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All About Truffles

Opulent Orbs of Chocolate

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Anyone can make these opulent orbs of chocolate.

Truffles are the ultimate in chocolate decadence.

Photo © 2006 Carroll Pellegrinelli, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Truffles (not to be confused with the fungus pigs snort after) are what sweet lovers fantasize about. They are opulent orbs of smooth chocolate. Truffles must be eaten ever so slowly to get every flavor sensation, as they slide past your lips and into your mouth.

As magnificent as truffles are, don't be intimidated. You can easily make your own. A typical recipe starts with heavy cream, which is brought to a boil, and then combined with chocolate (semi-sweet, bittersweet, unsweetened or white) to make the ganache. After the ganache is cooled completely, it's time to make the orbs. Once formed, they are frozen until firm. Next, the truffles might be dipped in some melted milk chocolate and tossed in cocoa powder. Other truffles might be rolled in ground nuts, toasted coconut, or chocolate jimmies. Truffles are best stored in the refrigerator. It is a guarantee; they will not be there very long.

In making these chocolate wonders, here are a few tips. Always use the type of chocolate called for in the recipe. As an example, semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate are not the same. Bittersweet has more cocoa in it, which will make for a stronger chocolate flavor. Another tip is to buy the best chocolate you can. The higher quality chocolate, the better the truffle. Get the best cream you can, as well. Gourmet grocery stores usually offer creams with a fat count of 40 percent. Regular grocery store whipping or heavy cream has a 36 percent fat count. The last tip deals with forming the orbs. There are many ways to do this. One way is to take two teaspoons and scoop up the ganache. Then roll it in a ball. Another way is to use a pastry bag and just squirt out was is needed. Then, with your hands, round out the balls. Lastly, there is the "just scoop out some ganache, and roll it between your palms" method. Try all of the methods, and use the one that works the best for you.

Once you've mastered the simple art of making truffles, there is little else to be done for a wonderful presentation. Metallic candy wrappers or miniature muffin cup liners make great holders. You can serve them, in their holders, on a doily lined silver tray. They also make perfect gifts. Place the truffles, in their wrappers, in a pretty box. Close the box and add a silk bow. This is one gift you'll know that will be greatly appreciated.

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