Pumpkin Chocolate Truffles

With holiday parties coming up, I set out to adapt my truffle recipe to use some of the ingredients we grow on the farm – after some experimentation, the result is delicious! One batch makes about 40 truffles, which sounds like a lot until you start eating them. -Penelope


  • 1 Cup pumpkin, roasted and pureed
  • 1/4 Cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 Cup cream (cream from our goats worked great!)
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 lb chocolate (dark or semisweet baking chips work well)
  • 6-12oz additional chocolate for dipping

1. To make the ganache filling mix the pumpkin, sweetener, and spices in a small saucepan and cook over low-medium heat, reducing the puree to a paste. This takes about ten minutes. Some of the pumpkin may stick to the bottom of the pan and this is fine as long as it doesn’t burn.

2. Add the cream and butter, scraping the walls of the pan and stirring until smooth. Add the chocolate and remove from heat, stirring until the chocolate has all melted and the mixture is smooth.

3. Chill the ganache in the fridge (or, this time of year, the porch or garage) for 1-3 hours, until it has set and is thick enough to hold its shape on a spoon. See troubleshooting below for help.

4. Sprinkle a platter or baking sheet with cocoa powder or powdered sugar. Coat your palms with powder as well and gently form the ganache into balls slightly smaller than a finished truffle. Place them on the tray and return them to the fridge.

5. You can serve the truffles as is, coat them in chopped nuts or another granular coating, or dip them in chocolate. For dipping, you can simply melt the remaining chocolate in a double boiler, dip the centers, then store them in the fridge. For a coating that is solid at room temperature you will need to temper the chocolate. This is not difficult but it takes a little longer. A good article about tempering, including the whys and hows, can be found here.

Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting
Chocolate varies a lot and the texture of the ganache will vary with the chocolate. If you’re using darker chocolate (75% cocoa or more) use a little extra cream. The good thing about ganache is that, if you want to, you can keep reheating it, adding to it, and cooling it until you get it right.

If the ganache doesn’t set, wait a while longer (sometimes magic happens overnight). If that fails or you don’t have time, you can try heating it up and thickening it by adding more chocolate (ganache will be harder and chocolatier) or butter (ganache will be smoother and the flavor will remain essentially the same), and allowing it to cool again. Alternately, you can freeze it – this is a little tricky and only works if you are going to coat the truffles in chocolate but results in a beautifully liquid center when they are done.

Filling variaitons: As long as you don’t change the amounts of major ingredients, you can add any flavorings or spices you want. This recipe can easily accommodate up to a Tbsp of additional liquid (extracts, liqueurs, etc). For a more moist filling, use more cream (you may have to freeze the ganache). For a stiffer filling use more chocolate.

Dipping the truffles: One method is to use a fork to drop the centers in the chocolate, dunk them under (or spoon over them), lift them out, scrape the bottom of the fork on the edge of the pot, and slide them onto the tray. It can be challenging to get the truffles fully coated this way if your coating chocolate is on the thick side. An alternative, if your centers are solid enough, is to use a toothpick stuck into them to dunk them in the dish of coating chocolate, then smooth the coating over the resulting hole before it cools.