By Nadia Hassani
May 23, 2019

What is a truffle?

A truffle is a rich chocolate candy. The inside of a chocolate truffle consists of melted chocolate, butter, cream, nuts and different flavorings such as spirits or liqueurs, vanilla, coffee, and spices. The filling is then either rolled in unsweetened cocoa powder, chocolate sprinkles or shaved chocolate, or dipped in melted white or dark chocolate, which becomes a hard coating after it's cooled.

Salted Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Caramel Truffles
Photo by Matt Wencl

What Is a Chocolate Truffle?

Chocolate truffles got their name from their resemblance with fresh truffles, an expensive mushroom. To avoid confusion between the two, chocolate truffles are sometimes referred to as dessert truffles, and truffle mushrooms as natural truffles.

What Is a Truffle Mushroom?

Truffle mushrooms are rare mushrooms that only grow in the wild near the roots of certain trees. Truffle hogs with their fine noses are specially trained to sniff out the mushrooms, which are then carefully dug up. Their rarity and labor-intensive harvesting are what makes truffle mushrooms so expensive.

The most sought-after variety of truffles are black truffles, also called "French black truffles." The black winter truffle grows only during the winter months in France, Italy and Spain. The black summer truffle, also called the Italian black summer truffle, is more common than the black winter truffle.

The third type of truffle is the white truffle, which is harvested in the Italian region of Piedmont, both as a white summer truffle and white winter truffle.

The taste of black truffles is generally described as oaky, nutty and earthy, whereas white truffles have a garlicky aroma. Unlike black truffles, white truffles do not require peeling.

In cooking, truffles are used to flavor dishes such as risotto, pasta and sauces. They are always added to dishes in a very small amount right before serving. A special tool, a truffle slicer, helps to cut truffles into paper-thin slices.

Fresh imported truffles are available in the fall and early winter. Truffles are highly perishable and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days after purchase.

Some of Our Favorite Dessert Truffle Recipes

"Insanely easy, but oh so rich truffles!" raves jmacsaunders. "This recipe makes a large amount but you can vary flavorings and coatings to make several different varieties."

Easy Decadent Truffles
Photo by Yan

"Dark chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel were just made to be eaten together," says MariaTheSoaper. "How can you resist the indulgent blend of sweet, nutty, with a dash of salt? It's perfect. They can be made up to a week before you want them, just cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving."

"This is a great truffle recipe to use for holidays!" says thecookandbaker. "I give it out to friends and family at Christmas time."

Coconut Truffles
Photo by Kim's Cooking Now

Made with semi-sweet chocolate and instant coffee! "These mocha truffles are a favorite of the cookie exchange," says joyjeeves.

Mocha Truffles
Photo by Rainbow Jewels
| Credit: Rainbow Jewels

"I love this recipe," says misstypo. "It's way healthier than regular truffles and the delicious combo of peanut butter and chocolate is a total winner!"

Healthy Truffles
Photo by Tammy Lynn

Check out our collection of Truffle Recipes.