A great looking and fairly successful desert. Caramelized pumpkin with Dulche De Leche cream and spiced chocolate ganache.

No one can claim it's not striking.

Unfortunately not every dish I try is a success , some fall flat (far more than I’d like to recall) on their face while others, while not becoming straight up winners, show promise and I’d like to think, with some work here and there can become stars in their own right. Also, it’s about time I shared a desert here; but not my forte these sweets.

I’d like to share one such example, this odd combination of pumpkin, condensed milk and spicy chocolate ganache. While it looks impressive (at least I think it does) the flavors didn’t really live up to their potential. I’ll give you the recipe I’ve used in the dish along with potential areas for improvement that I think will make it better. And then, once I do the new and improved version, I’ll definitely be sharing that. 

Serves 4

For the Caramelized Pumpkin:

1 medium pumpkin, peeled and cut into the sticks shown in the picture, each plate is going to need 4 sticks. However, one of the problems I faced was not managing to extract enough sweetness from the pumpkin, so I suggest cutting the sticks into cubes, about 1cm x 1cm, so you’ll need roughly 12 cubes per plate

1/4 cup of full cream milk

1 cup of icing sugar

3 tbsp of butter

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1 1/2 tsp of allspice

Place your pumpkin cubes in fast boiling water and cook for about 10-15min until they soften but don’t become too tender and lose their shape. Once they’re out of the water and cooled enough to handle, score them with a sharp knife (just shallow criss-crosses to help the sweetness from the caramel penetrates the surface) Sprinkle the allspice over the cubes in a bowl and toss.

In a shallow pan and on a medium heat, melt the butter and once the foam subsides add the brown sugar, do not stir. Once the sugar has melted, throw in the pumpkins and cook in the caramel for about 5 mins, until the cubes have absorbed most of the caramel and have taken some browning from the heat. Remove the pumpkins and set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan, heat the milk on a low heat and add the icing sugar, stir to combine together and leave to just about simmer for 5mins whisking well to make sure the sugar and milk combine. Allow the mix to cool for another 5 minutes, then dip the pumpkin cubes in one by one and set aside. They should take on a nice glaze like a donut. This is the original glazing recipe.

For the condensed milk cream:

1 can of condensed milk

150ml of whipping cream

You need caramelized condensed milk (dulce de leche) for this part of the recipe, this you can either do by going the hard way (a 6 hour ordeal) or you can use a not so fantastic method of scalding or scorching the milk, this means heating it over a medium heat in a thin pan until it caramelized. You need to stir quickly to make sure the milk doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan (you’ll have to toss it away in this case because it’s almost impossible to clean, my pan fell victim). After about 5 mins, you’ll start to smell the caramelization, once the milk takes on a hint of brown and has been sufficiently been imparted with the caramelized flavor (about 7mins) remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl, whip the cream, and using a spatula fold in the caramelized milk into the cream.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

140g of dark chocolate

100ml of cooking cream

1 shot of rum

2 tsp of crushed chili flakes

On a double boiler, melt the chocolate and slowly add the cream (make sure the cream isn’t too cold, otherwise the chocolate may seize). Add the rum and chili and mix together until well incorporated.

You’ve finally completed all the processes for this arduous desert (which should taste really nicely now) all that’s left is to assemble it and hopefully enjoy!

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