Pumpkin Cheesecake Mousse Cups with Candied Pecans

 An original holiday dessert

An original holiday dessert

Makes 12-20 servings 

½ cup              butternut squash purée
½ cup              cream cheese, room temperature OR ½ cup fresh goat cheese
1/3 cup            golden brown sugar, lightly packed
2 tsp.               pure vanilla extract
1 tsp.               cinnamon
1/8 tsp.            nutmeg
¼ tsp.              ground ginger
1 pinch            ground allspice
1 pinch            ground cardamom
1 cup               whipping cream, chilled
¼ cup              icing sugar

Combine the cream cheese and the brown sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth.
Mix all of the spices into the butternut squash purée and then add the spiced pumpkin mixture to the sweetened cream cheese. Mix until well combined.

In a separate bowl, beat the cold cream with the icing sugar until ‘soft peaks’ are formed (this means that the whipped cream cannot truly hold its shape very well, and still seems just slightly liquid).

Fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin cream cheese mixture until just combined.
Pour this filling into a zip-lock bag until the bag is no more than half full, then close the bag and snip the corner so that it can be used to ‘pipe’ the filling into the bottom of small wine glasses or shoot glass.

Fill the bottom of the glass with a small layer of candied pecan then a layer of cheesecake, then sprinkle a another crushed layer candied pecans (recipe below) . Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Candied pecans
1/2 cup.          white sugar
1 tsp.               ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp.            salt
1                      egg white
450gr.              pecan halves

Preheat oven to 280 degrees F (140 degrees C).
Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl.
Whisk egg white in a large separate bowl until frothy.
Toss pecans in the egg white mixture.
Mix sugar mixture into pecan mixture until pecans are evenly coated.
Spread coated pecans onto a baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven, stirring every 15 minutes, until pecans are evenly browned (about 1 hour).