What is a chocolate truffle?
Truffle is the name given to a ball of chocolate rolled into a coating, such as cocoa powder, nuts or icing sugar. The name comes from the resemblance to the edible fungi known as a truffle, a delicacy found underground on or near the roots of trees. It is thought the chocolate truffle originated in France.
The Typical Chocolate Truffle
Chocolate truffles vary in form slightly from one country to the next and each chocolate maker uses their own recipe and quality of ingredients. A traditional chocolate truffle, using only the purist and finest of ingredients, is considered the best type of truffle as it does not require any added flavours. The chocolate should speak for its self. Alcohol is sometimes added as an ingredient to introduce flavour and help extend the shelf life of a truffle as cream or butter, used to create the ganache centre, has a limited shelf life. Chocolate truffles created without alcohol typically have a shelf life of 3- 4 months although this does depend on the ingredients used.
The Ganache Centre
The centre of a chocolate truffle is typically made from chocolate, butter and/or cream. It should be soft, velvety smooth and sumptuously rich to taste. This indulgent combination is called a “ganache”. Some forms of chocolate made with a ganche centre contained inside an outer shell are also referred to as truffles due to the similarity of ingredients and general make-up but not due to the appearance.
Typically a ganache centre is made with 50-60% cocoa content and so providing a sweet experience. In 2008 Michel Cluizel, of France, created the first high cocoa ganache, a serious gift box duo of 85% and 99% ganaches which offer a greater "fix" to savour and increased flavour profiles of exceptional quality and length of taste.
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