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All About Truffles

A chocolate truffle is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache center coated in chocolate or cocoa powder, usually in a spherical, conical, or curved shape. Other fillings may replace the ganache: cream, melted chocolate, caramel, nuts, almonds, berries, or other assorted sweet fruits, nougat, fudge, or toffee, mint, chocolate chips, marshmallow, and, popularly, liquor.

They are named for their resemblance to the truffle fungus.

* The "American truffle" is a half-egg shaped chocolate-coated truffle, a mixture of dark or milk chocolates with butterfat and, in some cases, hardened coconut oil. Joseph Schmidt, a San Francisco chocolatier, and founder of Joseph Schmidt Confections, is credited with its creation in the mid-1980s. o A Canadian variation of the American truffle, known as the Harvey truffle, includes the addition of graham cracker crumbs and peanut butter. Other American companies may shape their truffles similar to that of peanut butter cups. * The "European truffle" is made with syrup and a base made up of cocoa powder, milk powder, fats, and other such ingredients to create an oil-in-water type emulsion. * The "Swiss truffle" is made by combining melted chocolate into a boiling mixture of dairy cream and butter, which is poured into molds to set before sprinkling with cocoa powder. Unlike the previous two kinds of truffles, these have a very short shelf-life and must be consumed within a few days of making.

Nowadays, all over the globe, chocolate is eaten in various, solid forms such as truffles, white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate and as a topping on biscuits and cakes. Possibly the most luxurious form of all- the chocolate truffle- has a rather recent history. A French invention, the original chocolate truffle was merely a ball of ganache, chocolate and cream, often flavoured and rolled in cocoa. It was named after the black truffle fungus because of its physical resemblance. From this it has been developed with many ganache fillings and liqueurs and has been coated with different nuts, paprika, peppercorns or simply solid chocolate. Modern chocolatiers are constantly inventing new truffle recipes for the ever-growing truffle-adoring public.

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