Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Trifle!

On this happy Thanksgiving, I made a lovely, gargantuan trifle (to feed my enormous family), and then five individual trifles for my husband Joe's smaller was a Pumpkin-Carmel Trifle with Spice Cake (got the recipe out of Metropolitan Home Magazine...however for the spice cake, I used a recipe from the Food Network.) Everyone loved this decadent dessert with scrumptious pumpkin mouse, buttery toasted pecans, and yummy ginger spice cake! Here is my combination of the two recipes (along with some substitutions) in my delicious Thanksgiving trifle!

Pumpkin-Carmel Trifle with Spice Cake


Pumpkin Mousse
• 1 envelope (¼ oz.) unflavored gelatin powder
• 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin (not pie filling)
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1½ cups well-chilled heavy cream

Spice Cake
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (I used 1/3 cup grated fresh ginger)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I used home-brewed kefir)

Brandy Syrup
• ¼ cup sugar
• ¼ cup brandy or cognac (I used Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum)

Toasted Pecans
• ½ cup pecan pieces
• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

• 1 pint caramel ice cream, softened (I used Greek God's Honey Yogurt, mixed with cream cheese, and local honey)


To make the mousse, put ¼ cup cold water in a small 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 and sugar. Meanwhile, set the bowl of softened gelatin over a pan of simmering water and cook until the gelatin is clear. 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 until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin/gelatin mixture. Chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

To make the spice cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 9" x 13" rectangular cake pan.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground ginger (or fresh ginger) and ground cloves.

Cream the butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk alternately beginning and ending with the dry.

When the batter is well mixed and smooth, pour it into the cake pan and bake about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake come out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes then turn out to cool completely.

To make the brandy syrup, in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stir sugar with ¼ cup water until sugar has dissolved. Add brandy. Let cool and refrigerate, covered.

To prepare pecans, in a small skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add pecans and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 3 minutes.

To serve, trim ⅛ inch from around edges of cake. Cut cake into 16 squares. Put ¼ cup mousse in bottom of each of 8 glasses and spread slightly. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon pecans over mousse and add a square of cake. Brush cake with brandy syrup. Lightly spread 1 tablespoon softened ice cream over cake in each glass. Repeat one more layer as before, except for ice cream. Instead, form an oval scoop of ice cream to top trifle: using two metal serving spoons, scoop ice cream with one spoon and put other spoon over top of ice-cream-filled spoon to mold. Repeat for remaining glasses.

Don't have a trifle dish?! Here is a perfect one I found on Etsy!

"Vintage Glass Compote, Trifle Bowl, Punch or Dessert Bowl" by Rusty Cow.


Andrea said...

Beautiful Trifle, Jessy!!! Really made our Thanksgiving look fancy. ;-) Loved the spiced rum you substituted in your recipe; very tasty.

Eco-Friendly Freckles said...

Thank you Andy for your sweet complements...this trifle was mighty tasty! ;-)~ Yes I agree; I think spiced rum is a great addition to desserts for the holiday season!