Truffle salt, also known as black truffles or gourmet truffles, are tiny white and black specks of chocolate that have been shaped into beautiful balls, flakes, or sheets. These small treats come from several different species of the cacao plant, and some varieties produce the best results when created and stored properly. Because truffles are considered to have medicinal properties, many manufacturers are using this versatile salt in many products.
Truffles are produced by grinding dried beans, seeds, and husks of the cacao bean to create a fine powder. In making truffles, manufacturers add pieces of other materials, such as spices, herbs, fruit, nuts, and even sugar. Most truffles come from Brazil, Italy, New Zealand, and France, though many people prefer to buy them from other countries because they are less expensive. Black truffles tend to be milder in flavor and aroma, though, compared to truffles oils, black truffle sea salt will be saltier in taste and scent.
Black truffles can be enjoyed as snacks or used in cooking. Traditionally, truffles are served at Christmas parties. During the winter months, people who live near the equator and South America often serve truffles during the holiday season. During warmer climates, some choose to serve them during birthday celebrations. Because they are so popular around the world, some people have started producing and selling truffles in other countries, though they can still be purchased and shipped all over the world.
One of the first ways people use truffle salt in cooking is in chocolate sauce. Most chefs agree that a little bit goes a long way in chocolate sauce, and black truffle sea salt are certainly a lot tastier than regular chocolate. Since they are made from cocoa butter, they don't melt in the pan as regular chocolate does, so they stay creamy and rich instead of melting quickly. Instead of chocolate chips, many people substitute truffles for sugar or cornstarch and flour to make chocolate sauces.
Truffles are also used to enhance the flavor of desserts such as brownies, cookies, and cakes. Since they resemble dark chocolate, they add a hint of bitter, coffee, or vanilla flavor to foods that need a bit of an extra kick or punch. When mixed with lemon or lime juice, they can also provide a fresh and zesty taste.
Truffles can also be used in candies as well. Most candies that use truffles include a coating of cocoa butter and some other sweetening agents. Other items, such as marshmallow, licorice, orange peel, or cinnamon sticks can be added to the chocolate mixture to provide a more authentic flavor.
The texture of truffles is generally soft and dense. They can be used in a variety of recipes to complement a variety of flavors, although dark or bitter chocolate is most often combined with fruits to give the chocolate a darker, richer flavor. When baking, it is easy to blend the chocolate and the other ingredients together to create smooth, rich, and velvety treats.
Truffles are not as difficult to cut as other types of food, although it is important to remember that their size is very small and may require multiple cuts before each individual chip is removed. This makes it hard to cut the chunks without breaking them and makes them difficult to serve as snacks, but they are also often enjoyed as garnishes on desserts or eaten as a part of a bigger meal.
Another consideration when making truffles is good quality chocolate. There are several different grades of chocolate, so the best quality chocolate should be used if you have access to it. If the chocolate used is of poor quality or is over-processed, then a truffle will have a gritty, chunky texture.
Truffles are not hard to store. Since they are typically served as a dessert, they need to be kept at room temperature until ready for eating. Since they are small, they are usually stored in airtight containers and can be kept in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Because truffles come in such large pieces, they may take a while to mix, but once they do the flavors are pronounced and the texture is soft and creamy, they are easy to mix into many different recipes. The variety of recipes and ways in which they can be served to make them a popular addition to many desserts, not just desserts.