I just love layers. I don’t know, maybe I am influenced by the Legos and Lincoln Logs of my youth; but there’s something about stacking that intrigues me.
So when it comes to stacking flavors, I’m particularly interested. And if those flavors happen to be pumpkin and chocolate, well I’m in hog heaven!
Now some of my recipes fall into the make-and-turn-out-perfect-the-first-time category. Whereas, others seem to fall more into the trial and error (with emphasis on error) category. This is one of the latter.
I knew I wanted something creamy and chocolate/pumpkin. So I started with a pumpkin layer stacked directly on top of the chocolate, nestling them both into a lovely pastry crust.
The taste just fell flat.
I added more spice to the pumpkin.
Nah, still no pizazz.
I switched the crust to Biscoff cookies. Now before I joined the blogging world, I had never heard of Biscoff cookies. After doing some research, I discovered the steadfast heritage of these delightful little tasty, all-natural Belgian “biscuits”. If you want more information about them, click here: Biscoff Cookies. I found them to be a bit tricky to find though, while finally locating them at Walgreen’s–go figure.
My next tweaks included a cream cheese layer and an overall overhaul of whipped cream to make the pie more mousse-like (If you want to know more about making fresh whipped cream, watch my video: How to Make Fresh Whipped Cream). But the mousse slid into a heap after cutting it, thus warranting the inclusion of a little gelatin to stabilize things just a bit.
sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings for garnish
In This Recipe
To Make Crust:
Preheat oven to 325?F. Butter a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch sides. Mix cookie crumbs, melted butter and nuts in a medium bowl until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up 1 inch of the sides of the pan. Bake at 325?F for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
To Make Filling:
Make a paste of the egg yolks, flour, sugars and small amount of the milk in a heavy medium saucepan. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat remaining milk 1 minute. Slowly add milk to the egg mixture and, stirring constantly, cook over medium low heat 7-10 minutes or until thickened (mixture will thicken more as it cools). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.
Measure out 1 cup of the filling and put into a separate bowl. Add chocolate to the remaining filling and stir to melt. In reserved bowl, add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Pour chocolate filling into a medium bowl, then press plastic wrap onto the surface of both of the fillings, to eliminate a skin. Refrigerate about 30 minutes. Soften the gelatin in the water for about 5 minutes in a microwave-safe dish.
In a medium chilled bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Microwave gelatin until it dissolves and starts to bubble around the edges, around 30 seconds. In a small bowl, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Stir in 1/3 of the dissolved gelatin into each of the 3 filling bowls (about 2 1/2 tablespoons each) and combine well. Fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream into each of the 3 fillings.
Spread chocolate pudding onto cooled crust. Place in freezer for 10 minutes to become firmer. Layer with the cream cheese filling, then place into the freezer for another 10 minutes. Top with the pumpkin layer.
Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings before serving.