Appears in

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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truffles, named after the precious subterranean fungus, are orbed confections made from chocolate ganache, usually enrobed with couverture chocolate. The contrast between the creamy center and the crisp chocolate shell reflects the contrast between the artisanal and the industrial, and between tradition and modernity. Home cooks often simply roll the ganache in unsweetened cocoa powder. See cocoa.

There is documentation that a small amount of pastel trufado, or chocolate truffle, was shipped from Hamburg, Germany, to Guaymas, Mexico, in 1883. As with many well-loved confections, however, truffles have their own origin legends. The most common story credits a certain French confectioner, N. Petruccelli, with creating the first truffle, in Chambéry, France, in 1895. After he ran low on chocolate for the holiday season, he stretched what little he had by mixing small balls of cream, sugar, and powdered chocolate, then dipping them in chocolate. Antoine Dufour popularized the treat when he began selling truffles in a luxury London shop, Prestat, by 1902. Their popularity was established by 1908, when they appeared in the textbook Revised American Candy Maker, and surged again with the introduction of Lindt’s Lindor melting chocolate in 1949. The iconic round shape of Lindt truffles dates to 1967.