Chocolate truffles are the first confection I learned to make! They are so easy and decadent. And they make the perfect gift for special occasions.
Learn all the ways to make classic chocolate truffles with this step by step guide!
Here I’ll share my favorite basic chocolate truffles recipe, and all the tips and ways to decorate them.
What is a basic truffle (vs bonbon)?
Truffles are rolled balls or squares of ganache. Not to be confused with chocolate bonbons which are chocolate shells filled with fillings such as nut paste, fruit filling etc. The name truffle comes from the fact that a cocoa coated truffle resembles a mushroom truffle unearthed from the ground.
All you need to make chocolate truffles are,
- Chocolate (preferably a dark chocolate; semisweet or bittersweet chocolate)
- Heavy cream (or whipping cream – 35% fat)
For a richer, smoother, more delicious chocolate truffle, ganache can also include butter, an inverted sugar syrup (like corn syrup), and even other liquors or liqueurs.
But for my basic chocolate truffle recipe here, we will only be using,
- Chocolate – good quality couverture chocolate works best. I like Callebaut chocolate callets.
- Heavy cream – At least 35% fat content. You can use full fat coconut cream instead too.
- Butter – I prefer using unsalted, but you can use salted too.
- Salt – optional, but really enhances the flavor. Skip / reduce if you’re using salted butter.
Best ingredient ratio for making chocolate truffles
I have experimented with different chocolate to liquid ratios for truffles.
Higher the liquid content, the more likely your truffles will need to be refrigerated to stay firm, because they’ll be too soft to handle at room temperature. With a higher amount of cream and/or butter, the truffles will be creamier in texture too.
Lower the amount of liquid, the truffles are better at being firm at room temperature, and can be handled at room temp without softening or melting too much. However, you have to get the right ratio, or the chocolate will split, creating a grainy texture.
So for me, the ideal balance for chocolate truffles is 70 – 75% of liquid for every 100% of chocolate (milk chocolate, or semisweet or bittersweet chocolate).
Chocolate truffle making method
These are very easy to make.
First, if you’re using a chocolate block, or large chocolate callets / wafers, you’ll need to chop the chocolate into finer pieces. This ensures that the chocolate will dissolve easily. I use Callebaut chocolate callets that are like chocolate chips.
Place the cream in a saucean and heat until just starting to simmer / boil. But do NOT let it come to a full boil.
Pour the cream over the chocolate and salt. Cover the bowl for about 1 minute to allow the chocolate to soften. Whisk to emulsify the chocolate mixture until the chocolate is melted, shiny, and smooth. Also add the softened butter so that it will dissolve and mix in the warm chocolate mix.
This chocolate mix is the base for a classic chocolate truffle. You need to allow this truffle mixture to cool down and thicken, so that it can be shaped into truffles.
Either cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap or frequently stir it to prevent a skin from forming on top.
How to shape chocolate ganache into truffles
There are THREE methods to shape chocolate truffles.
This is the most common way, since it’s easy and is the classic truffle look.
To keep this recipe easy and familiar, this is the method I use for these chocolate truffles.
How to make rolled truffles
Cover the surface of the ganache with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Allow the ganache to chill in the fridge for a few hours until firm. If you live in a colder climate or in the winter, you can leave these on your kitchen counter too.
Once the ganache is set, use a small cookie scoop to scoop out even portions of the ganache. You can also use a melon baller or regular teaspoon / spoon, but the cookie scoop allows each portion to be even in size.
Take each portion and roll it into a ball and place it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet / tray. I like to roll the chocolate ganache into truffles while it’s still cold, so that it’s not too messy.
Allow the rolled truffles to set once again (in the fridge or cool room temperature). Once set, they are ready to be coated.
Square truffles / cut truffles
This is the easiest way to make truffles. The chocolate ganache is cut into squares, rather than rolled into balls.
I used this method to make these fantastic champagne truffles.
How to make square truffles
Make the ganache and let it slightly thicken.
Once thickened (but pourable consistency), give the truffle mixture a little mix and then pour it into a 6 or 7 inch square baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper.
Allow the chocolate ganache to set in the fridge. Once set, carefully remove the chocolate slab from the pan.
Use a warm, sharp knife to cut the slab into equal sized portions. Place each portion on a parchment paper lined tray and let the sides of the truffles harden up again (they would be a little soft from the warm knife).
Now you can dip or coat these truffles.
Piped truffles are made in a professional setting. Rather than rolling or cutting them into portions, they are piped and formed into truffles.
I used this method when I made my peppermint truffles.
How to make piped truffles
Allow the chocolate ganache to cool down until thick but pipeable. Place the ganache in a piping bag and pipe small mounds of ganache on a baking tray. Then let the ganache portions set on the surface.
How to coat the truffles
There are two main ways to coat and serve your chocolate truffles.
- Coated with tempered chocolate – more advanced technique.
- Covered with something other than melted chocolate – easier technique.
The advanced version involves tempering chocolate and coating the truffles in the tempered chocolate. I recommend doing this only if you are familiar with working with chocolate.
However, you can by pass tempering chocolate by using candy melts that do not require tempering.
The first way to coat the truffles in tempered chocolate is to directly dip them in the chocolate using a dipping fork. The second way is to hand coat the truffles. To do this, take a little melted chocolate into your palm and roll the truffle in it to coat. For both methods, I like to chill the tray first so that the chocolate coating sets faster.
Dip the truffles in the tempered chocolate, and place them on a parchment paper lined baking tray. Dipping gives the chocolate truffles a thicker coating, that is also smoother.
To prevent run off (or a chocolate puddle), roll the truffle in your palm with some tempered chocolate. Then allow them to set, and repeat for a second coating. This will give the truffles a nice, thin, rustic-looking coating.
With both methods, you can sprinkle stuff on top before the chocolate coating sets. These can be indicative of what the flavor of your chocolate truffle is going to be.
There are so many ingredients that you can use to coat your chocolate truffles with. The most classic is of course cocoa powder, because it makes the truffles look rustic, like the mushroom truffles that are covered in soil.
For the easier version of chocolate truffles, roll in cocoa powder. The bitter sweetness and the classic simplicity are hard to beat. Other coating options include,
- Ground / shaved chocolate,
- Desiccated coconut,
- Chopped nuts,
- Sprinkles (colored or chocolate),
- Crushed cookies
To keep things simple, these chocolate truffles will not be coated with tempered chocolate. But you can absolutely choose to dip or roll your truffles in tempered chocolate as well.
How to store the truffles
The chocolate ganache will shrink and expand if it’s frozen and thawed out. So I prefer to handle the truffles while they are chilled, but not frozen. The expanding / contracting could cause cracks if you coat the chocolate truffles in tempered chocolate.
So I recommend storing the truffles in an air-tight container and in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They can also be stored at room temperature for 4 – 5 days.
When to make chocolate truffles
- Christmas and holiday season
- Valentines day
- Celebrating special occasions
- Cocktail parties – perfect bite-sized desserts
- Or just because.
Truffle flavor variations
Bourbon chocolate truffles – Replace 3 – 4 tbsp of the cream with bourbon, for an extra boozy bourbon truffle. You can make rum truffles the same way.
Chocolate orange truffles – Add 1.5 tsp of orange extract instead of vanilla extract. And replace 2 tbsp of cream with cointreau.
Peppermint truffles – Add 1.5 tsp of peppermint extract which will give these truffles a well balanced minty flavor.
Raspberry truffles – Replace 1/4 cup of cream with smooth raspberry puree (without the seeds).
Mocha truffles – Dissolve 2 tsp of instant coffee in the cream before adding it to the chocolate.
Chocolate truffles recipe
Chocolate ganache for truffles
- 360 g couverture chocolate 12.7 oz (50% – 70% cocoa content)
- 210 g heavy cream
¾cup + 2 tbsp
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 10 mL vanilla extract 2 tsp
- 57 g unsalted butter 4 tbsp, softened
To coat (use as much or as little of the following ingredients as you prefer)
- Cocoa powder I use extra brute Callebaut cocoa powder
- Sprinkles any kind
- Chopped nuts
- Desiccated coconut finely shredded
- Finely shaved chocolate
To temper (optional)
- 300 g semisweet couverture chocolate 10.6 oz (you can also use chocolate candy melts instead – see recipe notes)
Chocolate truffle base (chocolate ganache)
- Make sure the chocolate is chopped into fairly small pieces, especially if you’re using a chocolate block. Then place the chocolate in a clean dry bowl.
- Heat the cream and salt together in a small saucepan, until the cream starts to simmer. Do not let it boil.
- Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate, and cover and let it sit for about 1 minute.
- Add vanilla and use a whisk to stir the ganache mixture until emulsified (smooth).
- Add the softened butter and stir until melted through. The ganache should be shiny and smooth.
- Cover the surface with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is in contact with the whole surface of the chocolate ganache. This is to prevent a skin from forming on top.
- Allow the chocolate ganache to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours until set. The cooling process will be faster if you transfer the ganache into a large, flat dish.
- Once the ganache is set, it’s ready to be shaped into truffles.
Shaping the truffles
- Use a small cookie scoop (#60, 2 tsp volume) to portion the ganache mixture. You can also use a regular spoon or a melon baller instead.
- Place each portion on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Once the ganache is portioned, roll each portion into a smooth ball between your palms. Do this quickly as the chocolate will melt in your hands. Use gloves if you prefer.
- Once shaped, the truffles are ready to be coated. However, if the truffles are too soft, put them back in the fridge to let them harden just a little bit.
Coating the truffles (not with tempered chocolate)
- Simply roll each truffle in the coating of your choice.
- Lighter coatings like cocoa powder will stick to the truffles much better. If you’re using coatings that are slightly larger, then you may need to press the coating into the truffle to get better coverage.
- Once the truffles are coated, they are ready to be served.
Coating truffles with tempered chocolate
- Temper chocolate using this guide.
- Maintain the tempered chocolate temperature while coating the truffles to prevent the chocolate from thickening too much and losing the temper.
- Wearing gloves for this process will prevent this from being too messy and it’s also more sanitary. Or you can also use a clean, dry surface instead of your palms.
- Take a small amount of the tempered chocolate into your palm, and then place a truffle on top. Roll the truffle on your palm so that it's evenly coated with the tempered chocolate. Place the coated truffle on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with all of the truffles.
- Once the chocolate coating is set, do a second coating of tempered chocolate on the truffles.
- Allow the second coating to set.
- OPTIONAL – Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle sea salt or any other chopped garnish on top.
- The chocolate truffles are now ready to be served.