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It’s back to my ongoing autumn pumpkin competition to use 99 cans of pumpkin. This is my third season and I’m halfway there; I need to do better. I’m counting fresh pumpkin as substitution for some of the cans.

After a water bubbler conversation about whether or not there is a difference between canned and fresh pumpkin, I decided to put both to the test. I’d made fresh puree for one batch of tiramisu and its canned counterpart for a second batch.

I brought both batches to work and cut each into small squares for a blind tasting. “The one that’s slightly more orange is the fresh! It has to be!” It wasn’t. “This one is more savory,” aka the canned and,  “This one is more sweet, ” aka the fresh. “I couldn’t tell the difference. I remember an old girlfriend made pumpkin pie using fresh pumpkin and it was all stringy.” [Note to old girlfriend: Did you hollow out the pumpkin first? Or did you use a carving pumpkin by mistake?] “This one is richer, fresher and creamier ,” aka the fresh. Comments were about the same. [I purposely excluded the taster who doesn’t like tiramisu. Really, who doesn’t like tiramisu?]

Chocolate Pumpkin Tiramisu

pumpkin chocolate tiramisuWhat you need:

  • 1 1/2 c mascarpone
  • 1 3/4 c cold farm-fresh heavy cream, divided
  • 3/4 c powdered sugar
  • 8 tbs almond-flavored liqueur, divided
  • 1 1/2 c fresh pumpkin puree, drained (or 1 15-oz can pumpkin puree)
  • 1/4 c bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 3 tbs espresso powder, divided
  • 1/2 c hot water
  • 3 3 oz-pkgs (need about 54 ladyfingers for 8×8 square or about 72 for 10 x 7 rectangle)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, for dusting

What you do:

  • In mixer bowl fitted with wire whisk, beat mascarpone until smooth.
  • Add 1 1/2 c cream, powdered sugar and 4 tbs liqueur.
  • Whisk until soft peaks form, about 5 min.
  • Fold in pumpkin puree and gently mix until well incorporated.
  • In microwave-safe bowl melt chocolate and 1/4 c cream and stir at 10 sec intervals until chocolate is just melted.
  • Stir chocolate until mixture is smooth.
  • Slowly add about 1 c of pumpkin mixture to chocolate.
  • Mix until well incorporated and then fold back into remaining pumpkin.
  • In sm bowl, whisk 2 tbs cocoa and 2 tbs espresso into hot water.
  • Add remaining liqueur.
  • Cover bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish with ladyfingers (about 9).
  • Brush with cocoa liquid.
  • Top with 1/3 pumpkin mixture.
  • Add another layer of lady fingers, brush with cocoa liquid and top with 1/3 pumpkin mixture.
  • Repeat.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least a couple of hours
  • When ready to serve combine remaining cocoa, espresso and cinnamon in sm fine mesh sieve and sprinkle on top of tiramisu.
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