pieces of chocolate rather than the eggs and sugar intended to make the pastry filling, the mixture formed a paste that could then be rolled into small balls. Topped off with a little cocoa powder, the famed chocolate truffle was therein born.

With a great base to work from, chocolatiers have since invented alternate version of the traditional truffle, sometimes rolling the center of the ganache in powdered sugar, others in finely chopped nuts. Ganaches used to make truffles can even be flavored with champagnes and liqueurs, and sometimes the final product will get rolled in a protective layer of hardened chocolate for an added sweet kick.

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