FCIA Fine Chocolate Glossary


A confection traditionally made with chocolate ganache, rolled into spherical or ball shape by hand. After the ganache is hardened, it is dipped in chocolate and subsequently covered with cocoa powder.

This style of chocolate is called a truffle because its appearance is very similar to the highly prized tuber fungus, a variety of French mushroom with the same name.

Today, there are many variations of chocolate truffles. Instead of rolling by hand into spherical shape, the ganache may be piped out individually, into a silicone mold or a preformed chocolate shell.

The ganache can be dark, milk, or white chocolate, plain unflavoured or flavoured with fruit purée, champagne, liqueur, etc. The filling is also not limited to ganache – it can be cream, caramel, nut paste, fudge, marshmallow, etc.

A more recent style involves first pouring the finished ganache into a frame. When fully crystallized, it is cut into symmetrical shapes and then enrobed in chocolate.

In France, the designation “truffle” can only apply to a bite-sized chocolate in which the chocolate represents at least 25% of the total weight of the product, and the fats come exclusively from chocolate, or cocoa and dairy products (unless the fat is in ingredients incorporated for their flavor qualities, such as nuts or dried fruits).

The earliest recorded truffle recipe was from Louis Dufour, a pastry chef from Chambéry, France. At Christmas time in 1895, when Dufour ran out of chocolate for his dessert, he used what he had – fresh cream, vanilla, and grated cocoa – to create what is now known as chocolate truffle.

Próximamente versión en español

Traditional French-style truffles; photo by Keith Hurdman, courtesy of Albert Chau

A contemporary interpretation of truffles; photo by Keith Hurdman, courtesy of Albert Chau

Entry added: December 4, 2022
Verified on: September 14, 2023

Authored by

Albert Chau, General Manager, Fifth Dimension Chocolates Ltd

Keith Hurdman, Master Chocolatier/Confectioner & Pastry Chef (Independent Consultant)


Chocolat au lait, gianduja, chocolat noir … comment s’y retrouver?” Bercy Infos, Ministère de l’Économie, des Finances et de la Souveraineté industrielle et numérique, October 27, 2022 (accessed December 13, 2022)

Chocolate Truffles,” Taste Atlas (accessed December 13, 2022)

Chocolate Truffles: Past & Future,” Cocoa Runners, May 5, 2022 (accessed December 13, 2022)

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