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This caramel pumpkin mousse is light, flavorful, and the perfect dessert after your Thanksgiving feast. And you don’t even have to share!
Caramel Pumpkin Mousse
I think I might create recipes backwards. Most folks will make something and then figure out what to call it. I tend to come up with a name and then figure out how to make it!
The Beloved helped me come up with this name: Caramel Pumpkin Mousse with Cocoa Nib Streusel. Yum!
The figuring out how part was actually pretty easy, and you get to benefit from my playing in the kitchen, because this mousse is super excellent and creamy and delicious!
What Is Mousse?
Mousse is the French word for foam, so a mousse is any food–sweet or savory–that is smooth, creamy and filled with tiny, tiny air bubbles, usually from folding in whipped cream and/or meringue.
The most classic flavor of dessert mousse is probably chocolate mousse or mousse au chocolat, but mousse can be made in almost any flavor. Here’s how:
- Decide on your flavor and incorporate it into a rich base.
- Fold in whipped cream and/or a cooked meringue (to be food safe–either Swiss or Italian meringue).
- Chill and enjoy.
How to Make Caramel Pumpkin Mousse
This pumpkin mousse is not hard to make. Here’s the game plan, step by step:
- Caramelize the sugar.
- Make the base and chill.
- Whip the cream and fold it into the pumpkin mixture.
- Garnish and serve!
- The pumpkin flavor shines through, and you also get just a hint of caramelized bitterness which keeps the dish from being too sweet.
This pumpkin mousse is flavored with traditional pumpkin spice, so it’s familiar yet a bit sophisticated. Plus, it’s really easy to make.
Do I Have to Make Caramel Pumpkin Mousse?
Nope. You can just make regular pumpkin mousse.
If you’re not sure of your caramelizing skills, it will still be delicious. Just heat the first amount of cream with the sugar (you may want to use a bit less than called for since caramelized sugar is less sweet than regular sugar) to dissolve it, and you’re in business!
How Do I Turn This Into Pumpkin Mousse Pie?
Easy! Turn pumpkin mousse into pumpkin mousse pie filling by stabilizing the mixture one of two ways.
- Replace half the whipped cream with full fat cream cheese, softened. (6 oz or 3/4 block of cream cheese for 6 oz or 3/4 cup of cream)
- Mix some of the cream into the cream cheese to loosen it up, whip the rest of the cream and then fold it in with the cream cheese.
- Pour the mixture into a pie shell, smooth the top, and chill.
- The added structure from the cream cheese will firm up the texture of the mousse enough so that you’ll be able to slice it.
- Dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons of gelatin in 2 oz of your heavy cream (the second amount).
- Once the gelatin has bloomed, heat the cream/gelatin mixture gently until it no longer feels gritty.
- When you are whipping your cream to fold into your mousse, drizzle the “gelatin cream” into the rest of the cream as you’re whipping, making sure to completely incorporate it.
- Fold into your pumpkin base, pour into a pie shell, smooth the top, and chill.
Tools You’ll Need to Make Mousse
Mousse is not hard to make, but there is some equipment that can make your mousse making life easier. Whether you use a hand mixer or a stand mixer, not having to whip all the cream by hand can be a real time (and arm) saver.
A large spatula and a nice rounded bowl make short work of folding the components together.
Want Some Other Thanksgiving Dessert Ideas?
Thanksgiving is my favorite food holiday, so I have quite a few Thanksgiving desserts on the site. Here are some to get you started:
- Pumpkin Caramel Latte Flan
- Roasted Corn Cheesecake with Cranberry-Blueberry Compote
- Cinnamon Sorghum Custard Pie
- Spiced Apple Cake with Pecans and Dulce de Leche
- Maple Pumpkin Pudding with Maple Spiced Pecans
Caramel Pumpkin Mousse with Cocoa Nib Streusel
*If you don't like oatmeal in your streusel, substitute 4 oz flour and leave the oats out completely. **I don't usually like to garnish with anything that isn't actually in the dish, but in this case and for a festive occasion, I think it's fine. You can also garnish using whatever herb/s you like--even a mint leaf or two would be lovely. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
For the Mousse
For the Streusel (can easily be doubled if you want a ton)
To Garnish and Serve
For the Mousse
For the Streusel
To Garnish and Serve
*If you don't like oatmeal in your streusel, substitute 4 oz flour and leave the oats out completely.
**I don't usually like to garnish with anything that isn't actually in the dish, but in this case and for a festive occasion, I think it's fine. You can also garnish using whatever herb/s you like--even a mint leaf or two would be lovely.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?