Spiced Pumpkin Souffles with Bourbon Molasses Sauce

After roasting a pumpkin and the seeds on Saturday afternoon, we went on the hunt for something pumpkin-y to make for dessert.  We toyed with pie, then came to the conclusion that we wanted something not quite so indulgent.  So we pulled out the infamous “Thanksgiving” file from the cooking vault to search.  When we came across this recipe, it was the clear winner…and let me tell you, it was a fantastic idea!  It has the delicious flavors of pumpkin pie, but with a luxurious and delicate texture and remaining on the lighter side.  You don’t leave the table feeling stuffed, just satisfied.

good enough to eat

Let’s just say, they are so delicious that we made them two nights in a row!

any sauce with these 3 ingredients in it gets in A+ in my book!

For the sauce:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water, divided
3 tablespoons bourbon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring sugar and 2 Tbsp water to a boil in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved (you can wash down any sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water). Boil, without stirring, swirling pan occasionally so caramel colors evenly, until caramel is dark amber.  This takes less than 5 minutes.  **Be sure not to boil for too long, otherwise the sugar will crystallize and harden.  This happens to me all the time while making caramel, as I am soooo not skilled at that task yet!  Don’t feel bad if it happens to you, just toss it and start over!

sugar + water = yummy caramel goodness

Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/4 cup water, then stir in bourbon, butter, molasses, and salt. Return to heat and simmer, stirring, to dissolve any hardened caramel if necessary.

You can make the sauce a day in  advance and keep in the fridge.  Just warm up in the microwave for 20 seconds or so before serving.  I am thinking of drizzling the leftover sauce over pumpkin ice cream!


For the souffles:
1/4 cup whole milk
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
pinch of ground cloves
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided, plus additional for coating ramekins
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
5 large egg whites, room temperature
pinch of salt
confectioners sugar for garnish
4 – 6 oz. ramekins

Whisk together milk, cornstarch, spices and 2 teaspoons granulated sugar in a small heavy saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking, then simmer, whisking, 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in pumpkin.  Transfer to a large bowl and cool to room temperature.

Preheat  oven to 400° with rack in lower third.  Butter ramekins and coat with granulated sugar, knocking out excess, then put in a large shallow baking pan.

Beat egg whites with salt in another large bowl using an electric mixer until they hold soft peaks; about 2 minutes.  Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, then beat until whites hold stiff, glossy peaks, 1 to 2 minutes more.  Fold one third of whites into cooled pumpkin mixture to lighten, then fold in remaining whites gently but thoroughly.

Divide mixture among ramekins, mounding it.

going in the oven

Bake souffles until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.  Dust with confectioners sugar and serve immediately.


Tip: While in the oven, make sure not to have a rack too close to the souffles, as they do rise a lot and might get smooshed!  Also, when serving, poke a whole in the center of the souffles and drizzle the bourbon molasses sauce in…to. die. for.

yum yum yum

Serves: 4-5 souffles + 1 cup of sauce
Time: sauce – 10 minutes / souffles – 15 prep + 20 baking
From: November 2008 issue of Gourmet

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  1. Posted November 5, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    these look crazy good. do you sub your cane sugar for regular sugar? i have some in my pantry that i need to use up.

    • Ali
      Posted November 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      I’ve used both and each time they came out perfectly, so I don’t really think it matters!

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