Pumpkin Mousse & Salted Caramels

Whew! I'm officially done with Halloween until next year. It was fun, but time to move onto bigger and better things...Holiday foods! Here's an easy and elegant favorite: Pumpkin Mousse!

...maybe add some made-in-the-microwave salted caramels, a little belgian chocolate & caramel sauce? That's what I'm talkin' about!;) The flavor combination of all these things is AMAZING, not to mention an impressive dessert for entertaining.

Pumpkin Mousse
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
5 large egg yolks
3 cups heavy cream
1 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt

Combine egg yolks, 1 C. sugar and 3/4 C. cream in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens and coats the spoon (8-10 minutes). Remove from heat and add pumpkin, spices and salt. Stir well and cool completely. (You can speed up this process by putting it in the fridge or an ice bath).
Whip remaining heavy cream and vanilla to soft peaks and fold into cooled pumpkin mixture.
Serve in store-bought chocolate cups, or you can make your own easy chocolate balloon bowls.
For the spun-sugar garnish, I made this recipe for microwave hard candy, drizzled it on a cookie sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray, and broke it into pieces once hardened.

To assemble dessert, put some melted chocolate into a ziploc baggie (I used Cacao Barry Dark Chocolate), snip off one end of bag and swirl on plate. When set, carefully spoon in a small amount of caramel sauce into several swirls. Add various cups of mousse and a couple salted caramels (recipe below).

Salted Microwave Caramels adapted from Bakespace
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Light Karo Syrup (not dark-doesn't set right)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 t. vanilla
Sea Salt (I used a pink sea salt)
melted chocolate (optional)
Buttered 8x8 baking dish

Melt butter in large microwave bowl. Stir in Karo syrup, both sugars and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until dissolved. Microwave on high 3-1/2 minutes. Stir down and scrape sides of bowl. Microwave on high 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Pour into buttered dish and refrigerate until set. When set, remove from fridge and cut into squares. Sprinkle a small amount of sea salt on each piece and drizzle chocolate on top (optional).

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