Pumpkin Mousse with Creamy Goat’s Cheese

I brought home quite a few food magazines from England, and there were so many great recipes in there that I decided to have friends over for a British Dinner. The starter was beetroot mousse with creamy goat’s cheese from Woman and Home magazine, and that was such a hit that we could have snacked on it all evening. In fact, we had to stop at some point because we had to get through two more courses, and the bread we had with the mousse was too filling.

The day before the dinner I bought two different pumpkins, one of them a gorgonzola pumpkin which I had never seen nor heard of before. So after the dinner I decided to make the mousse again, this time with pumpkin. This version is just as delicious, although it has a sweeter note than the earthy beetroot, and the consistency is smoother here whereas the beetroot version is a bit rougher.

Note: The mousse needs to be made a day ahead and put in the fridge overnight to set.

Pumpkin Mousse with Creamy Goat’s Cheese

(adapted from Woman and Home magazine)
1 white onion, roughly chopped
400 g pumpkin (about 600 g with skin), thickly sliced
1 garlic clove, chopped
6 tbsp olive oil
4 gelatine sheets (@ 6 g each)
250 ml hot vegetable stock
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 large egg whites
200 g soft, rindless goat’s cheese
50 ml double creme (or crème double if you’re outside the UK)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
fresh bread

Preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F. Place pumpkin, onion and garlic on a baking tray, drizzle over the oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminium foil and cook for 30 minutes, or until tender. [The pumpkin took longer than the beetroot, I cooked it for 45 minutes.]

When the pumpkin is cooked, soak the gelatine sheets in cold water until softened, then squeeze to remove excess water. Mix the gelatine into the hot vegetable stock, stirring well until it has dissolved. Leave to cool.

Put the roasted pumpkin, onion, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor or blender and pour in the stock. Blitz until very fine. Check seasoning, and add a few rasps of fresh nutmeg.

Whisk egg whites until it forms soft peaks, then carefully fold it into the pumpkin mixture, making sure it is well combined with no visible white bits. Spoon the mousse into individual ramekins and put in fridge to set overnight.

Just before serving, mix the goat’s cheese with the double creme or crème double and spoon on top of the mousse. [I used a melon baller for this.] Serve with thin slices of fresh bread.