My Autumn obsession with pumpkin baking is really helping me to explore new recipes. I've never made truffles or any kind of chocolates before, and trying new things in baking is my favourite thing after all. I made these as a gift for a friend. I have sent them off to her wrapped in foil. I hope they survive the journey!
I started by caramelising 100g sugar with a drizzle of lemon juice in a pan. Keep the heat at a low/medium level. Do not stir the sugar too much.
When it goes golden brown as above, immediately take it off the heat. There is a very fine line between the sugar being caramelised, and the sugar burning. Once off the heat, stir in 60g liquid glucose. I found a squeeze tube of liquid glucose in a baking shop, but I have since seen it in Tesco.
In a separate pan, bring 200ml double cream to the boil. Pour it into the caramelised sugar pan and put back on a low/medium heat. Add 100g pumpkin puree, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg and 1/2 tsp of ginger. All some allspice too if you have it, I really need to purchase some. Bring the mixture to the boil.
In a mixing bowl, break up 200g dark (or milk if you wish) chocolate into squares.
Pour the pumpkin mixture over the chocolate. Leave the mixture for a minute or so, then stir until the chocolate is melted.
You can then pour in 40ml of brandy. I used a liquor similar to Southern Comfort. You don't have to add the alcohol if you don't want to. Put some clingfilm over the bowl and chill in the fridge until it goes solid and becomes a smooth ganache. The mixture should be similar to a cookie dough consistency. It took about 3 hours in my fridge to get like this.
Now the recipe I adapted this from said to melt chocolate (I used milk chocolate) and dip the balls in using a fork. I tried this. The ganache melted everywhere. If you are better at working with melted chocolate than me, then dip in using a fork. I think perhaps it would be a good idea to freeze the ganache first. I piped swirls and scribbles of melted chocolate over the ganache balls instead. I thought it looked quite effective.
I then melted orange chocolate buttons (again found in Tesco, the brand is Silver Spoon) and piped little orange swirls on top.
Finally I sprinkled over some citrus strands (like orange and yellow hundred and thousands) which I got from Tesco and are made by Dr Oetker.
These truffles are very decadent and richly flavoured. The strongest flavour was probably the alcohol! The pumpkin and spices weren't a strong flavour unfortunately, less alcohol next time I think. But they were very delicious, chocolatey and melt in the mouth. I hope my friend enjoys them and they arrive safely.
Definitely going to give truffle making a go again for Christmas presents!