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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
about 1 cup of crushed chocolate wafers (either Nabisco chocolate wafers or if you have trouble finding them, oreos with the icing removed)
tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 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
cup chilled heavy/whipping cream
large egg whites
cup 100 % pure pumpkin (canned) or you can use fresh pumpkin puree
cup granulated sugar
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon ground cloves
teaspoon ground nutmeg
teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Non-Pie Thanksgiving Dessert