Pumpkin Mousse Trifle

Trifles come from the old French word “trufe” and means something of little importance. Dessert trifles are easy to assemble, serve and eat. With layers of a light-as-air pumpkin mousse, a rich spice cake, and roasted pecans makes a delicious alternative to regular desserts. Eat as a trifle, or make each to enjoy on their own.

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Ingredients – Spice Cake
3 cups flour
1 cup apple puree
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup apple cider
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients – Candied Pecans
2 cups pecan halves
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
Pinch paprika

Ingredients – Pumpkin Mousse
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup spiced rum
1 package gelatin
1 1/2 cups 35% cream, whipped

Make the cake and pecans first as it will need to cool before you can assemble the trifle.

To make the candied pecans, add the brown sugar, salt, water and paprika into a frying pan. Stir constantly and continue to cook over low heat until the sugar has melted (approximately 5 to 6 minutes). Once the sugar has melted, add the pecans and toss. Cook for a few more minutes until the sugar gets glossy on the pecans (3 to 4 minutes). Place cooked pecans on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone mat and allow to cool.

Next prepare the cake. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the sugar with the spices until well combined. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sugar. In a stand mixer combine the apple sauce, melted butter, apple cider, egg, and vanilla extract. While beating, slowly add the cinnamon sugar mixture. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until incorporated. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet, evening the top. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the cake is baking, dampen a tea towel with water and sprinkle the reserved sugar onto the towel. Remove the cake from the oven and flip over the cake onto the tea towel while it is still warm. Fold over the end of the tea towel and continue to fold the towel ends to create a roll. Although this method is usually reserved for making a cake roll, doing this allows you to make pinwheels for your trifle as the cake is not flat and has the bend required. Allow the cake to completely cool while rolled.

While the cake is cooling, you can prepare the pumpkin mousse. To begin, sprinkle the gelatin over the rum and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

In your mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugars, egg yolks, orange zest, vanilla, and spices. Add the gelatin mixture. Beat the cream to form stiff peaks and fold into the pumpkin mixture. Refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the trifle.

To assemble the trifle, unroll the cake and cut into 4 equal strips to create a 4” x 12” strip with a slight bend in it. Fill the cavity with some of the pumpkin mousse and fold over the small roll. Cut the roll into 7 even pieces and place cut-side down into the trifle dish. Cover with a layer of pumpkin mousse followed by a layer of pecans. Repeat until the trifle dish is full.

Decorate with pecans on top.

Serves 8 to 10.

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