Chocolate Champagne Truffles

— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique
Author of Ed Engoron’s Choclatique, Running Press, 2011

More people are making their own gifts at home this year and food is the most popular thing to make. What are the most popular home-prepared foods this time of year? During the holidays this season more home cooks are making a variety of wonderful, home-made cakes, cookies, pastries and candies. One of the easiest chocolate confections to master is the chocolate truffle.

A French invention, the original chocolate truffle was a ball of nothing more than rolled ganache—simply made of dark bittersweet chocolate and cream—often flavored and rolled in cocoa powder. It was named after the precious black truffle fungus because of its physical resemblance.

The chocolate truffle was originally created in the kitchens of the famous French culinary giant Auguste Escoffier during the 1920s. As the story goes, one day, as his apprentice attempted to make a pastry cream, he accidentally poured hot cream over a bowl of chocolate chunks rather than the bowl of sugared egg he should have aimed for. As the chocolate and cream mixture set, he found he could work the chocolate paste with his hands to form a bumpy, lopsided ball. After rolling the new creation in cocoa powder, he was struck by their similarity to the luxurious truffles from the French Périgord region and the Piedmont area of Italy.

As the truffle concept caught on, different truffle textures were created by rolling the center ganache in white confectioner’s sugar or finely chopped nuts, and the ganache was flavored with with the likes of Champagne and other liqueurs.

Today, the term truffle is often misused in America to describe any filled chocolate, and it becomes very confusing. If you see a box labeled “chocolate truffles,” are you going to get round balls of ganache, or ganache-filled chocolates? Or are you going to get a box of cheap assorted creams and other mixed chocolates?

Choclatique Champagne TrufflesAt Choclatique we take making truffles seriously, because we believe that there is nothing more decadent and indulgent than a luscious Champagne truffle made by our artisans—except, perhaps a whole box of them! Our Champagne Truffles are a wonderfully light, creamy and yes, even bubbly, white chocolate and cream ganache made with Dom Perignon Champagne and then enclosed in our rich, award-winning, Private Reserve Dark Chocolate which is then kissed with a leaf of 24-karat gold!

Choclatique Champagne TruffleOur Chocolate Champagne truffle is molded as a contemporary version of the cork peeking out from a bottle—a design created by the talented designers and artists from Ferrari. A Box of Bubbly is a wonderful marriage of the Grand Crux of flavors from France and the Grand Prix of Italian design.

You can find my simple, original Champagne truffle recipe below.

Ed’s Easy Chocolate Champagne Truffles

The chocolate truffle was originally created in the kitchens of the famous French culinary giant Auguste Escoffier during the 1920s. As the story goes, one day, as his apprentice attempted to make pastry cream, he accidentally poured hot cream into a bowl of chocolate chunks rather than the bowl of sugared egg he should have aimed for. As the chocolate and cream mixture hardened, he found he could work the chocolate paste with his hands to form a bumpy, lopsided ball. After rolling the new creation in cocoa powder, he was struck by their resemblance to the luxurious truffles from the French Périgord region and the Piedmont area of Italy.

Makes 24 truffles
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:
16 ounces Choclatique Private Reserve Dark Chocolate (64%), finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup Champagne or sparkling white wine or liqueur of your choice
1/2 cup cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar or finely chopped nuts

Directions:

  1. Bring cream to a boil and slowly whisk into the chocolate.
  2. Whisk in warm Champagne or other liqueur.
  3. Whisk in softened butter.
  4. Pour into a 9 x 9-inch glass pan.
  5. Refrigerate until set about 2 hours.
  6. Using a melon baller or teaspoon scoop and portion out 24 truffles.
  7. Using “cold hands” round out the truffles and dredge in cocoa powder, confectioner’s sugar or finely chopped nuts.
  8. Store in an air tight container in a cool place.

ChefSecret: Some people naturally have “hot hands.” That makes it difficult to properly roll truffles without having them stick to your hands. Rinse your hands with cold water and immerse them in a bowl of ice and water before rolling. I usually use disposable latex or white cotton gloves.

Note: Fresh cream truffles only keep for a week, not that any one will let them stay around that long.

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