The invention of these luxury chocolate confections is credited to French pâtissier Louis Dufour, who is said to have created the first chocolate truffles in the town of Chambéry (Savoie department) in December 1895 after running short of ingredients while making his Christmas sweets.
Rather than turning to his competitors to purchase supplies, Monsieur Dufour hit upon the idea of mixing together the ingredients at hand — fresh cream, vanilla and cocoa powder –, dipping the resulting confections in melted chocolate and rolling them in more cocoa powder.
The new chocolate treats were an instant success and their popularity remains to this day, notably during Christmas and end-of-year festivities.
Named after the highly sought out fungus it resembles, the chocolate truffle is basically a dark chocolate ganache centre dipped in cocoa powder.
Anyone can make chocolate truffles at home with the right ingredients!
Superior quality dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cacao) fresh cream and butter, some unsweetened cocoa powder and a little liqueur are all that’s needed to make these gourmet chocolate delicacies.
Through the addition of liqueur or other flavouring the varieties are endless.
Dark Chocolate Truffles with Cognac and Orange Extract
Preparation time: 20 minutes plus 30 minutes to dip and roll the truffles.
Makes approximately two dozen truffles
- 150 grams (5 ¼ ounces) semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 100 ml (3 ½ fluid ounces) crème fraîche, or heavy cream
- 25 grams (1 ounce) butter
- 3 tablespoons cognac (brandy) or other liqueur
- a few drops of pure orange extract
- 75 grams (2.5 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Place the chocolate pieces in a heat-proof bowl. Bring cream to a boil over medium heat, then pour over chocolate pieces. Allow to sit for one minute, then add butter and stir until melted and smooth.
- Stir in cognac and orange extract. If you wish, Cointreau, Grand Marnier or another liqueur may be used instead of Cognac. Refrigerate overnight.
- Using a teaspoon, scoop some of the hardened mixture and form small balls, working quickly. Place balls on a plate and refrigerate for about ten minutes.
- Place bittersweet chocolate pieces in a heatproof bowl set over some barely simmering water and stir until melted.
- Using a fork, dip the truffles one at a time in the melted chocolate and immediately roll in cocoa powder. Set on a plate and allow to harden. Store in an airtight container and consume within a few days. Do not refrigerate.
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