At this time of year pumpkins are all the rage whether it’s in food or for decorating. Some can’t wait to get that first Pumpkin Spice Latte’ from Starbucks. Ok – full disclosure here – pumpkin isn’t one of my favorite flavors, but I do love pumpkin pie.I wanted more of a dessert to feature pumpkin, instead of just pumpkin pie so I thought of mousse. This is almost the same taste of a pie but without the crust, which I don’t usually eat anyway. A win-win in my book. Then, by adding chocolate and candied pecans, it just kept getting better.As you know, anything I can make ahead of time is a good thing when preparing for a dinner party, potluck, and especially Thanksgiving Dinner. Plus serving is easier when you have individual desserts.
When entertaining, presentation is everything. You first eat with your eyes so if it more appealing visually, you know it will probably taste better too. Martini glasses are great for any pudding or custard desserts. Don’t have martini glasses? I didn’t either so off to one of my favorite stores – Dollar Tree. Martini and wine glasses are just a few of the types of stemware you can find there. Another great point of only paying $1 for a glass, it’s easily replaced if broken.
- Mousse Filling
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 3 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon all spice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Chocolate Accents
- 1 cup Wilton Chocolate Candy Melts, I used Dark
- 1/2 cup Chocolate Sprinkles
- Candied Pecans
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 lb pecan halves
- Pumpkin Mousse
- Combine pumpkin, 1 cup heavy cream, sugar and spices in a medium saucepan.
- Heat until it comes to a slight bubble and simmer 4 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Pour mixture into a medium mixing bowl to cool.
- In a medium size bowl, whip remaining 2 cups of heavy cream to stiff peaks.
- Fold approximately 1/3 of the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.
- After this is incorporated well, fold in remaining whipped cream, being careful not to overmix.
- Spoon mixture into individual ramekins or glasses.
- Top with candied pecans.
- Refrigerate until serving time.
- Chocolate Accents
- Melt Candy Melts in the microwave, using a microwave safe bowl.
- Heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring after each time, until fully melted.
- Stirring well also helps to get all pieces melted.
- After one minute, heat for only 15 seconds each time.
- Be careful not to overheat these.
- These should just be melted but not hot to the touch.
- Spoon half of mixture into a piping bag with small tip.
- If you don’t have a piping bag, a quart size zipper freezer bag works well too.
- A freezer bag is a heavier weight than just a sandwich bag and works better.
- Snip a SMALL bit of one corner off.
- Swirl chocolate inside each glass making your own design, or just a random pattern.
- Set these glasses aside to let the chocolate harden, which only takes about 5 minutes.
- For chocolate rims, spread the remaining chocolate onto a small plate.
- The chocolate will harden quickly on cool surfaces so if you have your plate warmed ahead of time it will help.
- You can do this by just running under hot water and drying well.
- Water and melted chocolate doesn’t mix well.
- Invert your glass into the chocolate and twist a couple of times to make sure your edges are covered.
- Immediately dip into your chocolate sprinkles.
- If your chocolate begins to harden, place the plate into the microwave for 5-10 seconds at a time.
- Candied Pecans
- Preheat oven to 275.
- Mix together sugar, cinnamon and salt in medium mixing bowl.
- Whisk egg white just until frothy in a small mixing bowl.
- Add pecan halves to egg whites and stir until all are coated.
- Using a slotted spoon, move your coated pecans into the sugar mixture.
- Mix pecans in the sugar mixture until all are evenly coated.
- Spread onto a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
- Transfer hot pecans to another baking sheet for cooling.
Candied pecans can be made ahead of time and stored in air tight container.
These are also great for parties or to give as gifts.
Hope you will consider kicking up your fall dessert menu up a notch with this.
Do you want another comfort food great for the fall? Piggy Mac
What about a different side item? Pineapple Casserole