These classic French Chocolate Truffles are a truly decadent, intense and fudgy treat. Made with 4 simple ingredients only, these Cocoa Dusted Truffles are perfect for the Holidays, to enjoy with a coffee or as an edible gift!
This recipe was created by Alain Ducasse.
Why we love this recipe
These Dark Chocolate Ganache Truffles are a classic French treat that is super easy to make and great to serve with coffee, for the Holidays celebrations, as an edible gift or served at the end of a special meal.
Made from 4 simple ingredients, they can be prepared in advance and will last for a week in the fridge. These dark chocolate truffles are incredibly decadent, intense and perfect for any dark chocolate lovers!
They will make a great addition to your Holiday sweet table or Cookie Exchange along with these Biscoff Truffles, Raspberry Truffles, Strawberry Truffles and Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls!
What are these chocolate truffles made of (scroll down to recipe card below for all quantities):
- Cream: Heavy / Thickened Cream. It must be at leat 30% fat content - do not use a light cream.
- Butter: Unsalted Butter - it can come straight from the fridge as it is getting melted.
- Chocolate: Dark Chocolate, either Cooking Chocolate or Couverture Chocolate if you have access to it. I used a Callebaut 70% Dark Belgian Chocolate for a super intense chocolate taste - but you could use a lighter chocolate if preferred.
- Cacao / Cocoa Powder: Natural unsweetened cocoa powder (it will work with Dutch Process Cacao too, or even a sweetened version if you want a sweeter bite). Preferably sifted before use.
These French Chocolate Truffles can also be dipped in melted dark chocolate before being rolled in cocoa powder. It adds a delicious crunchy shell to the chocolate bites!
These French Truffles are a great base or "blank canvas" to get creative and play with ingredients and flavours. You could add so many different things to them (or keep them plain) such as some Vanilla Extract, Orange Zest (or Orange Extract), Coffee (either coffee extract or espresso / instant coffee added to the cream), some Sea Salt or Peppermint Extract.
You could even roll the chocolate mixture around a raspberry or other freeze-dried fruits, coconut and nuts! Some French Truffles also have a little bit of alcohol added to them like Grand Marnier.
How to make French Truffles
Making these chocolate truffles are super easy - they only require a little bit of chilling time.
- If using a Chocolate Bar, start by chopping it very finely and place it in a large heat-proof mixing bowl. I used Chocolate Callets (not to mistake for chocolate chips - callets are small chunks of couverture chocolate) so I did not need to pre-chop them.
- Photo 1: Place the Cream and Butter in a small saucepan.
- Photo 2: Heat up on low to medium heat until the butter has dissolved and the cream starts to simmer. Make sure the cream does not boil to avoid burning the chocolate.
- Photo 3: Pour about half of the Cream/Butter mixture over the Chocolate.
- Photo 4: Make sure the liquid covers all the chocolate, then let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Using a spatula, gently stir to combine ("emulsify") the cream and melted chocolate. You will still see chunks of unmelted chocolate - that's normal.
You don't want to use a whisk here as it would add a lot of air bubbles into the ganache.
- Photo 5: Pour the rest of the hot cream over the chocolate. If the cream has gone colder, re-heat it up slightly first.
- Photo 6: Stir it all together until all the chocolate has melted and you get a very smooth, shiny ganache.
If you still have bits of unmelted chocolate at this point, you can continue to melt it over a double boiler. Note that the chocolate could continue to melt thanks to the residual heat, so make sure not to apply too much heat on the chocolate afterwards.
- Photo 7: Pour the dark chocolate ganache in a small shallow pan (such as a brownie pan).
- Photo 8: Cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the chocolate and place in the fridge to chill and set for 1 to 2 hours.
The exact time will depend on how large / shallow the pan you use is. The chocolate ganache should be hard enough to be scooped out, but soft enough to be rolled and molded. If too hard, take it out of the fridge and let it come back to room temperature for a few minutes.
- Place the Cocoa Powder in a small shallow dish.
- Photo 9: Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, pick up a little bit of the set chocolate mixture.
- Photo 10: Roll it between yours hands to shape it into a ball. It will start to melt quickly, so don't work it for too long; it does not need to be a perfect ball!
If the chocolate is too hard to roll, let it come back to room temperature for a few minutes. If it is too soft and melts straight away when you try to roll it, place it back in the fridge for a few minutes.
- Photo 11 & 12: Place the chocolate balls in the dish with the Cocoa Powder and gently toss it around to cover it completely. Place the finished truffles back in the fridge to set again for at least 30 minutes.
You might have to roll the chocolate truffles in a few batches depending on the temperature of your kitchen and the chocolate. Place it back in the fridge for a few minutes when required.
Truffles originate from France and were invented towards the end on the 19th / start of the 20th Century. Some sources say they were created by French Pastry Chef Louis Dufour, others by famous chef Georges Auguste Escoffier.
They were named after the famous mushroom that they resemble once covered in cocoa powder.
You will get the best results in both flavour and texture when using Couverture Chocolate - but these chocolate truffles will work fine with a good quality Cooking Chocolate.
For an intense chocolate flavour, make sure to use a chocolate that has a high percentage of cacao. I used a 70% Chocolate.
These truffles are basically like a chocolate ganache that has been set in the fridge then rolled into a ball. A chocolate does not contain either cream or butter.
To keep them for longer, they should be kept in the fridge in an air-tight container but they will be fine at room temperature for a few hours before serving too. This will give them a delicious soft and fudgy texture!
Tips for Success
- Temperatures are key to make perfect truffles. Make sure the cream does not boil to avoid burning the chocolate when melting it. The chocolate truffles also need to have the right consistency before you start rolling them; too warm/soft and you wont be able to get nice balls. Too cold/hard and they will be difficult to scoop out and shape.
- Use quality chocolate for the best, most flavoursome results. Couverture chocolate will give you the best results if you have access to it; I used 70% Couverture Belgian Chocolate from Callebaut. If using a Chocolate Bar, make sure to chop it very finely to help it melt faster.
- This recipe for French Chocolate Truffles has no added sugar. For a sweeter bite, simply use chocolate that has a lower percentage of cacao - or even Milk chocolate.
- For a harder texture, keep the truffles in the fridge until ready to serve. For a fudgier, softer, 'melt-in-your-mouth' texture, take them out of the fridge a few hours before serving.
- Another way to mix the ganache is by using an immersion blender ("stick blender). Place the chocolate in a small wide container (like a measuring jug) and cover with the warm cream. Using the immersion blender, mix on low until you get a smooth ganache mixture. Make sure not to move the blender too much to avoid creating too many air bubbles.
Storing & Freezing
These Cocoa Chocolate Truffles will last for up to a week in the fridge, stored in an air-tight container. They can also be kept at room temperature (if the temperature of the room is not too hot) for a few hours before serving for a softer, fudgier texture.
I do not recommend freezing these chocolate balls.
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French Chocolate Truffles
- 350 gr (12 oz) Dark Cooking Chocolate Bar - 70% Chocolate recommended
- 250 ml (1 cup) Heavy / Thickened Cream
- 50 gr (3 1/2 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter
- 50 gr (5 tablespoons) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
I highly recommend using the measurements in grams & ml (instead of cups & spoons) for more accuracy and better results.
- Finely chop the Dark Chocolate bar and place it in a large heat-proof bowl. If using Chocolate Callets or Pistols, place them straight in the bowl.350 gr (12 oz) Dark Cooking Chocolate Bar
- Place the Cream and Butter in a small saucepan and turn on on medium low heat. Cook until the butter has melted and the liquid reaches a simmer (see note 1).250 ml (1 cup) Heavy / Thickened Cream, 50 gr (3 1/2 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter
- Pour about half of the Cream/Butter mixture over the Chocolate. Let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes then using a spatula, gently stir in small circular movements to combine. You will still see chunks of unmelted chocolate - that's normal.
- Pour the rest of the hot cream over the chocolate (see note 2) then continue to stir until all the chocolate has melted and you get a smooth, shiny ganache (see note 3).
- Pour the dark chocolate ganache in a small shallow pan, cover with plastic wrap touching its surface and place in the fridge to set for 1 to 2 hours (see note 4).
- Place the Cocoa Powder in a small shallow dish.50 gr (5 tablespoons) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, pick up a little bit of the set chocolate ganache mixture and roll it between yours hands to shape it into a ball (see note 5).
- Directly place each chocolate ball in the dish with the Cocoa Powder and gently toss it around to cover it completely. Put the finished French Chocolate Truffles in a clean dish or air-tight container and place in the fridge to set again for at least 30 minutes. Store int he fridge for up to a week.
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- Chocolate: use either Couverture Chocolate Callets or a Dark Cooking Chocolate Bar, very finely chopped. Note that chocolate callets are not chocolate chips - they are designed to be melted and tempered which is not the case for chocolate chips.
- Cocoa: Unsweetened, natural Cocoa Powder (but dutch processed cocoa will work too). Can be sweetened if preferred for a sweeter treat.
- Make sure the cream does not start boiling or it might burn the chocolate when you pour it over.
- If the cream has gone colder, re-heat it up slightly first.
- If you still have bits of unmelted chocolate at this point, you can continue to melt it over a double boiler. Note that the chocolate could continue to melt thanks to the residual heat, so make sure not to apply too much heat on the chocolate afterwards.
- The exact chilling time will depend on how large / shallow the pan you use is. The chocolate ganache should be hard enough to be scooped out, but soft enough to be rolled and molded. If too hard, take it out of the fridge and let it come back to room temperature for a few minutes. If too soft, let it chill for a little bit longer.
- It will start to melt quickly, so don't work it for too long; it does not need to be a perfect ball! If the chocolate is too hard to roll, let it come back to room temperature for a few minutes. If it is too soft and melts straight away when you try to roll it, place it back in the fridge for a few minutes.