Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Nom Report, Episode 1

Not too long ago, Regina decided to work off some bad feelings in the kitchen and invited Kami over to taste the results.  It didn't take much time for such experimenting to become a weekly ritual for testing recipes.  Previously archived on Regina's Facebook, we will be moving the records of our Nom-speriments here.  Future tests will hopefully be accompanied by pictures of yummy-ness.

Experiment 1 - Thanksgiving Dessert

Regina was overcome with the urge to test out a dessert recipe, and decided she might as well try something she could make for Thanksgiving.  It was surprisingly easy, and Kami and Regina both declared it a success.  It was called Pumpklin Chiffon Dessert or something like that.  It's very rich, but lighter and airier (airy-er?) than your typical pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake.  A nice option for a Florida Thanksgiving we think, since you never know when you'll spend the holiday in your shorts.  In hot weather, in a small apartment, turning the oven on as little as possible is a plus.  Not to mention, if you'll be cooking all day, you can make this the night before. 

Now the recipe calls for "frozen whipped topping" i.e, Cool Whip.  This is fine for other peoples (picture Regina saying "other peoples" with her nose in the air and a comically snobbish expression) but not for someone who has a long history making her own whipped cream.  So she made a few adjustments to the recipe, but we will include both versions.

Pumpkin Chiffon Torte (oh, ok...it's a torte...kinda)

1 cup finely crushed gingersnaps
3 Tablespoons butter (Regina used salted butter and it turned out fine)
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 can (15 oz) solid pack pumpkin - NOT pumpkin pie filling
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping*
Additional whipped topping, if desired (not necessary the way we made it)

*If you do not want to use Cool Whip, combine 2 cups heavy cream, half a teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 cup sugar.  Beat on medium for about 2 minutes so sugar can dissolve, then beat on high until stiff peaks form.  Refrigerate until needed.

Combine cookie crumbs and butter.  Press into the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan and set aside (note: We forgot to grease the pan and it came out just fine).  In a saucepan, combine gelatin and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.  Heat milk mixture to just below boiling; remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved.  Add the pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; mix well.  Fold in whipped topping (or fold in 1 heaping cup of whipped cream - you'll have extra).  Pour over crust.

Now here the recipe says to refrigerate for at least three hours and serve with additional whipped topping.  But we had extra whipped cream from making our own, so we just spread the extra over the pumpkin mixture before chilling it.  We were quite happy with that decision.

After chilling 3+ hours, run a knife around the edge of the pan.  Remove sides of the springform pan and serve.

Regina really doesn't think this is a "torte."  A torte has eggs in it.  Anyone want to suggest a better name for this?  How about Pumpkin Bavarian?

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