You don’t have to be a chocolatier in order to make truffles at home. With help from recipe developer Maren Epstein of Eating Works, all of the tips, tricks, and secrets to these homemade treats will be right within your grasp.
Epstein’s white chocolate truffles are as gorgeous as they are divine, and they only require three ingredients to whip up. White chocolate is combined with cream cheese to form a slightly tangy filling, while pumpkin seeds add a delightful crunch to this treat. "I wanted to create a pure white chocolate truffle," Epstein explains. "I’ve made cheesecake before with a mixture of cream cheese and white chocolate in the past. So, this time I just rolled it into a ball and covered them with nuts." She notes that the crushed pumpkin seeds "create a beautiful green coating on the outside of the truffle and keeps them from getting sticky."
Gather the ingredients for white chocolate truffles
There’s not much to gather when it comes to these truffles: just equal weights of cream cheese and white chocolate, along with crunchy pumpkin seeds for that bright green coating. The cream cheese keeps the white chocolate from becoming too cloying on its own, and the pumpkin seeds add lovely depth and texture. Some will be added whole to the truffles, while others will be crushed to create the beautiful exterior.
If pumpkin seeds aren’t your thing, don’t fret. Epstein notes that pistachios would be a perfect substitute, both for their similar emerald hue and for their nutty texture and flavor.
Soften the cream cheese for your white chocolate truffles
The cream cheese will be far easier to incorporate into the white chocolate if it’s softened first. To do this, simply microwave it for 15 seconds, then use an offset spatula to whip it until soft and creamy. Epstein notes that microwaving isn’t necessarily an essential step to the success of these truffles. "It just makes it easier to work with if it is softer," she says. "You can also leave it out of the fridge until it’s room temperature."
Temper the white chocolate for your white chocolate truffles
Next up, it’s time to melt the white chocolate in a double boiler. To do this, heat a saucepan with a few inches of water in it until simmering, then place a heat-safe bowl or second saucepan that fits into the first on top, taking care to ensure that the bottom of the bowl or top saucepan doesn’t actually touch the water. This is a more gentle way of melting delicate chocolate than direct heat, which could potentially burn it. Once the water is at a simmer, simply add the white chocolate to the top vessel, and heat until fully melted.
Many chocolatiers temper chocolate for a prettier final product. This process involves melting the chocolate, then adding more chocolate to bring it quickly to a temperature that will allow it to take on a glossy sheen. "You don’t need to temper the white chocolate, although I like to," says Epstein. "But you must melt it so that it can combine easily with the cream cheese."
Whether you temper the chocolate or not, once the chocolate is fully melted and ready to use, combine it with the cream cheese with the offset spatula until combined. Then, add ¼ cup of the whole pumpkin seeds, mixing well.
Portion and freeze the mixture for your white chocolate truffles
Once you’ve combined the ingredients for these white chocolate truffles, it’s time to portion them. Epstein likes using a tablespoon and a scale to measure them to make sure they’re even. "You can just eyeball it," she says, "but I wanted them to all be the same size." Once they are measured out, place them in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up. This will make them easier to handle and shape.
Make the pumpkin seed coating
While the truffle mixture is in the freezer, make the pumpkin seed coating by pulsing the remaining pumpkin seeds in the food processor until they take on an even, crumb-like texture. Once the truffles have set, remove them from the freezer and roll each one between your palms into a perfectly-shaped ball. Drop them one by one into the pumpkin seeds, and toss well to coat.
Before you dig in, freeze them for another 20 minutes to help them become solid and ensure the coating adheres perfectly.
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 4 ounces white chocolate
- 1 cup pumpkin seeds, divided
- Place 4 ounces of cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 15 seconds to soften. Use an offset spatula to whip the cream cheese until it’s soft.
- Over a double boiler, temper 4 ounces of white chocolate until it’s fully melted. Combine with the cream cheese and whip with the offset spatula until perfectly combined. Add ¼ cup of the pumpkin seeds and mix.
- Divide the mixture into 15 1-tablespoon servings. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, take the remaining pumpkin seeds and place them in a food processor. Pulse until the seeds take on a crumb-like consistency.
- Remove the truffles from the freezer and roll each truffle into a perfectly shaped ball. Dredge each ball in the pumpkin seeds. Place back in the freezer for another 20 minutes to harden.