White Chocolate Pumpkin Truffles

by Jenn on October 28, 2009

in Desserts,Gluten Free

Never doubt the power of prayer.

“This is the part where you pray,” I told my husband while madly whisking white chocolate and cream together as fast as I could.

“I mean it, pray to God right now!  Or these won’t stay together!”

“Dear God, please keep this white chocolate together,” we both chanted, over and over, taking turns whisking as fast as we could once each other’s arms fatigued.

And so we prayed, prayed that the white chocolate wouldn’t separate, prayed that the addition of pumpkin puree wouldn’t break the emulsion and ruin the entire thing.  This went on for a good 7 minutes without ceasing.

At first he thought I was joking.  But I was using a new brand of white chocolate, and it was very resistant to melting.  I’d seen this before, and 99 times out of 100 it meant the kiss of death for ganache, as it usually ends in me crying because white chocolate had separated and refused to hold its emulsion.  Once that happens, you might as well just throw the entire thing away.  And that is just so depressing to do, that you are completely unmotivated to try again, until another day when you muster up the courage to confront the white chocolate again.

I decided to be brave, and do the unorthodox.  Once I saw the chocolate chunks resisting to melt despite the presence of the hot cream, I held the stainless steel mixing bowl over the still hot turned off burner.  Just for about 15 seconds or so, after all one doesn’t want to completely invite disaster.  Then I’d remove it from the heat again, and about a minute later, tempt it with a slight bit more heat.  This is totally breaking the rules.  You are never supposed to use heat directly on the chocolate, let alone a finicky chocolate.  There is a reason why every ganache recipe will tell you to heat the cream and then pour over the chocolate to melt it away from the heat.  But the chocolate was resisting – and drastic situations call for drastic measures.

You see, white chocolate is notorious for being a royal pain.  Even some of the best  brands of white chocolate have brought me to my knees in despair.  And trying to make a ganache with pumpkin?  Well that is just tempting fate.  There is probably a reason why I couldn’t find a single recipe online for “white chocolate pumpkin ganache”, leaving me to develop my own.  There are plenty of recipes for dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate behaves predictably.  Working with dark chocolate is, shall I dare-say, easy.  But white chocolate? Ha.  White chocolate laughs in your face, and says “Try me.  I dare you.  I know I will win and you will lose.”

But I won this time.  I battled the white chocolate with shear determination, and prayer, and in the end the ganache held together.  It was truly a miracle.  A delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, creamy, flavorful little Autumn miracle.


This post is also being submitted as a part of the Holiday Food Fest, coordinated by Amy from Simply Sugar & Gluten Free.  The first week is for Fall Desserts, hosted by Liz of Hoosier Homemade.