Top Pick Of The Week

October 17, 2006

. .
Telluride Truffle Collection
This mountain range of truffles is easy to climb: the only special equipment needed is an appreciation of great chocolate.
WHAT IT IS: Simply fabulous chocolate truffles from Telluride, Colorado, made in the style of ganache-filled chocolate shells.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: Some photos can be misleading, but these truffles taste as good as they look—even better. Outstanding in both design and recipe, most are impeccably laced with different spirits.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Each of the more than a dozen different flavors is spectacular. The flavors of ganache are also available in jars as spoon candy or to heat as dessert sauces. Plus, there’s a complete sugar-free line with maltitol for those who can’t have sucrose.

Telluride Truffle:
Glorious Ganache

CAPSULE REPORT: Most people beat a path to Telluride for the skiing...or perhaps to catch a glimpse of Tom Cruise and other celebs. We would go there for a different kind of excitement: to watch the Telluride Truffles as they parade fresh and gleaming from the back room of Patty Denny’s shop.

Telluride Truffle may be the most charming collection of truffles we have ever tasted. In dark, milk and white chocolate, they are beautifully-designed little mountains that recall their Colorado home. Most flavors are accented with liqueurs. The ganache is so good that customers demanded to purchase it separately; it is sold in jars as a dessert topping or spoon candy. Since people on sugar-restricted diets deserve to enjoy such treasures, Telluride Truffle makes sugar-free versions with maltitol. If one died and went to heaven, hopefully one’s room would be stocked with an endless supply of everything from Telluride Truffle. Until then, use the special NIBBLE discount for yourself and for holiday gifts. Read the full review below.

Learn To Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles

Essence Of Chocolate Making Artisan Chocolates
The Art Of Chocolate
Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate, by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg. Featuring more than one hundred spectacular recipes drawn from the Scharffen Berger company files and from two dozen top pastry chefs, this book is filled with helpful tips, sumptuous photographs and the story of how chocolate is made. A must-have book for chocolate aficionados. Click here for
more information or to purchase.
Making Artisan Chocolates, by Andrew Garrison Shotts. Shotts, the former pastry chef for Guittard Chocolate and the owner of Garrison Confections (one of our favorite boutique chocolatiers), shows readers how to create extraordinary chocolates at home through the use of herbs, flowers, chiles, spices, vegetables, fruits, dairies and liquors. Click here for more information or to purchase. The Art of Chocolate, by Elaine Gonzalez. A cooking teacher with decades of experience, Elaine Gonzalez has devised innovative techniques to put the art of working with chocolate within everyone’s reach. Even novices will soon be able to roll, curl, twist, coax and nudge chocolate to incredible heights of fantasy. Beautifully photographed. Click here for more information or to purchase.

Telluride Truffle: Glorious Ganache



When Patty Denny, a New York City actress, made a lifestyle change and moved to Telluride, Colorado, the world may have lost a fine entertainer. But it was about to gain a brilliant chocolatier.

Since 1997, Patty’s company, Telluride Truffle, has been making the most magnificent truffles. Exquisite ganache in a chocolate shell, the truffles are uniquely Telluride, shaped like the mountains of their birth. The chocolatier’s technique and ingredients are classic European. But neither creativity nor couverture would be worth a mountain of cacao beans if the flavors weren’t so perfectly balanced. In a category where too sweet, too rich, or too much is too often the case, Telluride Truffle is just too wonderful for words.

  Each “mountain” is a nugget of chocolate gold.

Most of the ganaches are spirit-infused with popular liquors or liqueurs. Whatever the flavor, Maestra Denny is the Mozart of ganache, infusing the right amount of everything. The couverture is Callebaut, from Belgium.

The Truffle Flavors

You can have your truffles all bittersweet chocolate, all milk chocolate, all white chocolate or in combinations. We have no “favorites” in this collection: each chocolate mountain is a bite of truffle heaven (actually, it’s two bites—the truffles are large).

Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

This group encases bittersweet chocolate ganache in a bittersweet chocolate shell. The ganaches are flavored, with one exception.

  • Alpenglow: Flavored with Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • Class 5: Flavored with Raspberry.
  • Spirals: Bittersweet chocolate on the outside with Grand Marnier-flavored milk chocolate ganache inside.
  • Valley Cow: The cow design, with milk and bittersweet chocolate spots on the white shell, is very cute, but this is not kid stuff! Flavored with Jack Daniel’s.
  • The Purist: Pure unadulterated bittersweet chocolate, no added flavoring.
Mountain Of Truffles
Climbing the Telluride Truffle peaks, counterclockwise from left: Spirals, First Tracks, Powder Day, Valley Cow, Rocky Top, Snowcapped and Class Five.

Assorted Truffles
The Assorted Truffles provide a taste of all three groups: bittersweet, milk and white.

Milk Chocolate Truffles

Milk chocolate ganache centers are housed in milk, marbled and bittersweet chocolate shells.

  • Bunny Hill: Not that you’d share this one with the kids, but the milk chocolate ganache is flavored with banana.
  • First Tracks: A bittersweet chocolate shell holds milk chocolate ganache flavored with Chambord (raspberry liqueur).
  • Mud Season: Marbled milk and bittersweet chocolate on the outside, filled with the popular combination of hazelnut and milk chocolate.
  • Rocky Top: This picturesque milk chocolate mountain with milk chocolate “rocks” on top is flavored with Kahlua (coffee liqueur).

White Chocolate Truffles

  • Powder Day: All white chocolate inside and out, flavored with Amaretto.
  • Snowcapped: Bittersweet chocolate on the outside and white chocolate inside. The flavoring is Myer’s Rum.

The Dessert Sauces

At the request of customers who wanted to be able to buy just the ganache (once you taste it, you’ll know why the requests began), Patty sells jars of it. She calls it Chocolate Truffle Liquor—appropriate, as all of them are flavored with a different spirit. Neurologists and biochemists who research seratonin reuptake inhibitors should study Telluride Truffle Chocolate Truffle Liquor. It is heavenly—each spoonful is pure happiness. One jar contains the equivalent of the filling of 20 truffles (it seems like more than that, as we have been nursing a jar of the Kahlua flavor for a couple of weeks—but perhaps the sheer joy has warped our perspective).

The Chocolate Truffle Liquors can be used as a topping for ice cream or as a dessert sauce with cakes and pies. We have been enjoying it by the spoonful, with or without a cup of coffee. They are available in the same flavors as the truffles (plus a few extras):

Bittersweet Chocolate Toppings

  • Grand Marnier
  • Jack Daniel’s
  • Tequila & Triple Sec
  • Port

Milk Chocolate Toppings

  • Chambord
  • Kahlua

White Chocolate Toppings

  • Amaretto
  • Myer’s Rum
Chocolate Truffle Liquors
Chocolate Truffle Liquors would make amazing dessert sauces if we could just stop eating them from the jar.

The Sugar-Free Line

Wonder of wonders, the same incredible truffles and dessert toppings are made in sugar-free versions using maltitol, and you can’t even tell the difference. Maltitol, a sugar alcohol, does not turn Telluride Truffle into a low-calorie product, but it metabolizes more slowly than sucrose and is used by those who must restrict their intake of sucrose. (Read our article on sugar substitutes for more information.)

The truffles and toppings make spectacular gifts for anyone who consumes maltitol-based products (or lives on Splenda and Equal). You (and they) will thank Patty!

Truffles Triumphant

The Telluride Truffle packaging is impressive: the textured black triangular box with its red and gold label has won a design award. A shiny white triangular box is also available for party and wedding favors, holding one, two, three or seven truffles.

Truffle BoxThe truffles and toppings have no preservatives and thus have a shelf life of one month. We were given a box from a non-chocoholic colleague who had received the truffles several months earlier. The creamy ganache had solidified and was past its prime, but the chocolate was still so tasty and the product so attractive, that we ordered a new box. We had no idea what true excitement was in store for us when the fresh truffles arrived. Advice: only send these to people who love great chocolate and will actually eat them, because those who won’t will never know that they should be in your debt forever.

While Telluride Truffle will ship your truffles anywhere, there’s no reason to keep the stock in Colorado. Specialty stores outside the area carry them, and you can ask your local chocolate shop or gourmet store to do the same. This will ensure you of a steady supply without having to wait for the express delivery truck to arrive. It’s worth a pitch—or at least, leave a copy of this review for the store owner.

—Karen Hochman

FORWARD THIS NIBBLE to anyone who loves chocolate, needs to give memorable gifts, is on a sugar-restricted diet, or needs to be made happy.


Chocolate Truffles and Chocolate Truffle Liquors (toppings), Regular and Sugar-Free

  • Assorted
    7 Large Truffles/$22.00
    14 Large Truffles/$38.00
  • All Bittersweet (Regular or Sugar-Free)
    7 Large Truffles/$23.00
    14 Large Truffles/$40.00
  • All Milk (Regular or Sugar-Free)
    7 Large Truffles/$25.00
    14 Large Truffles/$43.00
  • All White
    7 Large Truffles/$25.00
    14 Large Truffles/$43.00
  • Chocolate Truffle Liquor (Ganache)
    Regular or Sugar-Free

    8-Ounce Jar —Any Flavor†
    †Sugar-Free in Bittersweet or Milk only

Purchase online at

or telephone 1.866.543.0108.

Gift Box
Telluride Truffle’s award-winning packaging.
Telluride Truffle

Read more about our other favorite chocolates & sweets, and don’t miss
these great articles:




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