These easy 3-ingredient chocolate truffles might be better than the ones I made in Zurich

These luxurious 3-ingredient truffles taste like a trip to Switzerland

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Senior Writer

Published August 19, 2023 3:59PM (EDT)

Swiss truffles (Mary Elizabeth Williams)
Swiss truffles (Mary Elizabeth Williams)

It's just chocolate, butter and cream, rolled up in a ball — what's not to love?

The truffle is the simplest and chicest of confections, a bite-sized flavor bomb with just a touch of rustic charm. (The name reputedly derives from the Latin term for "lump.") In my life I have gladly braved cocoa dust down my front to enjoy them at every opportunity, but spending a few weeks here in Switzerland has given me an entirely new appreciation for them. 

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Earlier this month, I took a memorable champagne truffle making class at the mother ship itself, the Lindt Home of Chocolate. While doing coursework in Basel, I have been confronted daily and uncomplainingly with chocolate miniatures in our seminar rooms. Pro tip: a truffle or two melted into your morning oatmeal is an acceptable — and I like to think European — way to start your day. 

But for all my unrestrained enthusiasm these days for the pride of Switzerland, I sometimes crave a slightly more bespoke experience. The individually wrapped truffles my classmates and I can consume by the bagful feature a hard chocolate shell for neatness and ease. And the most sublime of truffles, in my opinion, don't crack when you bite into them. They're just a pure, exquisite squish. No disrespect, but I think those kinds are even better than the Lindt version.

Making spectacular looking and tasting truffles at home requires just a handful of ingredients and barely any technique. You just need a bit of patience, a tolerance for getting your hands messy and the best tasting chocolate you love. It doesn't have to be expensive — Tasting Table ranks Lindt tops among chocolate brands and you can probably pick some up at your checkout aisle next to the gum. (I also always keep Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips on hand.)

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For inspiration here, I've relied on the ever brilliant Nagi Maehashi's Recipe Tin Eats version, tweaking the proportions slightly so you don't need to measure your chocolate. Maehashi also calls for a longer chilling time for her ganache, but I find mine firms up just fine in about an hour. Powdered sugar and cocoa are traditional coatings, but feel free to creative. In the past, I've made truffles rolled in crushed potato chips and they vanished as quickly as I set them out. Consider it a little American spin on a European classic.

* * *

Inspired by  Lindt Home of Chocolate and Recipe Tin Eats

Swiss chocolate 3-ingredient truffles
 24 servings
Prep Time
 5 minutes 
Assembly Time
 10 - 15 minutes, plus chilling


  • 10.5 ounces of your favorite dark chocolate, roughly chopped (3 Lindt bars) or chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • About 1/4 cup of powdered sugar or cocoa powder, for dusting


  1. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and chill in fridge. 

  2. Place chocolate, cream and butter in a microwave proof bowl. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat 1 - 3 more times, until the everything is melted and smooth.

  3. Cover bowl and refrigerate 1 - 6 hours, until firm but not too stiff or solid. You can test with a spoon.

  4. Put the powdered sugar or cocoa in a small bowl.

  5. If you have latex gloves on hand (no judgment), you might want to put them on now.  Remove the chocolate and the tray from the refrigerator.

  6. With a small cookie scoop or tablespoon and supporting teaspoon, scoop up a  spoonful of chocolate ganache, peel it into one hand and quickly roll into a ball. Place on your chilled tray.

  7. Repeat, working as quickly and steadily as possible, until you've used all the ganache. If the chocolate gets too warm and melty in your hands, take a break and return the bowl to the fridge. You'll get there.

  8. Once all the truffles are rolled, roll them a small handful at a time in your coating. Store and serve at room temperature.

Cook's Notes

My hands are basically a pair of ice pops at the end of my wrists, but if you run hotter and want to assure less melted chocolate in your hands, follow Nagi Maehashi's clever tip. A freezer pack or bag of frozen peas wrapped in paper towels kept close by can be used to periodically cool your hands. 

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By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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Chocolate Recipe Switzerland Truffles