Taste: Autumn on a Spoon

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Ah, Thanksgiving. Nothing beats a crisp November day spent with family, friends, and food! Year after year we’ve all got the usual suspects on our shopping lists: turkey, stuffing, cranberries, potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie. It can be hard to steer away from the staples on this particular holiday. However, if you are looking for a deliciously inventive twist on the familiar and classic flavors, we at C&P have a must-try recipe for you. John insists that it is truly the most spectacular of all Thanksgiving dishes. A moist pumpkin sponge cake filled with fluffy ginger buttercream all rolled up into a perfect holiday package. This dessert embodies enough decadence to impress guests while creating the coziest of atmospheres with its warm and spicy, autumn flavors. Thanks to the Barefoot Contessa, this recipe will certainly not disappoint!

Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream

Ingredients, Cake:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting

Ingredients, Filling:

  • 12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup minced dried crystallized ginger
  • Pinch kosher salt


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

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Place the eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light yellow and thickened. With the mixer on low, add the pumpkin, then slowly add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Finish mixing the batter by hand with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake the cake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the top springs back when gently touched.

While the cake is baking, lay out a clean, thin cotton dish towel on a flat surface and sift the entire 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar evenly over it. (This will prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.) As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, loosen it around the edges and invert it squarely onto the prepared towel. Peel away the parchment paper. With a light touch, roll the warm cake and the towel together (don’t press!) starting at the short end of the cake. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, and cream together for about a minute, until light and fluffy. Stir in the crystallized ginger, and salt.

To assemble, carefully unroll the cake onto a board with the towel underneath. Spread the cake evenly with the filling. Reroll the cake in a spiral using the towel as a guide. Remove the towel and trim the ends to make a neat edge. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve sliced.

Taste: Cooking in the Moment

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Today’s “Taste” segment relies on a few things that I love: a gift from a friend, early morning cooking, fresh fall vegetables and a pretty platter of food. My dear friend (and cooking partner), Corinna gifted me one of her favorite cookbooks last week and I finally got into the kitchen this morning to try out one of the beautiful recipes, Warm Mushroom Salad with Shallots and Sherry Vinegar from Cooking in the Moment by Andrea Reusing. Corinna and I have been gifting each other our favorite cookbooks for at least a few years now and it’s great fun because I’m always inspired by what she’s cooking and what she’s reading in the cookbook world. It’s also kind of a bold move as I have quite a cookbook collection and Corinna is definitely a collector as well, so it takes a bit of detective work to figure out what the other doesn’t have.

This morning was the perfect time to roast the mushrooms as there is a bit of a chill in the air and our house is definitely cozier for it. It’s a really easy recipe that also happens to be exceptionally good; warm mushrooms, toasted croutons and roasted shallots all over a bed of greens makes for serious comfort food on these fall-like days that we are having. I would suggest heading to your farmer’s market this weekend and scooping up all the different varieties of mushrooms as well as some greens and make it on a lazy Saturday to have for lunch with a glass of Italian red.

A beautiful selection of oyster, shiitakes, cremini mushrooms.

The final dish ready to be enjoyed.

TAGGED: Autumn