I never understood the popularity of chocolate truffles until I tried a dark chocolate truffle from La Maison du Chocolat. I took a small bite of the plain, cocoa dusted truffle and let it melt in my mouth. It was incredible. It was truly the best chocolate and the best truffle that I have ever had in my life; Better than any Belgian, any German, and any famous American chocolate that I’ve tasted. From what my cousin tells me, the freshly made truffles at the store are even better. I will definitely try this the next chance I get.
These handmade French chocolates are sold all around the world. I tried the chocolate from one of the New York City locations. They are expensive, but worth it in my opinion. They would make a phenomenal gift for anyone who enjoys chocolate or indulgence. You could even try making them yourself! The La Maison du Chocolat recipe for their truffles is posted online (see below). Smitten Kitchen tested the recipe and provided detailed photo instructions here. One day I’ll try making these too and I’ll let you know how they compare to the store bought truffles.
Robert Linxe’s Chocolate Truffles (La Maison du Chocolat)
Gourmet, February 2001
Makes about 60 truffles (Do not double the recipe).
11 ounces Valrhona chocolate (56% cacao)
2/3 cup heavy cream
Valrhona cocoa powder for dusting
Finely chop 8 ounces of the chocolate and put in a bowl. Bring heavy cream to a boil in a small heavy saucepan. Make sure your pan is small, so you’ll lose the least amount of cream to evaporation, and heavy, which will keep the cream from scorching. Linxe boils his cream three times — he believes that makes the ganache last longer. If you do this, compensate for the extra evaporation by starting with a little more cream.
Pour the cream over the chocolate, mashing any big pieces with a wooden spoon.
Then stir with a whisk in concentric circles (don’t beat or you’ll incorporate air), starting in the center and working your way to the edge, until the ganache is smooth.
Let stand at room temperature until thick enough to hold a shape, about 1 hour, then, using a pastry bag with a 3/8-inch opening or tip, pipe into mounds (about 3/4 inch high and 1 inch wide) on parchment-lined baking sheets. When piping, finish off each mound with a flick of the wrist to soften and angle the point tip. Freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt 3 more ounces of the same Valrhona and smear some on a gloved hand. Gently rub each chilled truffle to coat lightly with chocolate. (The secret to a delicate coating of chocolate is to roll each truffle in a smear of melted chocolate in your hand. Linxe always uses gloves.)
Toss the truffles in unsweetened Valrhona cocoa powder so they look like their namesakes, freshly dug from the earth. A fork is the best tool for tossing truffles in cacao. Shake truffles in a sieve to eliminate excess cacao.
Store truffles in the refrigerator.