Comfort Me with Kabocha & Rum
I amuse myself in the kitchen every year by discovering new ways to use Kabocha, my favorite squash. Seeing snow on the ground meant no going out today, so I decided to get into the kitchen to play with the Kabocha puree that I made the other day.
I was thinking of a decadent dessert that did not require any cooking on the stovetop. I had classic cream cheese in the fridge and many basic staples in my kitchen, so I started from there. After finding the right ratio between the puree and the cream cheese, I added enough sugar to make a good balance. Then I added spiced rum, one tablespoon at a time. Spiced rum is a Caribbean rum that has an amazing blend of spices, caramel and other natural flavors. I may get a little carried away in my recipe below with the Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, but when it comes to rum, the amount to add is very personal. At this point, there was still something missing from the recipe, and when I went through my spice rack, the nutmeg was yelling at me. Adding it did the trick—nothing more or less was needed.
While watching the snow melting away, my hand was busy spooning away this decadent dessert. It is pumpkin-creamy, sweet, with rummy-coconut and aromatic nutmeg. Just a perfect way to pamper oneself with comfort—a decadent dessert. Winter will be here for a while.
Spiced Rum Kabocha Mousse
Serves: 68 ounces classic cream cheese 1½ cups Kabocha puree (see note) ⅓ cup evaporated cane sugar ¼ cup Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, divided ¼ to 1 teaspoon nutmeg 6 tablespoons coconut cream (the thick top layer from a can of coconut milk) 6 Kaffir lime leaves or mint sprigs to garnish
Use an electric mixer to blend cream cheese in a large bowl until soft, about 30 seconds. Add Kabocha squash puree, sugar, 3 tablespoons rum, and nutmeg; blend on medium speed until well-blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Chill mixture in the fridge at least 3 hours before serving.
To make spiced rum coconut cream topping, whisk coconut cream and 1 tablespoon rum in a small bowl for 10 seconds. Set aside in the fridge.
To serve, place equal amounts of the mousse mixture into 6 glasses. Garnish the top with coconut cream and lime leaves or mint sprigs.
Pranee’s Tip on Making Kabocha Puree
A medium size Kabocha squash will yield 3 to 4 cups Kabocha puree. To prepare Kabocha pumpkin puree for dumplings or pie, simply remove the skin and seeds and then cut into 1-inch chunks. Steam about 15 minutes, or until tender. Use a ricer to make a fine mash.
More recipes on this blog with Kabocha pumpkin:
Thai Pumpkin Custard, nam tao sangkaya (recipe and slide show)
Stir-fried Kabocha Pumpkin with Pork (recipe and vedio)© 2011 Pranee Khruasanit Halvorsen I Love Thai cooking Pranee teaches Thai Cooking classes in the Seattle area. Her website is: I Love Thai cooking.com .