Monday, March 25, 2013

Carrot Cake Roulade with Pineapple Cream Cheese

One year, for my husband's birthday, I made a steak roulade.  It was a flank steak that had been pounded thin, stuffed with a flavorful filling, rolled, tied and roasted.  It carved into beautiful rolls.  I actually made two because there were so many of us for family dinner.  Both were devoured with compliments all around.  I felt I had prepared a pretty successful dinner.  On the way out the door, my mother in law said, "Well Toni, dinner was a good try."  Apparently, she didn't like the steak roulade!

Another birthday.  Dave turned 50 this year so I wanted to do something a little different.  The kegger for his birthday party was one thing, but we had family dinner with his mom so I made cake.  I thought I should do something a little different, so going with the "over the hill and rolling down the other side" theme, I made a carrot cake roll.  Cake rolls are really easy and a fun way of serving cake.  Just take your time the first time and you'll see there is nothing to worry about.  You'll be serving all kinds of cake rolls before you know it. I guess my mother in law liked this roulade because she ate her piece, took some home and never told me it was a good try.

It seems like there are a lot of steps, don't let that stop you.  Everything is really easy.

Carrot cake, hot from the oven in a jelly roll pan.

Sprinkle generously with confectioner's sugar,

cover with a clean towel,

cover with a clean pan,

invert the whole pile so hot pan is now on top.

Take off pan, and carefully peel away parchment paper.

Roll cake into towel.  (Notice the glove?  I have very sharp knives and cut myself. No blood on this cake.) 

Let rolled cake cool for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, carefully unroll cake and spread frosting to the very edges. 

Evenly distribute diced pineapple.

Reroll cake, without the towel this time.  Notice the little tear, no worries, it sticks back together and gets covered with the next roll of the cake. 

Let cool in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Dust with more powdered sugar and cut ends to make them even. 

Cut slices, top with a dollop of whipped cream and serve.  Yum!

Carrot Cake Roulade with Pineapple Cream Cheese
adapted from Fine Cooking, April/May 2013

For the filling
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature 
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened 
4 oz. (1 cup) confectioners’ sugar 
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
2 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple (about 2/3 of a pineapple), drained in a sieve 
For the cake
Unsalted butter, softened, for the pan 
3-3/8 oz. (3/4 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus 2 Tbs. for the pan 
1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped carrots (from about 3 medium carrots) 
1-1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest 
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 
1/2 tsp. baking powder 
1/2 tsp. baking soda 
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg 
1/4 tsp. ground ginger 
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 
1/8 tsp. ground cloves 
1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
5 large eggs, separated, whites at room temperature 
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar 
To finish
2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar 
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon 

Make the fillingIn a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese and butter on medium speed, scraping the bowl as needed, until well combined and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Gradually sift in the confectioners’ sugar, beating and scraping until well combined. Add the vanilla and mix to blend. Reserve the pineapple separately.
Make the cakePosition a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
Butter an 18x13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Line the pan with parchment. Butter the parchment and sprinkle the 2 Tbs. of flour over it, shaking the pan for even coverage and knocking out the excess.
Put the carrots in a 1-quart saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain well. Purée in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, add the orange zest, and cool to room temperature
In a small bowl, sift together the 3/4 cup flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger, pepper, and cloves. Add the salt and stir to combine.
In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium-low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrot purée and mix on low speed, scraping down the sides as necessary, until just combined. In three additions, add the flour mixture, mixing on low speed, and scraping the bowl as needed, until just combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
In a clean stand mixer bowl, with a clean whisk, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 2 minutes. Fold one-third of the beaten whites into the carrot mixture to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whites until the batter is evenly colored, with no streaks of white. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, gently spreading it with an offset spatula.
Bake, rotating the pan about halfway through, until golden-brown, set to the touch, and beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, 16 to 18 minutes. Immediately loosen the cake from the sides of the pan with a paring knife. Sift the confectioners’ sugar evenly over the cake.
While the cake is still hot, lay a clean, unscented, lint-free kitchen towel over it. If the towel is long, extend one end about 1-1/2 inches beyond a short side of the cake and don’t worry about the other end. Invert a large rack or cutting board over the towel. Holding both the baking sheet and the rack with protected hands, invert the cake. Remove the baking sheet and parchment.
Using both hands and starting from the short end with the shortest towel overhang, roll the cake and the towel up together. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Carefully unroll the cake; it should look wavy and both ends should curl. (It’s OK if there are some small cracks.) Let cool completely, 10 to 15 minutes.
Using an offset spatula, spread the filling over the cake to within 1-1/2 inches of the far short edge and to within 1/2 inch of the other  edges. Distribute the pineapple over the cream cheese mixture. Be sure to coax the filling into the interior of the  closer curled end so that when the cake is sliced there will be filling in the center of the spiral
Reroll the cake without the towel this time. The filling may squish out of the ends a bit, which is fine.
Finish the cakeWith a serrated knife and a sawing motion, trim the ends of the cake. Using 2 large spatulas, transfer the cake to a serving platter.
Combine the confectioners’ sugar and the cinnamon. Just before serving, use a fine sieve to generously dust the top of the roulade with the sugar. Slice the cake with the serrated knife and serve.

March 25, 2013  Daylight 12 hours, 52 minutes, 12 sec.   Temp. H 13/ L -9°F

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