Lunchbreak: A perfect side dish and dessert for Thanksgiving

Midday News

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Tim Meyers, College of DuPage Culinary and Pastry Arts Coordinator and Professor

College of DuPage Culinary program, located in the College’s Culinary & Hospitality Center on the Glen Ellyn campus, 425 Fawell Blvd.

The Culinary & Hospitality program currently offers Associates degrees in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, Culinology, Meeting and Event Planning, Hospitality Management and Restaurant Management. Certificate programs are also available in the Culinary, Hospitality, and Travel fields.

Search “culinary” for program information, or to join the mailing list to get the dates of spring 2020 student-run lunches and dinners.


Gingered-Cranberry Orange Relish

Yield: 8-10 Servings

1½ bags (18 oz.) fresh cranberries

1 cup sugar or 2/3 cup honey

½ cup candied ginger

¾ cup orange marmalade

1 large or 2 small oranges peeled, seeded and cut into ¼ inch pieces

1 tbsp. orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Grand Marnier (optional)


  1. Place cranberries in food processor and pulse a few times until roughly chopped.
  2. Chop candied ginger into fine pieces
  3. In a medium bowl, combine orange marmalade, candied ginger, liqueur and sugar with cranberries.
  4. Cover and refrigerate.
  5. At time of service, add oranges and mix thoroughly to combine.

Note: May be made 7 days in advance.


Milk Chocolate Mousse with Pumpkin Sponge Cake

Yield: Two 9-inch Cakes or One 9x13 Cake (spray bottom of pan(s) with vegetable spray)

Sponge Cake

3/4 cup dry sifted cake flour

1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

½ tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

¼ tsp. ground allspice

2 eggs warmed

1 ½ cup granulated sugar

1 cup plus 2 tbsp. pumpkin puree

2 ¾ tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger

Milk Chocolate Mousse

3 1/3 cups of milk chocolate chips

4 cups heavy cream, divided

1 envelope of powdered gelatin

¼ cup cold water


Make the cake. 

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and spices.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is pale yellow in color and reaches the ribbon stage (when you lift the whisk over the mixture the batter should fall slowly forming a ribbon that will hold its shape).
  4. Mix in the pumpkin puree, and fold in the dry ingredients and ginger.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool. Do not remove from pan.

 Make the Mousse

  1. Place gelatin in a bowl with the cold water. Mix to evenly distribute the gelatin and let bloom for 5 minutes.
  2. In a double boiler, melt chocolate with 1 cup of the cream.
  3. Whip the remaining 3 cups of cream to soft peaks.
  4. Add bloomed gelatin to the warm milk chocolate mixture and cool slightly. Cooling the mixture prevents the whipped cream from deflating in the next step.
  5. Fold the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture and pour over cakes. Chill or freeze until set.


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