Jenny McCoy’s Desserts for Every Season landed on my list of must-try cookbooks this fall, and for good reason. Filled with gorgeous photography and inventive dessert recipes that call for seasonal ingredients, Desserts for Every Season offers beginner and expert bakers numerous delicious dessert possibilities.
Last week I made her recipe for coffee-cardamom shortbread, which were well-received by friends. Yesterday I decided to up my game and construct her recipe for autumn pumpkin roulade. I don’t consider myself a pastry master by any means, but I’ve been proud of some of the more nuanced desserts featured on my blog. After compiling the ingredients list and poring over the instructions, I set out on my pumpkin roulade-making expeditions. The results were, dare I say, mixed.
Everything was going swimmingly until I actually tried to roll the cake into final roulade form. Despite my every effort to roll the cooled cake, I ended up with a cracked cake. After reading several jelly roll articles, I figured out my problem. High-altitude and dry air made my cake particularly fragile. Fortunately, even though the final product was nowhere near as gorgeous as Ms. McCoy’s pumpkin roulade, the cake and filling tasted fantastic. Now that I’ve learned a few tricks on how not to break my jelly roll cake, I’ll be back next week with a second attempt at a most delectable dessert.
In the meantime, if you haven’t checked out Ms. McCoy’s Desserts for Every Season, get yourself to a library or bookstore. You’ll find plenty of inspiration for Thanksgiving and winter holiday parties. If you’re feeling adventurous, you still have time to face the pumpkin roulade demons and make this roulade as a Halloween treat. Here’s a creepy (and quite wonderful) Halloween-infused ditty to get you in the right “spirit”:
If you have helpful tips on how you mastered the pumpkin roulade or any kind of jellyroll recipe, tell me your secrets. This pumpkin roulade hasn’t seen the last of me!
Pumpkin Roulade (a Desserts for Every Season recipe)
Makes 10 to 12 servings
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup Roasted Sugar Pumpkin and Kabocha Squash (recipe below roulade recipe)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 oz (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for dusting
- Finely grated zest of 1/4 orange
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper, and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves until evenly combined. Add the roasted pumpkin and squash and the eggs and whisk until smooth. Using an offset spatula, evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the cake is set and springs back to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes. Let the cake cook to room temperature.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and orange zest together until light and fluffy. Set the filling aside at room temperature until ready to use.
4. Remove the cake from the jelly-roll pan, keeping the parchment paper intact, and lay it on a flat work surface. Spread the filling in a thin, even layer over the entire surface of the cake.
5. Starting at one of the wide edges of the cake, gently roll the cake into a tight log and peel away the parchment as you roll. Carefully transfer the roulade onto a serving platter, seam side down, and refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes. Dust generously with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.
Roasted Sugar Pumpkin and Kabocha Squash (a Desserts For Every Season recipe)
Makes 6-8 cups
- One 4-lb sugar pumpkin
- One 4-lb kabocha squash
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Cut the pumpkin and squash into eighths; remove and discard the seeds. Place the pumpkin and squash pieces in a large baking dish (I used a few dishes since this is a sizable amount.), fill with about 1/4 inch of water, and cover with aluminum foil. Roast for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the flesh is fork tender.
2. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. When the pumpkin and the squash pieces are cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin; discard the skins. Puree the pumpkin and squash flesh in a food processor until smooth. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or using.
Note: This recipe makes more puree than called for in the roulade recipe, so you’ll have plenty to freeze for other recipes, or if you run into a similar roulade fate as me, you’ll have the puree on hand to give this roulade another try. Freeze leftovers in small containers for up to 3 months and defrost just before using.