Friday, October 15, 2010

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Truffles

White Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Truffles
adapted from Baked Perfection

For the cake:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1 14 oz. can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature

For the frosting:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
4 ounces regular cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar (plus another 2-3 cups as necessary)
2 teaspoons milk or cream
2/3 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the truffles:
16 oz. (1 bag) white chocolate (I used white chocolate chips – it’s probably best to have 2 bags on hand, just in case)
orange gel food coloring (optional for Halloween – do NOT use liquid food coloring)
8 oz. milk chocolate (for drizzling)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Begin by browning the butter. Place the butter in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. It will foam at first, but just keep stirring occasionally. When it is a golden amber color, remove from heat, strain, and set aside to cool a bit (see photos above for help).

2. In a medium bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and allspice. Set aside. In your large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Beat until combined, then add in the butter, mixing until combined. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Gradually add in the flour mixture, finishing by hand if needed so as to not overmix.

3. Spread the batter into a greased and/or lined 9×13 cake pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until set and just slightly golden brown. Allow to cool completely before removing (I placed my cakes in the fridge to speed this up).

4. While the cakes cool, make the frosting. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until combined (at least 3 minutes), then add in the 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, the 2 teaspoons milk or cream, the cinnamon, and the vanilla extract. Beat until light and fluffy, as least another 3 minutes, then scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in another cup of powdered sugar, beat until fluffy, then another, and beat again until fluffy. The frosting should be firm but not stiff. Add another cup of powdered sugar if you feel that the frosting is not firm enough (it should hold peaks for a moment or two).

5. When the cake has cooled, place it in a large bowl with half of your frosting and mix until combined. If the cake is not holding together in ball shapes, add half of the remaining frosting, mix, and check the consistency again. If you want, add the rest of the frosting, but you probably won’t need to. On a lined baking sheet, roll the cake into balls about the size of a tablespoon, then place on the sheet. Continue until you have used up all of the cake, then place in the fridge or freezer to firm up for 20-30 minutes.

6. To make the truffles, now you will have to melt your chocolate. Use a double boiler to do this; if you don’t have one, you can make your own (see the photos above for visual instruction). To make your own, fill up a pot with about an inch of water, then place a glass bowl over it, making sure there’s a bit of room between the water and the glass bowl on top. Heat over medium heat. Make sure that your top bowl is stable; if any water touches the chocolate, it will be completely, 100% ruined (seriously). Add the chocolate into the glass bowl, making sure there is absolutely no way that any water will ever come in contact with it, and stir gently until melted.

7. When the chocolate has melted, add in a few drops of your gel food coloring, and stir until you have the color you want. Take one cake ball at a time and roll it in the chocolate with a fork, until covered, then remove and place back on the baking sheet. Repeat until you have done all of your cake balls. Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up for 15-20 minutes.

8. Now melt your milk chocolate (or dark chocolate) to drizzle over the truffles. Melt in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted. Spoon the melted milk chocolate into a plastic bag, then cut off a tiny bit of the tip. Drizzle over the truffles. Place back in the fridge or freezer until ready to serve. Makes 30-40 truffles, depending on their size.

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