We’ve all jumped on the opportunity of gorging on a beautiful looking truffle everytime we get a chance, haven’t we? But, there’s a lot more to your favourite chocolate treat than you already know. Read on to find more on the history of this wonder creation-
A truffle is a type of chocolate confectionary that was traditionally made with a chocolate ganache center coated in chocolate, cocoa powder or chopped toasted nuts, usually in a spherical & curved shape. There are 2 different kinds of truffles & are both considered as gourmet foods in their respective categories. The first one is subterranean mushrooms the other is as we know, the rich creamy balls of ganache that instantly melt in your mouth. Before we indulge you in the history of truffles, let’s clarify that truffles & ruffles are not the same. Ruffles are cream dressings that are done over cupcakes after they’re baked in cupcake liners that are available online or on cakes.
Originated in France, the chocolate truffle got its name from its other half, the truffle fungus owing to the similarities between the two with respect to their shapes & sizes. Chocolate truffles apparently came to life when an apprentice under the culinary legend Auguste Escoffier made a batch of pastry cream & these beautiful chocolate balls came out as a result of a genuine accident. He mistakenly poured hot cream instead of washed eggs & sugar while making the pastry filling. This resulted in the formation of a paste like mixture that could be then rolled into small balls. When the accident chocolate treat was topped with little cocoa powder, the famed chocolate truffle was therein born.
The error made by Escoffier’s apprentice is also said to have resulted in the origin of ganache, which is a French concoction that is made by whipping chocolate & cream together. Although unclear, it does appear to have been invented somewhere around 1850; however there are multiple theories that have come to light with passing years.
Today, ganache is used extensively in baking for frosting, for cakes, for filling or for other pastries. As the concept became more & more popular & pastry chefs started experimenting to add to ganache to create truffles that had different & distinct tastes. Adding peanut butter to ganache mixtures results in delectable peanut butter truffles. An extension of this was used to make truffles flavored with champagnes and liquors.
If sources are too believed, earliest known authentic recipe for chocolate truffles was when W.O. Rigby released the 19th edition of Rigby’s Reliable Candy teacher in the 1920s. In this, he provided an exhaustive documentation of the earliest known recipe for chocolate truffles.
Over a period of 118 years since Louis DuFour came up with the idea of what is today known as chocolate truffles, bakers & pastry chefs around the world have gone a step ahead in experimenting different ingredients that could be added to ganache & today the ganache filling includes almost everything from nuts to fruits to liquor.
With time, innumerable verities of truffles have sprung up depending on unique appearances of truffles that are seen across different countries. On one hand the European truffle refers to a truffle made with syrup & cocoa powder with milk powder base & on the other a Belgian truffle is made out of buttercream, ganache and nuts. Other popular types of truffles include the American truffle, the French truffle & the Swiss truffle.
When we talk about flavoring our truffles, the sky is the limit. Many truffles in the market consider a small amount of alcohol. Today, some of the most popular truffles are champagne truffles, milk truffles, dark chocolate truffles, sea salt caramel truffles amongst many others.
Accidents happen, and sometimes for good reason; the chocolate truffle is one such case which proved to be a good alternative to small cupcakes made out of cupcake liners in the mouthful dessert category.