Trifle is the perfect dessert for entertaining, as it's easy and should be made a day in advance. I was able to make this entire dessert with a 1 1/2 year old either on my hip or throwing food off her highchair. Be glad you can't see the floor in these pictures.
Store bought frozen pound cake means the only thing you really have to "make" is the mousse. The mousse is then split into two bowls and separately flavored with rich melted chocolate and spiced pumpkin. And oh the chocolate mousse... it makes you feel like the lady in the Dove chocolate commercials, eyes closed in ecstasy, and forget your toddler has just destroyed your kitchen.
Because something fresh makes everything better, I added some raspberries, a few sugared cranberries, and some pumpkin seeds. Chocolate shavings would be gorgeous too.
One crucial step: Set aside a tinsy portion for yourself. Just to make sure it's good, of course. This lovely is coming to a fabulous pre-Thanksgiving dinner tonight, and I can confirm from my sample, it's rich, creamy, chocolatey, pumpkiny perfection.
Pumpkin and Chocolate Mousse Trifle
2 10 oz frozen pound cakes, thawed, and cut into 3/4" slices
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
3 cups cold whipping cream
8 oz good quality bittersweet chocolate (60-70%) chopped
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Bourbon (optional)
Fresh raspberries or shaved chocolate, for garnish
Set the bowl of an electric mixer over a saucepan of shallow simmering water. Whisk yolks, water, and confectioners' sugar in the bowl until very frothy and beginning to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and and beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes, until thickened.
Place another small bowl over the simmering water. Melt chocolate in the bowl. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Divide egg mixture into two medium bowls. Stir cooled chocolate into one bowl. In the other bowl stir the pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar.
Beat whipping cream and 2 tbs confectioners' sugar at high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold 1 1/2 cups whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, and 1 1/2 cups into the pumpkin mixture.
Place a layer of pound cake into the bottom of a trifle dish, large bowl, or individual dishes. Brush with a little Bourbon. Spoon a 1" layer of pumpkin mousse over the cake. Top with a second layer of cake. Brush with Bourbon. Spoon a 1" layer of chocolate mousse. Top with a third layer of cake and again brush with Bourbon. Top with whipped cream and garnish. Chill overnight.
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