Every family has its own sequence of non-negotiable desserts during the Holidays and for mine, it’s pumpkin recipes. What is negotiable however, are the recipes itself. Now let’s be honest, to break the rules, you have the master them. After many pumpkin pies, it’s time to give them wings. I’m putting a drone on this recipe so that it lands in your kitchen and make your family super happy!
Get ready for some baking! There are several components to this parfait. Good news: everything can be prepared ahead of time. As always, please get in touch if you have any questions before making this recipe and I’d love for you to share your photos and comments when you make it. Happy October everyone!
Dulce de Leche Sauce
Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Caramelized Pecans or any other crunchy nuts
Serves about 10
For the Dulce de Leche Sauce:
1 cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup dulce de leche, store bought, at room temperature
For the Pumpkin Mousse:
¼ cup cold water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
3 eggs, separated
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 ¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup whole milk
½ cup heavy cream
For the Chocolate Brownie Cookies:
¼ cup (35g) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon of salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (125g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
5 oz (140g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into medium pieces
2 oz (60g) bitter chocolate, chopped into medium pieces
¾ cup (120g) mini chocolate chips
- Prepare the Dulce de Leche Sauce:In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, heavy cream, and butter and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute and remove the pan from the heat.
- Add the dulce de leche and whisk gently but constantly in ever-widening circles.
- When smooth, return the saucepan to the stove, and cook over high heat, whisking constantly, until you reach a full boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, still whisking, until the sauce becomes thick and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- If you want to use the sauce in its pourable state, let it cool for about 10 minutes. If you want to save it for later, keep it in a plastic container covered with a tight-fitting lid for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator (re-heat in a saucepan, over low heat, whisking constantly, or in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, whisking after each turn, until it’s hot and pourable).
- For the Pumpkin Mousse: Fill a medium pot with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer.
- In a small pot, add ¼ cup of cold water, sprinkle gelatin over the top, and let soften for a minute or two. Place on stove and stir over low heat to liquify, being careful not to boil. When gelatin is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool.
- In a medium stainless-steel mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, and ½ cup sugar.
- Add the pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and milk and whisk to blend. Set the bowl over the pot of simmering water on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and becomes custard-like, about 5 minutes. You are looking for a mixture with a similar consistency of vanilla sauce, not too thick, not too thin.
- Add the gelatin into the now pumpkin custard. Pour and scrape the mixture into a large mixing bowl and let the pumpkin mixture cool for about 10-15 minutes.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks and slowly add the remaining sugar, beating until the whites are firm and the sugar has been fully incorporated. Beat half of the whites into the pumpkin mousse. Add the remaining whites, folding gently.
- Beat the cream until it is stiff and fold it into the mousse. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic film. Chill until set, at least 2 hours, or up to a day.
- Prepare the Chocolate Brownie Cookies:Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with sugar at full speed until white-ish and volume doubles, about 10 minutes. Add the vanilla and continue to beat.
- While the eggs are beating, combine butter and the two bitter chocolates chocolates in a bowl of glass or stainless steel on top of a pan filled with warm water. (Attention: the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water.) Melt, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the chocolate and butter are well mixed. Remove from the water bath and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Carefully pour the chocolate mixture into the eggs, incorporating with a rubber spatula. Add the flour and continue incorporating and mixing until homogeneous.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix again. This batter will harden slightly. You can make this up to 5 days in advance and leave it in the refrigerator, or in the freezer for 3 months.
- Using a scoop or small ice cream scoop, mash the dough and flatten slightly. Place the cookies on the tray with at least 2-inches space between each cookie. Bake until the top cracks, but the inside should still be very moist. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let it cool completely before eating.
- Assemble the Pumpkin Mousse Parfait:Scoop some pumpkin mousse and divide onto individual glasses, top with some dulce de leche sauce, break some chocolate brownie cookies, sprinkle some caramelized pecans, some whipped cream, and dust some ground cinnamon on top. Serve immediately.