The chocolate truffle is well understood as being a specific type of chocolate confection, usually roughly spherical or conical in shape, usually made with a variant of chocolate ganache and coated with chocolate, cocoa powder or chopped nuts of similar.  But do you know the history of the truffle and why it was named so?

Truffles or truffles?

According to legend the first chocolate truffle was created in France in the early 20th century in the kitchen of the legendary culinary master Auguste Escoffier, when an apprentice accidently poured hot cream over chocolate instead of sugared egg when making pastry cream. He discovered the mixture hardened and could be worked into bumpy lopsided balls that strongly resembled another important luxury ingredient common in the Escoffier kitchen – the black truffle fungus from the Perigord region of France.

We would now say that if you use the term ‘truffle’ most people will think of the chocolate version so famous and popular has this little indulgent sweet treat become!

At Hay Hampers we are also big fans of the original lumpy little delicacy. As a famous aphrodisiac and still considered a true gastronomic luxury, our range of truffle hampers include truffle risotto rice, truffle infused pasta, truffle oil, truffle salami, truffle cheese and truffle sauces! They are very popular for Valentines too!

However, our chocolate truffles are also a great joy to us. Many of us include it as our favourite item that we sell and always buy them ourselves, or get very excited when there is a damaged box!

Our truffle is a French truffle – which means it is a dark chocolate ganache, coated in cocoa powder. It is made by Matthez, a French company that has been making truffles since 1934. They make truffles in a number of variations but we particularly love this plain and unadulterated version.

The different ways…

The French – made with cream and chocolate and usually coated in cocoa powder

The Swiss – combines chocolate with cream and butter, poured into moulds and often chocolate coated

The Belgian – often includes praline (nut and sugar paste)

Other truffle ideas for making at home:

Use a variety of chocolate types – try Milk, Dark, Organic, different makes of chocolate

Add flavour to the ganache by adding a splash of something such as-

  • Brandy
  • Vodka – or flavoured vodka such as Toffee Vodka or
  • Kirsch
  • Whisky
  • Honey
  • Orange extract
  • Peppermint extract
  • Rose oil
  • Blended praline
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Cardamon
  • Salt
  • Malt powder
  • Chilli powder or crushed chilli flakes

 Change what you roll it in

  • Cocoa powder
  • Chopped nuts of varying kinds – hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios for colour
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Grated chocolate
  • Vermicelli
  • Freeze dried strawberry or raspberry powder
  • Flavoured hot chocolate powder – such as salted caramel or mint
  • Crushed biscuit crumbs such as Oreo or Digestive


The options and combinations are endless – let your imagination run wild!