Not everyone loves Pumpkin Pie…I know, I know, people have really strong feelings about what should or shouldn’t be served at Thanksgiving. But the one thing that everyone agrees on is there has to be some kind of pumpkin dessert.
This year I celebrated 20 years since moving to the United States 🇺🇸 from South Africa 🇿🇦 and I remember our first Thanksgiving like it was yesterday. At the time I had know idea what it was all about so was celebrated with our 🇿🇦 “family” at a local restaurant. It there that I had tried my first slice of pumpkin pie because I was curious and wanted to know what all the whoop lah was all about. To my disappointment after my first bite all I could think about is, why would anyone want to eat what tasted to me like puréed baby food. Lol
So when I hosted our first Thanksgiving, I had to find the perfect pumpkin dessert and Pumpkin Roulade is a superb ending of a rich holiday meal. Amazingly light with a delicate moist crumb, flavored with warm autumnal spices reminiscent of pumpkin pie. The delicate sponge cake is slathered in a divinely wicked whipped mascarpone cream laced with itty bits of crystallized ginger. (a.k.a candied ginger)
Prep time: 2 hrs
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 (not pie filling)
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting
Mascarpone – Ginger Buttercream
12 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese
1¼ cups sifted confectioners’ sugar’
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup minced dried crystallized ginger (not in syrup)
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
Pinch of kosher salt
20 minutes or more before baking, petition an oven rack to the lower third of the oven and set to 375 F (180 C) degrees. Line a 13 x 18 x 1-inch sheet pan with parchment paper, grease and flour the paper and set aside.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the eggs and granulated sugar 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 the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake the cake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the top springs back when gently touched or a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean,
While the cake is baking, lay out a clean, thin cotton dish (that has not been rinse in fabric softener) on a flat surface and sift the entire ¼ 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.
For the Buttercream: 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, ground 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.