I often wonder what other people at my coffee shop are doing. What are you doing over there, guy with the enormous beard? I see you with your iced green tea, laptop and intense expression. Me? I’m editing photos and typing out recipes and looking at babies on Facebook. Also I’m thinking about if a cookie counts as lunch, and whether or not the Splenda in my daily coffee will one day kill me (yes, I’m cool with cookies for lunch but feel the need to moderate my sugar intake when it comes to coffee consumption — I’m a walking contradiction and I’m fine with it).
Hey, Lady with the great hair and cool necklace — whatcha doing? Writing a collection of short stories? Studying for your botany exam? Pinning cat photos? Oh, and Guy in the Steve Jobs uniform — yeah you, Mr. Rolling-Your-Eyes-And-Screaming-Into-Your-Bluetooth — we get it. You’re important at your important start-up that’s important. Settle down.
All these people and me, we share an “office.” People are always coming and going and going and coming again, and we sometimes smile and nod as we come or go or refill our coffee cups, but we don’t really know each other. I don’t know about their dissertations or their break-up emails or their rampant online shopping habits, and they don’t know about my pumpkin mousse. It’s just weird, I guess. They should know about the mousse.
I made this simple mousse with my class of kiddos a few weeks ago, and it was a big hit. The mousse is soft and airy, grounded in rich pumpkin flavor but buoyed with mounds of whipped cream. I liked it best topped with crushed gingersnaps, though crumbled Reese’s was a close second. The recipe is quick, easy and satisfying – a good one to have in your back pocket as we dive more deeply into the holiday season.
- 3/4 cup pumpkin purée
- 1/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- crushed gingersnaps, cocoa nibs, nuts or crumbled candy bars, to garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin purée, brown sugar, milk and spice until smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whip the cream with the vanilla until firm peaks form. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the whipped cream, and fold gently with the whisk to combine.
Pour the mousse into serving glasses (I got about 8 half-cup portions). The mousse can be enjoyed straight away, or you can chill it for a few hours, uncovered, in the refrigerator (the mousse is quite soft and won’t firm up completely, even after refrigeration, but it’s best served cold).
Top with crushed cookies, candy, or cocoa nibs before serving.
Makes about 4 cups mousse.