Here’s one Halloween treat that captures your imagination as well as your taste buds.
Chef Lesli’s Pumpkin Patch
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup dark-brewed coffee (decaf or black tea also work)
4 large eggs, separated
2/3 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons dark rum (can be substituted with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
1 tablespoon water
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Oreos, crushed
1 package pumpkin shaped candy
In a medium to large bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and let sit until tepid.
Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
In another medium bowl set over the simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 2/3 cup of sugar, rum, and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise. (You can also use a handheld electric mixer.)
Remove the bowl from heat and place in the bowl of ice water and beat gently until cool and thick. Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.
In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape. Whip in the 1 tablespoon sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then add the vanilla.
Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.
Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into 6 or 8 serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm.
Add crushed Oreo “dirt” and pumpkin candies to make your cute pumpkin patch.