What is a "Traditional Chocolate Truffle"?

Bill Tice
@bill-tice
05/29/12 04:18:23AM
10 posts

I have a dilemma. I entered what I thought was a "Truffle" contest and the winners were what I consider "Bonbons". I remember some time ago on the old Discover Chocolate site Clay defined several types of Truffle. I think they were: French, American, Nouvelle American. I also posted this question: What is a "Traditional Truffle" on the Ecole Chocolat Graduate forum. There seems to be a wide and subjective definition. What is yours?


updated by @bill-tice: 04/20/15 08:40:22AM
Jeffray D. Gardner
@jeffray-d-gardner
05/30/12 01:46:24AM
13 posts

Hi Bill,

A traditional confectionary "truffle" is best described as a ganache with no tempered chocolate involved. A ganache is simply chocolate and cream. The ganachecan be rolled in a variety of coatings including cocoa powderor diced or finely chopped nuts/seeds.Since the outer layer of ganache is not covered or protected with tempered chocolate the shelf life is very short (around 2 weeks). They will also need to be refridgerated, preferablycovered with plastic wrap.

Hope this helps.

Jeffray D. Gardner

Marsatta

Erin Calvo-Bacci
@erin-calvo-bacci
05/30/12 11:42:52AM
1 posts

We make traditional truffles and then cover them in tempered chocolate for exactly the reasons Jeffray mentioned; they will have a shorter shelf life if they're not protected. The average consumer here thinks of the mass produced so called "truffles" as what a truffle is. That drives me nuts!!!!!

antonino allegra
@antonino-allegra
05/30/12 02:30:39PM
143 posts

We call it "classic" truffles, made with chocolate +cream+ butter, rolled in tempered chocolate and then in cocoa powder.

We distingue between truffles and pralines by the first being round, piped and rolled by hand, the second being moulded items with a filling...

Bill Tice
@bill-tice
05/30/12 05:56:27PM
10 posts

That is my definition also. This contest judged molded and filled Bonbons, Pralines and Truffles in the same category as "Traditional" and "Non-Traditional" Truffles. I will be contacting the contest administrator with some suggestions.

Edward J
@edward-j
06/02/12 10:53:20PM
51 posts

My personal definition?

Ganache that is hand rolled into balls and then enrobed with couverture. Sky's the limit as far as surface decoration is concerned, but no piped in fillings into molded shells.

Bill Tice
@bill-tice
06/03/12 12:52:28AM
10 posts

Mine too.

Clay Gordon
@clay
06/03/12 12:05:26PM
1,680 posts

The word truffle, as it applies to a chocolate confection, traditionally refers to confections that look like the truffles (fungus) dug from the ground - irregularly shaped and very often covered with cocoa powder. Traditional truffle centers are made by hand-rolling usually fairly dense ganaches (high chocolate to liquid ratio) and not worrying at all about whether they are perfectly regularly shaped. Traditional truffles are sometimes referred to astruffe nature or natural truffle because of that resemblance.

Depending on how long the truffle needed to last (and the maker's thoughts about texture), a truffle may be covered (mechanically enrobed or hand dipped) with chocolate. Further embellishment may come in the form of additions or alternatives to the cocoa powder coating - green tea powder is common in Japan, shredded coconut, and nuts in one form or another are also common; any these may be used with or without the chocolate covering.

The hand formed truffle is contrasted with two other production methods:

A) Slabbed (usually ganache, but may be layered with pate de fruit, caramel, or other element) pieces that are then enrobed and may be further decorated. A slabbed ganache that is covered in a powder or left uncovered is sometimes called a pav (maybe referring to the gem cut, or to a paving stone).

B) Shell-molded pieces.

The important technical difference between slabbed and shell-molded pieces is that in a slabbed piece the center forms the support for the chocolate shell; in a shell-molded piece, the shell forms the container for the center, which tends to be softer than that of a slabbed piece.

I use the word bonbon (from the French, colloquially "good good") to refer to slabbed and shell molded pieces. I don't use the word praline (which I believe is Belgian in origin - as contrasted withpralin, which refers to caramelized nuts and is French) because it is already so overloaded with meanings. I use truffle to refer to a truffe nature.

Bonbon, praline, and truffle have all been conflated over time and are generally used interchangeably though technically, at least in my mind, they refer to different final forms based on the method of production.

PS. I useFrench (aka southern European), Belgian (aka northern European), American, and Nouvelle American (or nouveau French) to refer to different generalized approaches to flavor in ganaches and centers, not to physical styles of work.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Jeffray D. Gardner
@jeffray-d-gardner
06/03/12 12:45:13PM
13 posts

Now that is what I call a definition of all definitions! Thorough and articulate....well done Clay (as per usual :)

Jonathan Walpole
@jonathan-walpole
06/03/12 01:42:32PM
6 posts

I have always understood a truffle to be a ganache of chocolate, fat and flavor. If it has glucose syrup or other stabilizers is it still considered a truffle?

Clay Gordon
@clay
06/03/12 01:53:54PM
1,680 posts

In a word, yes.

The definition of truffle is not ingredient dependent on that level. It's the form of the finished piece.




--
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
clay - http://www.thechocolatelife.com/clay/
Bill Tice
@bill-tice
06/03/12 10:23:20PM
10 posts

If you want to know something about chocolate go to the source! Thank you Clay. I will be forwarding this information along with the information from the International Chocolate Contest to the operator of the show and competition I entered. Competition is good but judging should be on a level field. ]

Thank everyone who answered my question.

rene
@rene
06/04/12 01:34:19PM
23 posts

well put Clay :)

Paul John Kearins
@paul-john-kearins
06/06/12 08:30:39AM
46 posts
It drives me crazy too! Ha! It's as if there is no other definition any more
Paul John Kearins
@paul-john-kearins
06/06/12 08:43:01AM
46 posts
Being Dutch , the truffle is divided into two categories: ganache ( chocoladetruffels) and fresh cream ( slagroomtruffels) . There are recipe variations on these basic types.The ball shaped globe I see elsewhere are not so prevalent in the Netherlands and the understanding of truffle is that the form is "truffle like" and if you have seen a real truffle dug up out of the ground it looks pretty rough and dirty hence the classic coarse cocoa-dusted exterior of this confection.A ganache truffle is classically ( in my education at least) scooped and tossed in cocoa powder.A fresh cream truffle is classically whipped cream with a large proportion of sugar and fresh vanilla , scooped , frozen and dipped in untempered chocolate, then tossed in cocoa powder.Of course , in the business we need some sort of preservation so the ganache has been dipped in chocolate to extend shelf life and the cream truffle has been restructured as a very creamy butter cream to extend the life of that... Progress?! I'm not sure if I agree , but we do what we do and evolution is unavoidable...... So in short , truffle> ganache> scooped roughly> cocoa powder.
Paul John Kearins
@paul-john-kearins
06/06/12 08:52:25AM
46 posts
Awesome Clay.... You nailed it .
adam wilson
@adam-wilson
06/09/12 03:16:01AM
1 posts

When I first started making truffles, I was doing the roll by hand method. Now when I have to make 1000 truffles per batch, I find the molds are a better commercial approach. They do look awfully close to bonbons. I even thought about changing the name to bonbons, but I still give them a little roll in some powder before packaging so Im sticking with it for now. I have actually seen some molds out there that give the textured, hand-rolled apperance.

Paul John Kearins
@paul-john-kearins
06/09/12 06:55:52AM
46 posts
I found a small ice cream scoop helpful when scooping 30lbs of ganache ! It became occupational therapy at one point.... You had to get in the zone tho or you'd go insane! :)
Bill Tice
@bill-tice
06/09/12 01:58:30PM
10 posts

That is what I use too. I scoop and weigh each ganache. I shoot for 5/8 oz for each and hit about 98% of the time. When they are enrobed each is 1 oz. Thanks for your input.

Ramon Recalde
@ramon-recalde
06/12/12 10:41:03AM
8 posts

FYI for those playing trivia pursuit: 'truffle' derives from the Latin wordtuber, meaning "swelling" or "lump."

There is nothing sweeter thantheinnocence andquick-smarts of a child: I was making some truffles from left over ganache, and my five year old son said: " Wow Daddy, those are some nice looking "lumps" of chocolate...."

Bill Tice
@bill-tice
06/12/12 05:13:22PM
10 posts

That's the best one yet!


updated by @bill-tice: 06/19/15 09:03:51AM

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