Monday, December 5, 2011

Pumpkin Roulade

I've been making this pumpkin roll for several years now and it's become a Thanksgiving/Christmas/holiday season favorite. I went a little crazy the first year making about 8 of them for Thanksgiving and Christmas combined and since then have only made about three a year depending on what other holiday desserts I feel like trying out that year and the number of holiday events I attend. I'll probably be making at least one every holiday season for the foreseeable future since it doesn't seem right to let the holiday season pass by without this cake fitting in somewhere.
I haven't met anyone who doesn't like this cake, okay maybe one or two, but they're few and far between. It's cake and frosting rolled up in a pretty spiral shape, what's not to love. It's also quick and pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Just be sure to have everything(kitchen towel, powdered sugar in a sieve, plenty of space) ready when the cake comes out of the oven so you can flip it over, remove the parchment, and roll it up quickly to prevent cracking. The cake is very moist, maybe even a bit too moist because of the pumpkin, but it's better this way since it may dry up a bit in the fridge, that is if it isn't polished off immediately.
My family likes a higher ratio of cake to frosting, so I keep the cake recipe the same and halve the amount of frosting. The recipe below reflects these changes.

Pumpkin Roulade
Adapted from Ina Garten

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp fine salt(twice the amount of kosher salt)
3 extra large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
confectioner's sugar for dusting

4 oz mascarpone cheese, room temp
2 oz cream cheese, room temp
1 tbsp heavy cream/milk
pinch of salt
1/4 cup +2 tbsp sifted confectioner's sugar
1/8-1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger(optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 13 by 18 by 1 inch sheet pan. Line with parchment and butter and flour the parchment paper.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat the eggs and sugar in a mixer with a paddle attachment or with a handheld mixer on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until pale and thickened. On low, mix in the pumpkin, then the flour mixture. Finish mixing by hand with a spatula and pour into the pan. Bake for 15 minutes, until the top springs back when touched.

While the cake is baking, lay out a clean kitchen towel and sift confectioner's sugar over it. Invert the cake onto the towel and peel away the parchment. Sift more confectioner's sugar on it and gently roll it up in the towel. Let cool completely.

To make the frosting, beat the mascarpone and cream cheese together until smooth, then add the remaining ingredients and mix together until light and fluffy.

To assemble, unroll the cake, spread with the frosting, and reroll gently. Trim the ends and serve. Cake is best the day it is made.

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