Ever since its discovery, chocolate has been held in high esteem by all. Chocolate truffles are so named because they resemble the rare European truffle that is a fungus. Like European truffles, chocolate truffles are lumpy. Chocolate truffles, regardless of where they are made, are normally eaten as rich desserts after a large dinner. While there are many different kinds of chocolate truffles, there are five main types: French, Belgian, Swiss, American and Canadian.
It is claimed that the first chocolate truffle was created by accident in France in the 1920s by the renowned chef Auguste Escoffier. Another legend places the creation of the chocolate truffle in 1895 in France. Regardless of this delicious treat’s murky history, the French truffle is made with fresh cream and chocolate. Once the chocolate is set, the truffles are then rolled in cocoa powder or nut powder. Once the truffles are coated, they are ready to be eaten. Since the creation of this original French truffle, many other variations have cropped up.
The Belgians also made their own version of the truffle. The Belgian truffle has a hard outer chocolate shell with a soft, almost liquid filling. The Belgian truffle is normally filled with ganache, nut pastes, or buttercreams. Less commonly, Belgian truffles are filled with butter, or even marzipan. Belgian truffles are also known as Belgian chocolates or Belgian pralines.
The Swiss truffle is made by adding melted chocolate to a boiling mixture of butter and dairy cream. After the two liquids are mixed, the chocolate is poured into round molds to set. Like the French truffle, the Swiss truffle is also dusted with cocoa powder. The European truffles, including the French, Belgian, and Swiss, tend to have a shorter shelf life than any other type of truffle because they use fresh ingredients.
The American chocolate truffle was first created by Joseph Schmidt in San Francisco in the mid-1980s. Unlike the French truffle, the American one is not completely round. Instead, it is a half-egg shape. The American truffle is made with a mixture of dark chocolates, milk chocolates, and butterfat. Since Schmidt’s first American truffles, the term “truffle” is used very loosely in the United States. A chocolate truffle in the United States can be used to describe any filled chocolate. Some American truffles are very similar to peanut butter cups.
After the creation of the American truffle, Canada also created their own version. The Canadian truffle, also called the Harvey truffle, is similar to the American truffle in that is in the half-egg shape. However, the Canadian truffle adds peanut butter and graham crackers as fillings for the chocolates.
French, Belgian, Swiss, American and Canadian are the most common types of truffles, but many artisanal chocolatiers prefer to use their own unique recipes and fillings. Some less common chocolate truffle fillings include liquor, champagne, herbs, spices, and even chili peppers! The chocolate truffle, in its infinite variations, is a truly delectable dessert.