Pumpkin Semifreddo with Ganache and Candied Pepitas

By • November 11, 2010 • 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This dish was inspired by one I had at a wine dinner at a lovely little Greensboro, NC restaurant called Table 16. I love how the flavor is subtle on the pumpkin and the texture of the semifreddo is incredibly light and fluffy. I also like the idea of combining pumpkin with a little dark chocolate and the candied pepitas provide a sweet and toasty crunchy contrast with the frozen mousse. This is a happy compromise for those Thanksgiving guests of yours who are either chocolate lovers or the pumpkin lovers.tiptoesinthekitchen

Serves about 8

Chocolate crust

  • about 1 cup of crushed chocolate wafers (either Nabisco chocolate wafers or if you have trouble finding them, oreos with the icing removed)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Blitz the cookies and the melted butter in the food processor until they are just coarsely crumbled. Then, pat them down into the bottom of a 5.5 inch spring form pan (I don't have one that size, so a 9 inch one, which is what I used will still work fine, the semifreddo just won't be quite as thick). Once you've pat the crust down evenly into the bottom of the pan, bake for about 8 minutes.

Semifreddo, Ganache & Candied Pepitas

  • 1 cup chilled heavy/whipping cream
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup 100 % pure pumpkin (canned) or you can use fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate small bowl, combine the spices and the pumpkin. In another large bowl, whip the egg whites with a mixer until stiff peaks form, and slowly add the granulated sugar, whipping about 3 or 4 minutes more.
  2. With a spatula, gently fold half of the whipped cream into the egg white/sugar mixture and then add the pumpkin mixture and the remaining whipped cream until everything is evenly incorporated. Scoop the mixture on top of the crust and spread evenly.
  3. For the pepitas: Melt 2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter in a skillet over medium heat, with a pinch of salt, a pinch of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of pepitas, mixing and toasting for a few minutes. Then, line a baking sheet with some parchment paper and spread the pepitas on top. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.
  4. For the ganache: Heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir and bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Pour over 3 oz. of roughly chopped bittersweet chocolate (I use 60%), and whisk until all of the chocolate has melted and is smooth.
  5. Drizzle the ganache over the top of the semifreddo (don't let it sit out too long like I did because I let it get too thick and had to spread it on after the semifreddo had frozen). Cover the semifreddo with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. Decorate the top with the candied pepitas and serve!

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