Sunday, November 17, 2013

Pumpkin Mousse

I promised to share my hors d’oeuvres and entertaining recipes with you until the holidays and was ready to post my recipe for a cheese platter on a stick which I call “Cheese Ball Pops,” but I just realized that this is my last blog post before Thanksgiving and wanted to make sure you had the recipe for my favorite Thanksgiving dinner dessert, Pumpkin Mousse.  This dessert is so light, no matter how much turkey you ate…or overate, you will always have room for this happy ending.

For those of you who are new to my blog, there are several recipes I previously posted you may want to add to your Thanksgiving Menu.  Instead of mashed sweet potatoes or candied yams, try my Praline Sweet Potatoes.  These potatoes can be made a day in advance.  Actually they taste better on the second day.  If you typically serve soup at the beginning of the meal, this Pumpkin Soup is a winner.  If you don’t, be sure to try this soup any time during the fall and winter.  It is quick and easy to make and next to the Bacon Candy, this is one of those recipes about which I receive the most comments.

§     1/4 cup dark rum
§     1 packet (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin powder
§     1 (15-ounce can) pumpkin (not pie filling)
§     1/2 cup granulated sugar
§     1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
§     2 extra-large egg yolks
§     1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
§     1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
§     1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
§     1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
§     1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Sweetened whipped cream
§     1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
§     1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
§     2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Place the rum in a heat-proof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside for 10 minutes for the gelatin to soften.  In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

Set the bowl of gelatin over a pan of simmering water and cook until the gelatin is clear.

Immediately whisk the hot gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form.

Fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.

To prepare sweetened whipped cream, in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, vanilla and sugar until soft peaks form.  To assemble, spoon some of the pumpkin mixture into a clear bowl or parfait glasses, add a layer of whipped cream. Repeat, ending with a third layer of pumpkin.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight for the gelatin to set completely. To serve, decorate with whipped cream.  I like to serve with cinnamon graham crackers or ginger snaps for crunch.  For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, go to Pumpkin Mousse. Enjoy! 

Note:  Pumpkin filling can be scooped into profiterole shells and topped with powdered sugar.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jack Daniel's Brown Sugar Brie en Croute

Most of the recipes I post on this blog are my own, but I couldn't continue to post my favorite hors d'oeuvres without sharing this very special recipe with you.  I make Brie en Croute often.  In the summer, I top the brie with homemade pesto and pine nuts.  Occasionally I use green grapes and sliced almonds.  Figs are trendy, so I have recently baked the brie with fig jam and served it with crackers, fruits and fresh figs.  But when I attended a shower at Carol’s home where she served this Jack Daniel’s Brown Sugar Brie with Nuts, I couldn’t tear myself away from the plate. 

Although I know there was a lot of food at the shower because that’s how Carol entertains, I never left the seat on the couch next to the coffee table where this Brie was displayed.

§     1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
§     1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
§     1 Tablespoon Jack Daniel’s or any bourbon
§     1 sheet frozen puff pastry, pre-packaged
§     1 (8-ounce) wheel Brie
§     Carmel Nut Sauce (see below)
§     Sliced apples, pears and crackers for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Defrost puff pastry for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and unfold.
Stir together first 3 ingredients.  Place puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface; roll out fold lines. 
Spread pecan mixture in a 5” circle in center of pastry.  Place brie on top of pecan mixture. 
Wrap pastry around brie, pinching to seal tightly and place folded side down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 
Bake for 25 minutes or until light brown.  Cool 10 minutes.

Caramel Nut Sauce:

Combine ½ cup cream, ½ cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar and 2T light corn syrup in small saucepan. 
Bring to boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally.  Cover and boil for 1 minute.
Uncover and continue to boil for 3 – 4 minutes without stirring.  Mix in 1 cup chopped pecans.
Cool, then spoon around warm brie. 
Serve brie warm with assorted crackers, apple and pear slices.   For a printer friendly copy of this recipe, got to Jack Daniel's Brown Sugar Brie en CrouteEnjoy!