Sunday, November 25, 2012

Impossible Pumpkin Roll

The reason I call this impossible is because making a pumpkin roll that is gluten free AND vegan was so daunting that I put it off for years.  Literally.

This year I finally felt up to the challenge, and you know what? I nailed it.  First try was a gorgeous pumpkin roll that did not crack, even a little bit, and had wonderful flavor.  I'll be honest, the roll part itself is pretty traditional in flavor.  The filling is anything but familiar to the average taster.

I made my own cream cheese from pumpkin seeds.  Yes.  I did. But I'm still tweaking that, so I'll save it for another day.

Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Roll

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c Bob's All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum- generous
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt- scant
  • dash nutmeg

Whisk together the above dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.  Prepare your pan:  I used a 13x17 cookie sheet with sides, and it was perfect.  Grease the bottom and sides of the pan with the shortening or oil of your choice.  (I used Spectrum shortening.)  Line with parchment paper.  You may grease the parchment paper as well for easier release, but I skipped that step!  Preheat the oven to 375.

Wet Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 tsp Ener-G egg replacer
  • 1 tsp golden flax meal
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2/3 c canned pumpkin puree (Not pie filling!)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Mix the egg replacer, flax meal, and warm water in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-high or high until very foamy and thick, about 2 minutes.  Make sure you are patient and wait for this to thicken!  Add the sugar and mix to fully incorporate.  Add each remaining ingredient, one at a time, mixing to fully incorporate after each addition.

Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.  This will be thicker than pancake batter, but not quite as thick as muffin batter.  Pour it into your prepared pan and use a silicone spatula to spread it evenly out.  It will take a little coaxing to get full coverage, and it will be a thin layer.  Now, thwack that pan on the counter a few times to release any trapped air bubbles.  Trust me on this.  Place into the oven for 15-18 minutes.  You want it to be dry to the touch before you take it out, so if you see any little wet spots give it another minute!

Set it on the counter or cooling rack and set a timer for 10 minutes.  Remember that delicate stage when you pull things out of the oven and they are too hot to handle and still very fragile, we want to wait that out and allow it to cool down enough to be more stable, but not cool all the way!  While it is cooling in the pan, get out a dish towel, pick the one with the least pile (or fluff).  Lay it out on your clean counter and liberally dust with powdered sugar.  Liberally.  At the end of the 10 minutes, run a knife around the edge of the pan to release any edges that may have baked onto the pan. Now turn the pan over on the towel, releasing the pumpkin roll directly onto the dusted towel.  Lift the pan away.  The next part is an art.  Peel the parchment paper off of your roll slowly and carefully, like wallpaper, keeping the paper at a 90 degree angle to the roll.  If you did not grease the paper there will be a super thin film of cake stuck to the paper, and this is OK.  Take your time here, it will be worth it!

When you have released the parchment paper it is time to roll!  Starting on the short side of your rectangle loosely roll like a pinwheel, towel and all!  Don't force it too tight, or it will crack.  We are training this roll while it is still warm, so it will remember how to bend once we fill it.  Once it is rolled up place it seam side down on a cooling rack and set a timer.  Give it 10-12 minutes.  You want it cool enough that you can put your hand around the roll and not feel heat radiating from it, but you don't want it completely cool.  It should remember that it's warm, but not be too persistant about it.  That little bit of trace warmth gives it a bit of continued flexibility.  Unroll carefully.

Now spread with filling.  I used my pumpkin seed cream cheese filling, which is another post.  You could use buttercream or whipped frosting, or the sweetened cream cheese replacement of your choice.  It should be at room temperature when you spread it, so as not to shock your poor bendy roll.  I spread it on the thin side, about 1/4" thick.  Get all the way out to the edges.  Then, again starting at the short side of your rectangle, roll back up the SAME way you rolled the first time, but leaving the towel out.  You may want to lift the edge of the towel to gently help roll the cake into place.  It should remember where to go, and this process should go smoothly.  Should.  If you get a little crack, don't sweat it.  It'll still taste good.

Once you have completely rolled the cake up into a beautiful pinwheel, wrap in plastic wrap and/or foil, and put it in the fridge.  Time to chill it completely before enjoying.  Give it 2 or more hours.

Slice and enjoy.

This taste bud treat is dairy free, egg free, soy free, gluten free, nut free, rice free, and vegan.  Depending on the filling of choice, of course.  Watch for the pumpkin seed cream cheese, coming soon!

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