Special equipment: An oven-safe platter and bowl; a pastry piping bag; a deep fryer, Dutch oven or stockpot
For the gingerbread platter and bowl:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a large, oven-safe platter and oven-safe bowl with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, cloves and salt in a medium bowl. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix in the molasses and egg, and then stir in the flour mixture. Wrap in plastic wrap and let chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Roll out the chilled dough on a floured surface to about 1/8-inch thickness. Carefully cover the platter and bowl with the dough, trimming the excess. Chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Place the platter and bowl on a sheet tray and bake until just golden at the edges, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the candied walnut maple mousse: Lower the oven to 325 degrees F. Toss the walnuts, egg whites, confectioners' sugar, cayenne, salt and 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder in a bowl until evenly coated. Spread on a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake until crispy and brown, about 20 minutes. Place in a food processor and process until finely ground.
Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Set aside. Heat the maple syrup in a small saucepan with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder. Add the gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the cream on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Slowly fold in the maple syrup mixture and ground walnuts, being careful not to deflate the whipped cream. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
For the royal icing: Combine the confectioners' sugar and egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Mix slowly until stiff enough to form peaks; keep beating until the icing is pure white, fluffy and shiny. Use a silicone spatula to transfer the icing to a pastry piping bag and hold it at room temperature until ready to decorate the gingerbread.
For the cinnamon sugar tortilla chips: Preheat the oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F. Alternatively, heat 3 inches of oil to 375 degrees F in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or stockpot.
Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Cut the tortillas lengthwise and then widthwise, creating small chips.
Carefully lower the tortillas into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Depending on the size of your fryer or pot, you maybe have to make 2 batches. Remove to a paper towel-lined sheet tray and then toss in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until coated.
To assemble: Using a knife or small offset spatula, remove the gingerbread from the platter and bowl. Fill the bowl with the chilled candied walnut maple mousse and arrange the cinnamon sugar tortilla chips around the bowl. Cut the tip off the pastry piping bag of royal icing and pipe festive designs around the outside of the bowl and platter, adding candies as desired. Serve and enjoy!
Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, shellfish and meat may increase the risk of foodborne illness.
Recipe Courtesy of Duff Goldman