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Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Roll

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This had disaster written all over it. Though I've seen pumpkin rolls popping up all over the place every fall, the actual physics of it seemed impossible to me. Roll a cake? Without it breaking or cracking? Impossible! Still, I was intrigued, so I put it on my fall to-bake list and approached it with the attitude that if I failed, it wasn't that big of a deal. I like to think I've learned to cut myself some slack when it comes to kitchen adventures...trying not to repeat the whole white chocolate amaretto cake tantrum :)

I decided to make this for Ryan's work group food day even although his immediate group was responsible for breakfast foods. People eat pumpkin bread for breakfast. People eat cream cheese on bagels for breakfast. Therefore, I justified this pumpkin roll as a breakfast food (I don't think anyone minded!). Still convinced I would be facing a disastrous mess of a pumpkin roll, I set out to make this two days before his food day, ensuring I'd have plenty of time to make something else in the case of failure.

As it turns out, Plan B was never needed! Rolling the cake didn't turn out to be nearly as difficult as I anticipated. I made sure to grease my pan well, add lots of powdered sugar to my towel, and let the cake fully cool before unrolling it. As you can see from the pictures--100% success! Who knew something that looked so pretty wasn't all that difficult?!

Though I didn't get to sneak a piece before sending it with Ryan, he made sure to shoot me an instant message praising both the taste of the cake and the fact that it was perfectly rolled. The boy knows the way to my heart is with praise for my kitchen successes! Now that I've mastered the technique, I can't wait to try out a few other rolled cakes I've seen recipes for, such as banana with cream cheese frosting and chocolate with buttercream!

Any kitchen techniques or recipes that terrify you? Any surprising successes?

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip

Pumpkin Roll
from allrecipes.com

-1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp salt
-3 large eggs
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2/3 cup pumpkin puree
-1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
-1 cup powdered sugar
-4 tbsp butter, softened
-1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan. Top greased pan with wax or parchment paper. Grease and flour paper (I used baking spray with flour in it that I got from Target...worked great!). Sprinkle a kitchen towel laid out on the counter with powdered sugar.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a small bowl. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick. Add pumpkin and beat. Stir in flour mixture. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spreading evenly with a spatula.
3. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake lightly springs back when touched. Remove cake from oven and immediately turn cake onto prepared towel (I placed the towel, powdered sugar side down, on top of the cake and then flipped). Peel off wax paper. Roll up cake and towel together, beginning with one of the narrow ends. Place rolled cake on wire rack to cool, about 45 minutes.
4. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake and remove towel. Spread cream cheese frosting over cake evenly. Reroll cake (without towel). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Unwrap cake and sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.