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Truffles The Celebration of Chocolate

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        <p>If standard chocolate tops the list of dessert favored by most
people, chocolate truffles are in a league of their own. Chocolate
truffles have held a place in history as being a treat reserved only for
the wealthy, and when they were first invented in the late 1800's, this
was true. Today, however, there's a truffle for every lover of
chocolate.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p>The misconception commonly held today is that any piece of chocolate
containing a filling is a truffle, but the genuine chocolate truffle
adheres to a strict recipe. Chocolate truffles are rich and elegant
petite-fours. They are made by rolling ganache (a mixture of rich
chocolate and heavy cream) into balls which resemble the shape of the
mushroom truffles which lent their name to this dessert. The balls of
ganache are then rolled in cocoa powder, and the tradition chocolate
truffle is born.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p>Despite the fairly simple recipe, there are three distinct varieties
of chocolate truffles. There is the American truffle, the European
truffle, and the Swiss. The difference in the three is a result of the
basic ingredients used in the ganache, as well as how the ganache is
produced. American-style truffles are the most basic, and made with a
combination of milk and dark chocolate, while the European variety uses a
thick syrup made of cocoa powder and butter. The masters of chocolate,
the Swiss, produce a chocolate truffle that is distinctly their own.Â
Their secret ingredient is heavy dairy cream, and it makes the Swiss-
style truffles some of the most fabulously decadent to be found.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p>While chocolate truffles tend to make a delightful dessert all on
their own, they are also used in the culinary crafting of other sweet
treats. Chocolate truffles today can be of the basic variety, semi-
sweet, or liquor based, and the choice of ingredient affects what other
recipes they will be used for. Today's truffles can be found in
everything from the most fancy dessert dishes to the basic cookie.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p>The chocolate truffle recipe can be used to bake a delicious chocolate
truffle torte. The torte is a dish similar to the truffle in that it is
very rich, uses relatively few ingredients, and generally has a filling
of some kind. The truffle tart also keeps within the tradition of the
basic chocolate truffle by using semi-sweet chocolate to make the ganache
for the center of the tart. Yet another elegant dessert that takes a
tip from the chocolate truffle is the souffle.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p>If your taste in chocolate truffles leans more towards the classic,
Americana variety of dessert, do not fret for you have not been
forgotten! You have your choice of chocolate truffle cheesecake, rich and
creamy chocolate truffle pie, or sinfully sweet chocolate truffle
cookies. A popular ice cream manufacturer has even gotten on the
truffle boat, and produces a truffle inspired ice cream bar.</p>
<p>Â </p>
<p>Despite the fact that the dessert once reserved for the elite is now a
dessert for the every-man, it is important to use high-quality
ingredients when crafting any truffle-inspired dish in your kitchen.Â
The quality of the ingredients has a direct effect on the taste of the
final product. Spend the extra few dollars on top-notch chocolate.Â
Your taste buds will thank you.</p>        <!--INFOLINKS_OFF-->
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