How to Make Chocolate Truffles from Scratch: The Ultimate Guide

Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you constantly find yourself looking for ways to satisfy it without having to shell out the money for expensive chocolates you can buy in stores?

If so, it might be time for you to learn how to make candy for yourself at home! If you’re a big fan of chocolate, the best place to get started is with chocolate truffles.

There’s nothing quite like a truffle. These decadent, delicious sweet treats are the perfect bite of flavor for anybody who wants to indulge in a little bit of extra sugary goodness now and then.

Of course, a lot goes into a truffle to bring together the special blend of hard outer coating and smooth, creamy center that makes this dessert such a classic. You might find yourself thinking you’re never going to be able to make something so complex, but truffles are actually quite easy!

Of course, making anything from start to finish can be tough the first time you try it. But if you’ve ever wanted to know how to make chocolate truffles from scratch, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, I’ll teach you all about what makes chocolate truffles so incredible, and I’ll even give you a crash course in the world of truffles from start to finish. I’ll take you through the steps and lists of ingredients and items you’ll need to make the best chocolate truffles you’ve ever tasted.

By the time you’re done reading through this article, you’ll know how to make truffle chocolates the old-fashioned way, and you’ll have the best sweet treat to give to your friends and family (or to keep all to yourself). So read on to find out everything you need to know to get started on your journey toward incredible sweets!

What is a Truffle?

You’ve probably heard the word “truffle” used to refer to mushrooms a well as candies, and that’s accurate! The fungus version of the truffle was named first, and the candy came later. It was actually named after its mushroom counterpart because they have similar shapes, but that’s where their connection ends. Dessert truffles are sweet and come in a variety of different flavors.

how to make truffle chocolates

To be a true truffle, a candy must be filled with a ganache-style middle that’s flavored like some type of sweet treat. Traditional chocolate truffles don’t have anything but chocolate in the middle, but most of the time, they can be found in flavors ranging from hazelnut to key lime pie, and everything in between. The choices are really only limited by your flavor preferences when it comes to making an incredible truffle.

Outside the ganache center, a truffle is usually coated in a harder outer shell. This may or may not be chocolate-flavored as well, but in a traditional truffle, it probably is. White chocolate shells are common in truffles, too, and some may even feature flavored coatings to pair with their centers. Most of the time, truffles are finished off with some type of toppings, such as chopped nuts or shredded coconut, but this isn’t a requirement.

Truffles are usually round in shape, but sometimes they’re more like a cone or a cylinder. They usually have a flat bottom. The shape of the truffle isn’t nearly as important as its filling, and some might even argue that the filling is what makes the truffle what it is. Without it, you’d just be making another chocolate ball of some type!

Now that you know a little bit about what a truffle is, it’s time to learn about the different types of truffles. You might be surprised to find out there’s more than one variety!

What are the Different Types of Truffles?

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Truffles aren’t all exactly the same. There are five different types of truffles, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses that can make it perfect for your next party. Check out this list of the five kinds of truffle you can choose from, plus one “honorable mention” for special circumstances.

  • French truffles. These are the traditional truffle that most people think of when imagining this dessert. They’re made with fresh, heavy cream, and finished by rolling in cocoa powder. If you find a truffle that looks like it’s covered in powder more than in a hard outer shell, then you’ve probably got a French truffle.
  • Swiss truffles. The process by which Swiss truffles are made is much different than French truffles. These candies are made by combining melted chocolate with heavy cream and butter that have been brought to a boil together. They are shaped perfectly round instead of being left with one flat side like most other truffles. They are often also finished with cocoa powder.
  • Belgian truffles. Belgian truffles started the trend of coating these chocolates with a harder exterior. The insides of a Belgian truffle are likely to be softer and maybe even dripping in comparison to the other types on this list. They’re also less likely to be finished with powder or with chopped nuts or coconut.
  • American truffles. American truffles have a flat side and may even be shaped like an egg or a cylinder. Most of the time, the exterior is made of dark chocolate, and the interior is a little bit softer, like in a Belgian truffle. The insides of an American truffle can be just about any flavor, and they aren’t limited to chocolate. Decorations are popular on these truffles.
  • European truffles. These liquid-filled truffles are more like a cherry cordial than a chocolate truffle, at least as far as texture goes. They’re usually made with cocoa powder and milk powder combined with plenty of fats and oils to keep the middles smooth and flowing. They’re much different than most other truffles.
  • Honorable mention: vegan style truffles. Whereas most truffles are made with heavy cream, butter, and other dairy products, these remove anything that might have come from an animal and replace it with other ingredients, such as soy. They’re becoming very popular today since they offer a healthy and eco-friendly alternative.

What Makes Chocolate Truffles So Special?

Now that you know all about the different types of truffles, it’s time to learn what makes chocolate truffles so special. Of course, they’re delicious, and they’re great for anybody who loves chocolate, but there’s a lot of history behind the creation of the chocolate truffle, too.

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Did you know that truffles were created entirely by accident? Long ago, sometime around the late 1800s or early 1900s, a French chef supposedly poured hot cream into chocolate unintentionally and realized that he could then roll the chocolate into shapes. When he’d finished forming the chocolates into balls, he dusted them with cocoa powder and realized they looked a lot like truffle mushrooms. He gave them their signature name, and they soon became wildly popular across Europe.

The truffle’s popularity spread from Europe to the United States, and different countries started adding their own twists to the traditional recipe. Over time, the truffle evolved to include a lot of different flavors, styles, and toppings, but it still hearkens back to its roots as a filled chocolate ball.

Although no one is completely sure whether or not this legend is true, it makes for a fun version of the origin of these delicious chocolate treats. Today, the truffle is a special dessert used for upscale occasions, and it’s often given as gifts for holidays and special events. It’s often looked at as something of a fancy treat, probably because of its origins in French and European dessert cuisine.

Truffles are special, and since chocolate truffles are the original, they’re even more incredible than their flavored counterparts. You can do a lot with a chocolate truffle, but you first need to know how to make one! Read on to learn more.

Skills and Utensils for the Perfect Truffle

how to make easy chocolate truffles

Before you can get started preparing your chocolate truffles, you’ll need to have a few skills up your sleeve. Truffles aren’t too hard to put together, but they aren’t a beginner’s recipe either. It’s important to be sure you know what you’re doing around the kitchen before you begin.

  • Understand how to use a piping bag. Not every truffle recipe requires this, but many do, and it’s a good skill to have any time you’ll be making desserts. In some truffle recipes, you’ll need to be able to pipe the filling or the coating into the correct location.
  • Understand how to work with chocolate. Chocolate can give you a lot of different textures and consistencies if you know what you’re doing with it. Depending on what you mix into your chocolate, you might get something very creamy, or something hard and firm. For truffles, you’ll want a little of both.
  • Understand how to work with chocolate. Chocolate can give you a lot of different textures and consistencies if you know what you’re doing with it. Depending on what you mix into your chocolate, you might get something very creamy, or something hard and firm. For truffles, you’ll want a little of both.
  • Know how to use your stovetop. Truffles require a lot of different steps going on at one, and you’ll need to be comfortable with your stovetop in order to make them correctly. You’ll have to be able to keep your coating chocolate melted and smooth while working with your filling, and you’ll need to be able to move quickly enough to keep both from setting up while you work.

Aside from skills, you’ll also need a few special utensils to get the job done correctly. If you’re making very traditional truffles (like this guide will explain), you’ll need some specific pieces of kitchen equipment before you can try out the recipe.

  • A sharp knife. You’ll need to chop your chocolate by hand in order to get the right consistency for your truffles. Use a sharp knife, and consider going for one with a serrated edge to help chop even faster.
  • A large, dry workspace. Keep your truffles well away from water while you’re mixing the ingredients. You’ll need plenty of counter space to get this recipe started.
  • Whisk. A huge part of making the ganache center of your truffle revolves around quality whisking. You’ll want to do this by hand instead of with an electric mixer. You can also use a wooden spoon.
  • Bowls. A good set of medium-sized stainless steel bowls is essential to perfect truffle creation.
  • Pots and saucepans. You’ll need to heat your ingredients on the stove to make your truffles, and you’ll need at least a couple of pots or saucepans to handle every step.
  • Pastry bags. Bags designed specifically for piping are your best bet, but you can also get a large freezer bag and snip off one corner to get the job done for a little bit less of the cost.
  • Parchment paper and baking sheets. You’ll need both to allow your truffles to set appropriately. Cover the baking sheets with the parchment paper so you’ll have an easier time peeling the chocolates away when you’re done.

Ingredients and Where to Find Them

Before you can learn how to make chocolate truffles, you’ll need to know what to have on hand as far as ingredients go. Remember that there are tons of different types of truffles, and one recipe may be pretty different from the next.

For this version, we’ll be making traditional French style truffles, so the ingredients will match with that style.

  • Unsalted butter. This is normal butter you can find in just about any grocery store or market. Choose organic butter if you want an even fresher flavor in your truffles, but otherwise, any stick of butter will do fine. Don’t substitute margarine for this ingredient!
  • Corn syrup. Sure, it might sound a little unauthentic, but corn syrup provides a quick and easy solution that can save you a lot of time in the long run while still giving you a traditional truffle you’ll love. You’ll only need a very small amount for this recipe, and you can pick this up in any grocery store.
  • Heavy cream. The fresher, the better! Traditional French chefs used fresh cream for truffle production, so if you have access to it from a local farmer’s market or another nearby source, by all means, go for the good stuff. Otherwise, any market version of heavy cream will do the trick.
  • Chocolate. Choose a very nice quality chocolate for this recipe. Don’t use chocolate chips or some other inexpensive variation. For the perfect truffle, you’ll want to go for something a little pricier. Bittersweet chocolate is your best bet.
  • Dutch cocoa powder. This is different from ordinary cocoa powder, in flavor and in texture. You’ll probably want to pick it up online since it might be hard to find in stores. You may be able to locate it in specialty baking shops.

Guide to Making Chocolate Truffles

how to make easy chocolate truffles

This is all well and good, but you’re probably sitting there thinking, “But how do I make chocolate truffles?” Now that you know a little bit about truffles and what you need to get started, you can get to the fun part!

  • Measure out your ingredients. You’ll need 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp corn syrup, ½ cup cream, and 8 ounces of chopped chocolate. You’ll also need an additional 6 ounces of chocolate for melting, and cocoa powder to taste for topping.
  • In a large pot over medium heat, boil cream together with corn syrup and butter, then remove from heat.
  • Add all of your chopped chocolate (excluding your separate 6 ounces of chocolate) and swirl the pan, without stirring. Let it stand for 5 minutes, still off of the heat, then whisk until light and fluffy.
  • Chill for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes, stir the mixture.
  • Chill for 15 minutes more. Every 5 minutes, stir again.
  • Scoop ganache mixture into inch-sized balls by hand or use a piping bag to pipe out balls. Drop onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  • Chill for 15 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan over low heat, bring an inch of water to a constant simmer.
  • Add your remaining 6 ounces of chocolate to a stainless steel bowl and let it sit over the water. Do not put it directly in the water. Stir until chocolate melts.
  • Remove ganache fillings and dip into melted chocolate. Remove with a fork and be sure to tap each one until the excess drips off completely.
  • Drop each dipped truffle into a bowl of Dutch cocoa and gently shake the bowl to coat the truffles.
  • Return the dipped truffles to the baking sheets.
  • Chill overnight.

Best Practices for Making the Perfect Truffle

how to make easy chocolate truffles

Following the recipe is a great way to make a good truffle, but what can you do when you want to make the best possible truffle you can imagine? There are several different tips and tricks that can make your truffle creations really stand out from the crowd. If you keep these suggestions in mind, your truffles will be show-stoppers every time.

  • Consider adding a liqueur to your ganache mixture. Use it in place of the corn syrup. You may need to add a little bit more in order to get the full flavor of the liqueur. Some people also like to put rum in their truffles, but this tends to be more like a rum ball in the end than a traditional chocolate truffle.
  • Keep truffles in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. Before you’ll be serving them, let them sit at room temperature, covered, for a couple of hours to soften up. Truffles are best when served at room temperature, so they’re still soft in the center.
  • Always choose a chocolate you really like. Don’t pick a type of chocolate for your truffles just because you think it sounds fancy or because it’s expensive. Sure, some of the best quality chocolates are also pricey, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll make a good truffle. Pick a chocolate that is at least 55 percent cocoa, and you’ll have an easier time working with it in the long run.
  • When chopping your chocolate, be sure to get it thin and diced well. You’re looking for uniform sizes in your pieces of chocolate, so everything will melt at the same time. If you have trouble getting your chocolate to melt, you might need to chop it even finer.
  • Temper your chocolate if you’re worried about how your truffles will look when completed. This is a trick for making the outer coating looking truly professional, but it can be a long process that’s difficult to pull off if you’re inexperienced. To temper chocolate, heat it over simmering water until it’s about 120 degrees Fahrenheit, then cool it down to 86 degrees by adding small pieces of chopped chocolate to reduce the temperature. Then bring the temperature back up to around 90 degrees and keep it there. Test it by spreading a little bit on a piece of parchment paper. If it sets up quickly, you did it right!


I hope you’ve enjoyed this guide about how to make easy chocolate truffles. It takes some practice to get the hang of making the perfect truffle, but by following my step-by-step guide and keeping in mind the tips and tricks I’ve shared with you, you’ll be able to showcase your cooking skills to everyone you know when you hand out samples of your delicious, incredible chocolate sweets.

Best of all, you’ll be able to share this information with the people you know, too! You can point them in the direction of this recipe so that everyone can enjoy the delicious taste of perfect chocolate truffles straight out of their own kitchen. The next time you go to a family get-together or a party at a friend’s house, you’ll have a great recipe to bring along, share, and discuss.

And of course, you’ll want to bring along some of the incredible truffles you’ve made, too! Don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty in the kitchen playing around with this recipe. You’ll soon find that the perfect truffle is easy to put together. Of course, the more often you put this recipe to good use, the better and better your sweets will become.

So get out there and get started preparing the best truffles you’ve ever tasted!

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