Homemade French Chocolate Truffles

Learn how to make extra creamy chocolate truffles as we do in France with this easy recipe. With only 4 ingredients, all you need to do is pour warm cream over chopped dark chocolate to make a ganache, add a bit of butter, and let it set in the refrigerator. Then, form balls and roll in cocoa powder to coat.

In France, there are no Christmas celebrations without chocolate truffles. We can’t do without! Les truffes au chocolat, as we call them in French, might be the most decadent chocolate treat.
I mention Christmas as I’m posting this recipe a few days before those celebrations but in France la Saint Valentin / Valentine’s day is another period of the year when French gourmet love to offer chocolate and especially chocolate truffles.

And you know what? It’s effortless and much better homemade than shop-bought (unless you go to a high-quality chocolatier, of course!).
Here is my best recipe, its origin with a history forme my home town, and many tips.

Why the name Chocolate Truffle?

Because it looked like mushroom truffles

Because of the shape and the powdery texture due to the cocoa coating. It resembles truffles (tuber melanosporum is its botanical name), the mythical black mushroom, and the soil in which truffle mushrooms are found.

The characteristics to follow to be named chocolate truffle in France

The DCCRF (French General Direction of Competition, Consumption and Fraud Repression) has legislated what can and what can’t be called truffe au chocolat.

The designation “truffles” can only apply to a chocolate candy, a product of the size of a bite, in which the chocolate represents at least 25% of the total weight of the product and the fats come exclusively from cocoa and dairy products.”
In case of vegetable fat, the truffle must be called “fancy truffle”.

Homemade French chocolate truffles a decadent ganache coated with cocoa powder

How to make perfect French truffles

A soft chocolate ganache

The ganache is made with dark chocolate, ideally having more or less 70% cocoa content as we want an intense chocolate flavor.
In France we can buy chocolat dessert specially produced for desserts. The cocoa amount varies from 56% to 85% cocoa content. This means making sure the chocolate is purchased in the baking aisle and is not eating chocolate. It will have a better texture once melted.

Chocolate is combined with cream to get an intense taste and soft texture.
Use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, ideally with 30% fat. Do not use half-and-half or liquid cream.

To make the ganache, the cream is heated to a simmer (be careful not to boil) and poured in three times (one-third at a time) on the chopped dark chocolate while stirring continuously.

Depending on the recipe, the cream ratio is generally 100 gr for 150 to 250 gr dark chocolate.
With this process and those proportions, you will get truffles that keep their shape, and that will melt in your mouth.

Adding butter is also optional

Butter can be optional, but I recommend it because it amplifies the smooth texture of the ganache and helps it hold together.

Sugar or honey as a sweetener

Personally, I don’t add any. However, if you take very bitter cocoa or chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa, you can add a spoonful of honey rather than sugar. Honey also adds flavor and a little freshness.

Some tips for making your truffles

Cool the chocolate ganache on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or in a flat-bottomed dish such as a casserole dish.
This way the ganache will cool evenly. Leave to cool for about 2 hours in a cool place rather than directly in the refrigerator.
Chocolate does not like temperature shocks. These two operations combined will prevent the chocolate from taking in mass while cooling.

Optional operation is to whip the ganache once cooled to make it foam to get a more airy texture. I must admit I have never tried this.

To form your truffle balls, you can either use a piping bag like the pastry chefs, or a small spoon, or form balls by hand, rolling the ball in the palm of your hands. But be careful to do this as lightly as possible so you won’t heat the ganache. Using thin rubber gloves can reduce the heat in your hands.

How to flavor your truffles

Adding flavors: in addition to the honey I mentioned above, which can be a bit strong like chestnut honey, you can add alcohol (Rum, Cognac, Grand Marnier…), orange, lemon or lime zest, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt…
Those can be added either in the cream before heating it or once chocolate, cream and butter are combined.

For the coating: homemade truffles are usually balls of ganache coated with bitter cocoa powder (unsweetened).

Cocoa powder alternatives: You can replace the cocoa powder with white chocolate chips (or a mixture of white and milk or dark chocolate), coconut powder, crushed nuts, dried fruit chips, crumbled crêpes dentelle (gavotte type)…
The possibilities are endless. What is also very nice is to consider several fillings, it allows pretty presentations (and I promise I will make beautiful pictures).

To resume, the main steps of making perfect chocolate truffles as in France are:

  1. Chop chocolate
  2. Warm cream and pour over chocolate 1 third at a time
  3. Stir so that the cream melt chocolate
  4. Add butter and stir.
  5. Refrigerate for 2 hours
  6. Roll into balls and coat with cocoa powder or other nice toppings.

How to store chocolate truffles?

Store in a cool and dry place, like a wine cellar for example. Otherwise you can put them in an airtight box in the refrigerator.
The truffles will keep longer, up to 2 to 3 weeks.

Chocolate truffles are a fancy and impressive gift to make. Just place them in a nice box.

Two other chocolate treats that resonate with Christmas are:

  • Mendiants: This French word means beggar due to its origin. Mendiants are nice chocolate disks with raisins and nuts.
  • Orangettes: This French word means “little oranges”. Orangettes are candied orange peels coated with chocolate.
truffes au chocolat maison
Homemade French chocolate truffles a decadent ganache coated with cocoa powder
la meilleure recette de truffes au chocolat

Homemade French Chocolate Truffles

Learn how to make extra creamy chocolate truffles as we do in France with this easy recipe. With only 4 ingredients, you only need to pour warm cream over chopped dark chocolate to make a ganache, add a bit of butter, and let it set in the refrigerator. Then, form balls and roll in cocoa powder to coat. My best recipe, the story of its origin, and lots of tips.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Resting time 2 hours
Course Other dessert
Cuisine French
Servings 40 truffles


  • 200 gr dark chocolate
  • 100 ml whipping cream or heavy cream with 30% fat
  • 20 gr butter room temperature, unsalted
  • cacao powder unsweetened


  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon honey


Prepare the chocolate ganache

  • Pour cream into a pan and eventually add the flavor of your choice (vanilla, rum, citrus zest, etc.). Heat the cream to a simmer.
  • Meanwhile, chop the chocolate into small pieces to melt quickly. Ideally, grate it on a board with a knife.
  • Pour the cream, one-third at a time, over the chocolate. Pour the first third of cream, stir, the second, stir, then the third, and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Doing this, you will create an emulsion and obtain a smooth ganache.
  • Add the soft butter, cut into small cubes, and combine.
  • Eventually, add one pinch of salt, ½ tablespoon of vanilla extract, and one teaspoon of honey.
  • Cover with plastic wrap (touching the ganache) and place in a cool room or the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Shape the truffles

  • Make small balls about the size of bite-sized pieces. Use a small spoon or roll a small amount of chocolate ganache in your hands.
  • Pour cocoa powder on a plate and roll the truffles in the cocoa until they are well covered.
  • Please place them in a serving dish. Store them in a cool place before serving.


Flavor: Add a pinch of salt, vanilla extract, fine orange or lemon zest, rum, etc.
Topping: classic French truffles are coated with unsweetened cocoa powder, but you can use ground hazelnut or pistachio, coconut powder, white chocolate chips, etc.
Read more information above in the article.
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Bon appétit !

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