Welcome to Project Food Blog Challenge #7! Back in August, when the challenges were announced and I saw that a video was one of them, I literally lol’d because I was happy that I’d never have do this challenge. I truly didn’t think I’d get to this challenge. I’m floored that I’m still in this competition and I thank each and every one of you for voting and supporting me. I also want to thank you for the support you’ve been showing the other bloggers in Project Food Blog. Our readers have been the driving force behind this competition and personally speaking, you have instilled in me a level of confidence about blogging that I never would have achieved had it not been for these challenges. I’ve pushed myself further than I ever dreamed I would as a blogger and this video is a testament to that.
For the Video 411 challenge, the peeps at FoodBuzz asked us to: “Channel your inner Julia Child and put one of your favorite recipes on film.” The original challenge said to choose a favorite from our blog’s archive but it was later changed to allow us to choose a new recipe…and that’s what I did. For the past few years, I’ve been dying to make Ina Garten’s Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits and I took this opportunity to make them for the first time on camera for all of you to see.
This video isn’t fancy. It isn’t flashy. But it’s me. It’s true to who I am and how I work in the kitchen. And it’s recipe-driven, just as Smells Like Home is. Kyle and I aren’t filmmakers and in fact, this was the first time we had used the video function on my camera. The editing was done by two college undergrads, one of whom edited the reality-TV-style videos for the research project I coordinate at work.
They worked on it between classes and their part-time jobs. I’m proud to say this is my video and I’m thrilled with how it turned out, considering the butterflies that swarmed my stomach before Kyle and I started filming. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do…
As I mentioned in the video, this is the perfect recipe for your Thanksgiving dessert if you’re looking to get away from regular ol’ pumpkin pie. The longer the mousse blends with the gingersnaps (they can refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving!), the more the cookies take on a cake-like texture so you actually feel like you’re eating gingerbread cake between the pumpkin mousse layers.
This no-cook dessert screams fall and the holidays and if I had any say about what kind of pumpkin dessert would be served at my Thanksgiving dinner this year (which I don’t because my mother-in-law always makes a pumpkin pie which I’m not allowed to compete with), these parfaits would be on my menu. I think you should put them on yours!
Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits
source: adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa at Home
- 1/4 cup dark rum
- 1 packet (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin powder
- 1 (15-ounce can) pure pumpkin (not pie filling)
- 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1-2 teaspoons grated orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Sweetened whipped cream, for layers or topping, optional
- 2 dozen chopped gingersnap cookies
- Crystallized ginger, for decoration, optional
- Place the rum in a heat-proof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside for 10 minutes for the gelatin to soften.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, brown sugar, eggs, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set the bowl of gelatin over a pan of simmering water and cook until the gelatin is dissolved. Immediately whisk the hot gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.
- To assemble, spoon some of the pumpkin mixture into parfait glasses and then some chopped cookies. Repeat, ending with a third layer of pumpkin. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. To serve, decorate with chopped cookies and whipped cream and slivered crystallized ginger, if desired.