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What Are Chocolate Truffles?
Blog / Chocolate / What Are Chocolate Truffles?

What Are Chocolate Truffles?

The humble chocolate truffle a gem of indulgence that has become a hallmark of decadence for the sweet-toothed among us.

This small, rich, and luxuriously creamy treat is indeed a staple of the gourmet chocolate world.

However, have you ever paused, a truffle perched precariously on the edge of a silver spoon, and wondered just what constitutes a chocolate truffle? From their origins to the myriad variations available today, chocolate truffles are a complex and delightful confectionery worth exploring.

In this post, we shall embark on a chocolate-laden journey, unravelling the mystery behind these indulgent bites.

Are they indeed named after the expensive fungus found beneath oak trees, or is their history rooted in something far simpler?

Let's delve into the history, manufacturing process, and various types of these tantalising treats.

Fasten your apron strings, and prepare your taste buds for an adventure through the world of chocolate truffles.

What Are Chocolate Truffles?

Chocolate truffles are a type of chocolate confectionery, typically made from a mixture of chocolate and cream, known as ganache, that is formed into spherical or slightly irregular shapes, then usually rolled in cocoa powder, nuts, or more chocolate.

They're named after truffles, the rare and expensive fungi, because of their visual resemblance.

Their luxurious texture and intense flavour make them a popular choice for a decadent treat.

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Why Are Chocolate Truffles Called Truffles?

Chocolate truffles are called "truffles" because of their striking resemblance to a type of edible fungus of the same name.

The truffle fungus is a highly prized ingredient in gourmet cooking, known for its unique flavour and rarity.

Much like these fungi, the original chocolate truffles were typically shaped into rough, uneven spheres and dusted with cocoa powder, further enhancing their likeness to the fungal truffles.

Hence, the name 'truffle' was bestowed upon these delightful chocolate treats.

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What Are Chocolate Truffles Made Of?

Chocolate truffles are made primarily of a mixture known as ganache, which is a combination of chocolate and cream.

This mixture is typically heated and then cooled until it reaches a malleable consistency.

It is then shaped into balls or irregular shapes, which is where truffles get their name from, given their resemblance to the truffle fungus.

The shaped ganache is often then coated or dusted in a variety of ingredients for additional flavour and texture.

The most traditional coating is cocoa powder, but it's also common to use chopped nuts, desiccated coconut, or more chocolate, either tempered into a smooth shell or simply melted and drizzled over the top.

Some truffle recipes also include butter for a richer ganache, different types of alcohol for flavouring, or a centre of fruit purée or caramel for an extra surprise when you bite into them.

As with much of cooking and baking, while there's a basic formula to a chocolate truffle, the potential for variation and personalisation is enormous.

(Before you go on, click here if you want to learn how to grate chocolate).

What is the History of Chocolate Truffles?

The history of chocolate truffles is as rich and tantalising as the confections themselves.

The first chocolate truffle was reportedly created in the kitchen of the famed French culinary maestro Auguste Escoffier during the 1920s.

An apprentice of his, while attempting to make pastry cream, accidentally poured hot cream into a bowl of chocolate chunks rather than the intended bowl of sugared egg.

The resulting mixture hardened into a luscious, malleable paste, now known as ganache.

The inventive apprentice, finding opportunity in error, shaped the ganache into spheres.

To finish off, they were rolled in cocoa powder, which not only added to the flavour but also gave the creations a rustic, earthy look similar to the gourmet truffle mushrooms found in French and Italian cuisine.

Hence, these delightful chocolate confections were named 'truffles'.

Over time, the humble chocolate truffle journeyed beyond France, earning recognition and adoration worldwide.

Variations evolved, with different countries introducing their unique touch.

For instance, the Swiss introduced a whipped dairy cream into the ganache, while the Belgian version often includes a shell of chocolate encasing the ganache.

Despite the multitude of variants available today, all chocolate truffles can trace their lineage back to that serendipitous culinary error in Escoffier's kitchen, proving that, sometimes, the sweetest delights can stem from the simplest mistakes.

Where Can You Buy Chocolate Truffles?

For over 130 years, Whitakers Chocolates has been at the heart of creating exceptional chocolate truffles that have delighted confectionery lovers.

The story begins with our beloved Auntie Ida, who learnt the art of making chocolate truffles back in 1890.

This remarkable woman set the foundation of a chocolate-making legacy that continues to thrive even today.

Whitakers Chocolates is not just a brand; it's a symbol of dedication, passion, and the pursuit of perfection.

Our commitment to quality is unyielding - we believe that the taste and texture of our chocolates should be nothing short of extraordinary.

To ensure this, we use only the finest natural ingredients and steadfastly maintain our time-honoured methods of chocolate making.

Our truffle range is indeed a testament to our uncompromising standards.

From the classic milk ganache truffles, a perfect balance of smooth creaminess and rich cocoa, to the sophisticated champagne truffles, carrying a delicate hint of bubbles, we cater to every palate.

Not to mention our indulgent salted caramel truffles, where the gooey caramel heart flirts with a pinch of sea salt to create a flavour explosion that's hard to resist.

Click here to checkout our delightful truffles.

(We also offer free UK mainland delivery!)

With Whitakers Chocolates, you're never too far from a taste of quality, tradition, and sweet indulgence.

Here are a few of our favourites:

How Long Can Chocolate Truffles Be Stored?

The shelf life of chocolate truffles largely depends on their ingredients and the conditions under which they're stored.

Generally, if kept in a cool, dark place in an airtight container, homemade chocolate truffles can last up to two weeks.

If they include fresh ingredients that can spoil, such as fresh cream or butter, it's advisable to store them in the fridge where they can last for about a week.

However, it's best to bring them to room temperature before consuming, as this allows their full flavour to shine.

Store-bought truffles, on the other hand, may contain preservatives, which can extend their shelf life considerably.

Always check the 'best before' date on the packaging for an accurate idea of their lifespan.

Freezing chocolate truffles is another option if you need to store them for a longer time.

They can last up to a few months in the freezer but should be thawed in the refrigerator and then brought to room temperature before enjoying.

Remember, while these are general guidelines, the freshness and quality of your truffles are best judged by appearance and taste.

If they develop an unusual smell, taste, or appearance, it's safer to discard them as they might have gone bad.

How Are Chocolate Truffles Made?

Making chocolate truffles is a simple process that involves a few key steps.

Here's a basic outline:

  1. Make the ganache: Ganache is the heart of a chocolate truffle. It's made by heating double cream until it's just about to boil, then pouring it over finely chopped chocolate. The heat of the cream melts the chocolate. The two are then stirred together until they form a smooth, glossy mixture. Sometimes butter is added for a richer ganache.

  2. Chill the ganache: Once the ganache is mixed, it needs to be chilled until it's firm. This usually takes a few hours, but can be expedited in the fridge. The ganache needs to be firm enough to hold a shape, but soft enough to be worked with.

  3. Shape the truffles: Once the ganache is chilled and firm, it's scooped out and rolled into balls. This can be done using a melon baller, a small ice cream scoop, or just a teaspoon. The balls don't have to be perfect; in fact, a slightly irregular shape gives the truffles their characteristic 'truffle' look.

  4. Coat the truffles: The final step is to coat the truffles. They can be rolled in cocoa powder, which is traditional, or in finely chopped nuts, desiccated coconut, or hundreds and thousands. Some truffles are dipped in tempered chocolate, which hardens into a crisp shell around the soft ganache.

  5. Rest and enjoy: The truffles should be allowed to rest for a little while after they're made, just to let them set up properly. But once they're ready, they're best enjoyed at room temperature when the ganache is soft and creamy.

This is a basic truffle recipe, but there are countless variations to explore, including different flavours of ganache, different coatings, and even fillings for the truffles.

Once you master the basic process, you can get really creative with your truffle-making!

How to Make Chocolate Truffles at Home

Making chocolate truffles at home is a delightful task that's simpler than you might think.

Here's a basic recipe you can follow:


  • 200g good-quality dark chocolate.
  • 200ml double cream.
  • 25g unsalted butter.
  • Cocoa powder for dusting.


  1. Prepare the chocolate: Break the chocolate into small, uniform pieces so it will melt evenly. Place it into a heat-proof bowl.

  2. Heat the cream and butter: In a saucepan, heat the double cream and butter on medium heat until it just reaches a boil. Be careful not to let it boil over.

  3. Make the ganache: Pour the hot cream and butter over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute to soften the chocolate, then stir gently until the mixture is smooth and shiny. This is your ganache.

  4. Chill: Cover the bowl of ganache with cling film and place it in the fridge. Let it chill for at least 2-3 hours, or until it's firm enough to shape.

  5. Shape the truffles: Using a spoon or a melon baller, scoop out small amounts of the ganache and quickly roll them into balls with your hands. If you find the ganache is too soft to work with, you can chill it for a bit longer. Place the balls on a tray lined with baking parchment.

  6. Coat the truffles: Place some cocoa powder in a shallow dish. Roll each ganache ball in the cocoa until it's fully coated. Return the coated truffles to the tray.

  7. Chill again: Place the tray of truffles back in the fridge for another hour or so to firm up. Once they're firm, they're ready to serve!

Remember, this is a basic recipe. You can add different flavours to your ganache, like vanilla, orange zest, or mint.

You can also experiment with different coatings, like chopped nuts or desiccated coconut. Enjoy the process and make it your own!

Final Notes On the Delicious World of Chocolate Truffles

As we conclude our voyage through the delicious world of chocolate truffles, it's clear to see why these decadent treats hold such a special place in our hearts - and our dessert plates!

Their rich history, the sheer pleasure of making them at home, and the enjoyment derived from their myriad flavours are all part of their irresistible charm.

Indeed, chocolate truffles are not just confectionery; they are a culinary experience.

Whether it's the classic simplicity of a milk ganache truffle, the festive cheer of champagne-infused truffles, or the tantalising allure of the salted caramel variety, each truffle is a story waiting to be unravelled on the taste buds.

As you venture into shops like Whitakers Chocolates, with over 130 years of history, you're not just buying truffles; you're taking home a piece of a proud tradition.

Remember that each truffle you enjoy is the result of passion, craftsmanship, and an unwavering commitment to quality.

So, the next time you bite into a chocolate truffle, take a moment to appreciate the journey it has taken, from the humble cacao bean to the velvety, luscious treat in your hand.

Here's to the enduring magic of chocolate truffles, the stars of the confectionery world.