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That Pumpkin Roll

Howdy folks! Glad to see there was a lot of interest in the salad that was posted last week. I hope for those of you that tried it, you loved it. Or if you decided to try Winc and get some wine, I hope you enjoy it as well. If there are any kinds that you have questions about, let me know, I’ve had my fair share of them so far so I can give you some pointers on those that I have tried. 🙂

So many of us know that Thanksgiving is coming up next week. Unless you rely upon the retail industry to tell you, then you’ll likely think that next week is Christmas. Anyway Thanksgiving is here – a joyous holiday that celebrates eating! Whether you’re celebrating with your family, friends, coworkers, pets, whomever, there is usually one staple that pops up after the turkey and sides and that is something pumpkin. 😀 I, along with the throngs of fervent fans, have been lining up for some pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks since September. Now it’s time to glorify our love of it and make it into something edible. Traditionally, the pumpkin dessert comes in the form of pie. However, leave it to Ina to take her pumpkin spice to another level for Turkey Day….a Pumpkin Roulade.

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So, I’ve totally made this before – not Ina’s, but I think it was just a generic recipe that I had found. I’ve also grown up with what we called Pumpkin Roll, so this wasn’t too new to me when I saw the recipe. I did note a few differences though. First, Ina adds more spice to her cake which adds a lot more flavor as I’ve discovered. Second, her filling is made with mascarpone cheese. Think of this as the Italian version of cream cheese and can be found in the grocery store either in the specialty cheese case (where the brie and smoked gouda are) or it’ll be with the cream cheese. It’s not quite as dense as American cream cheese and it has more of a ricotta consistency. Lastly, she rolls hers differently than I’ve seen/done it in the past, which I’ll get into in a second.  Let me talk about a few other things first.

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Roulade is a fancy French term for anything that is rolled as it comes from the French root word meaning “to roll”. It doesn’t have to be a dessert, in fact Ina’s got a nice recipe for a Turkey Roulade in Back to Basics that I’ll get to try later. I think that the idea of rolling the cake is a bit daunting. I remember I had to have my mom help me out the first time I made one because I didn’t understand how just roll a cake up. The batter has a higher ratio of eggs to flour than most typical cakes which makes it more spongy and pliable. You also bake it on a half sheet pan so it is long and thin which aids in the rollage process. The most important aspects I’ve learned of making a roll cake is that you have to use a liberally confection sugar dusted kitchen towel (and when I say liberal I mean it, think Bernie Sanders liberal, as the sugar keeps the cake from sticking) AND you have to do the rolling while the cake is hot. If you wait to let it cool, it’ll just break apart. So have your kitchen towel dusted completely with confection sugar on the ready and flip that cake out as soon as it comes out of the oven, and roll it up.

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Speaking of rolling, let’s get to what I wanted to mention earlier. I didn’t follow Ina’s recipe exactly on this. She recommends rolling from the short side so you get several layers and albeit a more dramatic presentation. The end result is a taller cake, but shorter cake so when you slice it, you get more per slice but less slices if that makes sense. The roll that I’m used to, I’m going to call the West Virginia Roll because that is how I learned to do it. This is the exact opposite of Ina’s method. You roll from the long end so it is longer, there aren’t as many layers but you get more slices out of it. As I decided I wanted to take this to work, this was great because I easily got about 16-18 slices out of it. It really just depends on how you prefer to do it. It’ll taste the same, trust me on that.

Pre-roll

Pre-roll

I also made a minor change to the filling as well. I used half cream cheese and half mascarpone. I just think that the cream cheese is a bit thicker so it holds up when slicing better. You can totally use all cream cheese if you can’t find mascarpone or just don’t feel like using it. Your choice. Oh! Ina also has you put crystallized ginger in the filling. Never heard of it or had it? It’s basically ginger root that has been sliced and cooked in sugar syrup until it get’s really chewy. It’s SO good. OMG. It still has the spice from the ginger but the sweetness makes it more palatable. You can find this easily in the grocery store with the dried fruits.

Sweet AND Spicy - I like

Sweet AND Spicy – I like

Now, let’s talk about wine. Winc gave me a little lesson in wine, specifically European wines that have to be “declassified”.  I know that this gives the perception that there is something wrong with the wine or it is low quality.

De "Classy"!

De “Classy”!

Winc assures us otherwise. In fact, they pointed out that high profile vineyard in Europe often have to declassify wines due to other countries’ wine laws. An example: the vineyard’s yield exceeded its yearly allowance. So they bottle those that are allowed under their vineyard and the remaining wine is bottled under seperate cover and sold below market value. Sooooo essentially, declassified wines are my jam. High-end delicious wines for cheap! Sign me up. Now, Winc won’t tell us what kind of wine it is or where it is from – so we are left guessing. They did give a clue that the grape grows really well in and is native to Piedmont, Italy. From my research, the king grape of Peidmont is Nebbiolo, so that’s what my guess will be. The tasting notes of this wine are cherries, vanilla, and rosemary. SO GOOD! This wine would pair well with some turkey and dressing, not to mention a ginger filled Pumpkin Roulade. You still have a few days to order if you want some in time for Thanksgiving, the shipping is SUPER fast, so if you want some and want to get a discount on your first order, use my link and give Winc a try: https://hi.winc.com/2lhy61q4ll7.

Happy Thanksgiving! Take some time to reflect on what you are Thankful for and enjoy your time with family and friends. 😀

Print Recipe
Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream
From Back to Basics by Ina Garten, page 212.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Passive Time 3 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cake
Ginger Buttercream
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Passive Time 3 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Pumpkin Cake
Ginger Buttercream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Liberally grease and flour a half sheet pan (13x18x1 inch). If you wish, line the pan with parchment paper and grease and flour the paper.
  2. In a 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 a paddle attachment. Alternatively you can use a hand-mixer. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. The batter should be pale yellow and thickened. Add the pumpkin and mix. Slowly add the flour mixture until incorporated. Finish mixing with a rubber spatula. Pour into prepared pan and spread evenly. The batter will be thin. Bake the cake for 10-12 minutes, until the top springs back when gently touched.
  3. While the cake is baking, lay out a clean, thin cotton kitchen towel on a flat surface and sift the entire 1/4 cup of confectioner's sugar evenly over it. (This prevents the cake from sticking to it). As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, loosen it around the edges and invert it squarely onto the prepared towel (don't be scared). Peel away the parchment paper if you used it. Lightly roll the warm cake and the towel together (don't press), starting at the short end (or long end if you're going for the WV roll). Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix the mascarpone cheese, confectioner's sugar, and cream together for about a minute. (Make sure that the cheese is at room temperature otherwise it won't mix together well at all). Stir in the crystallized ginger and salt.
  5. To assemble, carefully unroll the cake onto a board with the towel underneath. Spread the filling evenly onto the cake. Reroll the cake in a spiral using the towel to guide it. Remove the towel and trim the ends to make a neat edge. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve sliced.
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Weekend Brunch

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With the weather cooling down and the mornings being a bit brisk, I kind of just want to stay inside in the mornings and enjoy a drink and something warm to eat. This weekend I turned to Ina’s Country French Omelet. In Back

Country French Omelet

Country French Omelet

to Basics, she states that when she travels to France, it isn’t the posh Michelin star restaurants that she loves to go to, it’s the small cafes where she can have some casual food and enjoy the bustling of the busy streets. Though I’ve never been, I can understand how she feels. Sometimes the fancier restaurants can be quite pretentious and the food doesn’t live up to the hype or the price plus keeping things causal can be relaxing especially after a long flight.

 

It's BACON!

It’s BACON!

The recipe starts off delicious enough…with bacon. Hahaha. Then once you cook the bacon and render the fat, you remove it and cook the potatoes. This actually reminds me of how my mom used to make potatoes for my brother and I when we were children. She’d save the bacon fat in a jar after frying some up on the weekends then use that to fry up potatoes with salt and pepper as a side dish for dinner. While it isn’t healthy at all, it is very delicious. The potatoes get brown and crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Perfection.

I decided to add some fresh thyme to the eggs in addition to the chives. I had some fresh in the fridge leftover and I thought it would make a great addition. I also think some dried thyme or even oregano would be good as well. I think the extra herbaciousness gives the omelet more of a country feel. Also, lets talk for a second about this “omelet”. That is what the recipe is called, but this is actually more like the Italian fritatta. An omelet is typically folded over on itself in the pan and cooked very gently on the stove. However, this recipe calls for you to pour all the ingredients into the hot skillet and transfer it to the oven which is exactly what you do with a fritatta. Maybe this is how they serve them in Paris…guess I’ll have to go one day and check it out for myself.

Fried Potato Heaven

Fried Potato Heaven

Eggs in the pan

Eggs in the pan

A non-stick pan would work really, really well here as long as it is oven-safe. A trick that I’ve used before has been to wrap the handle of a non-stick pan with a couple of layers of aluminum foil tightly. I was really worried that the eggs would stick to the pan, but I made sure to swirl the butter around so that the pan was totally covered and surprisingly, it didn’t stick at all. Also – when you take the pan out of the oven, keep a kitchen towel over the handle at all times. This will help you remember that the handle is extremely hot and if you accidentally touch it, it won’t sear your hand. Trust me on this, several years ago I wrapped my hand around a searing hot handle and suffered for a while. Be careful! Also, I’d like to point out that this recipe serves 2 people. However, this makes A LOT. I think it could serve 4 with something else served on the side, like some fruit or toast. If you have a healthy appetite, then it could feed 2.

PYT - Pretty Young Thang!

PYT – Pretty Young Thang!

Soooooooooo just because it is morning doesn’t mean it is too early for some Winc wine. I received some bubbly in my last shipment and decided to break it open this morning. This is the PYT (Pretty Young Thing – go ahead, sing it, you know you want to) Malvasa Bianca. This was a limited edition offered by Winc with only 165 cases made. It is unfiltered, meaning there is some sediment in the glass and is has some honey and wheat flavors to it. While it is absolutely good on its own, I decided to make a mimosa with it. This sparkling wine is very bubbly and fizzes up a lot. In fact I didn’t read the card sent with it that says to open over a sink and opened it right in front of me and was soaked.

 

Anyway, I decided to make an apple cinnamon mimosa to get the most out of fall. I got some honeycrisp apple cider from the Farmer’s Market and decided to use it. Now, apple cider is typically sweet as is, but honeycrisp apple cider is even

img_0409sweeter due to the natural sweetness of the apple. It also has a golden color versus the typical brown and is more transparent than its counterpart. I dipped the rim of the glasses in lemon juice then cinnamon sugar, then I added about 1/4 cup of the apple cider and filled up the glass with the sparkling wine and added a cinnamon stick as garnish. The sweetness of the cider and the dryness of the wine really do balance each other well and the cinnamon from the rim adds a little bit of warmth. You could also use regular apple cider and it will still taste good, it will just have that signature apple cider cloudiness to it.

Apple Cinnamon Mimosa

Apple Cinnamon Mimosa


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Print Recipe
Country French Omelet
From Page 227 in Ina Garten's Back to Basics Cookbook
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Breakfast
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch ovenproof pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 3 to 5 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and has rendered its fat. Take the bacon out of the pan and put aside on a plate lined with a paper towel.
  3. Place the potatoes in the pan and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned on the outside, tossing occasionally to brown evenly. Remove with a spoon and set aside with the bacon.
  4. Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper together with a fork or whisk. After the potatoes are removed, pour the fat out of the pan and discard (or save in a jar for later). Add the butter, lower the heat to low and coat the entire pan with the melted butter. Pour the eggs into the pan, right in the middle. Sprinkle the bacon, potatoes, chives and thyme evenly over the top and place the pan in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, just until the eggs are set in the middle. Slide onto a plate and serve hot.
Recipe Notes

The bacon fat can be saved in a jar in the fridge for like almost forever and can be used to fry potatoes or Brussels sprouts, honestly just about anything.

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Pumpkin Spice Up Your Life

Alright – I know…it’s not an Ina Garten recipe like I said I’d be doing way back when this first started. However, today is the Autumnal Equinox, which means it is officially Fall! Also – these muffins turned out amazing. I know it seems daunting with all the steps and parts, but trust me, it’s not that bad.

Mixing up the batter with this Jimmy Kimmel spatula from Williams-Sonoma

Mixing up the batter with this Jimmy Kimmel spatula from Williams Sonoma

I adapted this recipe from King Arthur Flour and I tried to make the process a little bit easier by just measuring out the muffin with a regular tablespoon. The original recipe called for a heaping tablespoon at one point and level for another. That’s too much to think about when you are assembling muffins – so just go with the tablespoon and it will all work out. Also, instead of using a tablespoon to get the cream cheese filling in there, I instructed to just put it in a zip-top bag and snip the corner off of one end. Then you can easily pipe the filling right into the center of each one.

Streusel Everywhere

Streusel Everywhere

Anyway, lastly I added cinnamon to the streusel topping for the same reason I added it to Ina’s plum crunch a few weeks ago. IT’S NECESSARY. The addition of the pepitas adds color and some extra flavor to the topping. Pepita is a Spanish term commonly used for pumpkin seeds. They are green and are inside the white flat pumpkin seeds we are used to seeing in America. You can find them in the bulk section of pretty much any grocery store that has one. If you’re in the mood this weekend, I say give these a go.

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If you’re in the mood this weekend, I say give these a go. They are a great dessert but would be even better on a crisp Autumn morning with a dark cup of coffee along side it.

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Print Recipe
Cream-Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins
Get ready for Fall with these spiced pumpkin muffins with a streusel topping and a cream cheese filling that are perfect as a morning treat with some coffee. Adapted from King Arthur Flour.
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Streusel Topping
Cream Cheese Filling
Pumpkin Muffins
Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
muffins
Ingredients
Streusel Topping
Cream Cheese Filling
Pumpkin Muffins
Instructions
For the Streusel
  1. Cut up the butter into small chunks. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until it is crumbly and looks kind of like sand.
For the Cream Cheese Filling
  1. Beat all ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined. It is important to have the cream cheese at room temperature otherwise it won't incorporate well at all. Place into a zip-top bag and place in the refrigerator.
For the Muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix everything except the flour into a large bowl, until thoroughly combined. Slowly add in the 1 and 1/2 cups of flour mixing until it is just combined. (Don't over-mix or the muffins will be tough!).
Assembly
  1. Line a 12 count muffin tin with paper liners and lightly spray them with non-stick cooking spray. Scoop in 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin batter into each muffin tin. Be sure to spread it out with a spoon to make sure it covers the entire bottom of each tin.
  2. Snip a tiny corner off of the zip-top bag with the cream cheese filling in it. Pipe about 1 tablespoon (eyeball it) into the center of each tin right on top of the pumpkin. You can always go back and add a little bit more if you were modest at adding it at first.
  3. Scoop 2 more tablespoons of the pumpkin batter on top of each muffin lightly spreading it around so it encompasses the cream cheese. Top each muffin with the streusel topping, covering them liberally.
  4. Bake for about 18-20 minutes until puffed and a toothpick comes out clean when poked down through the side (not the center because of the cream cheese). Allow to cool before enjoying!
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