Saturday, January 07, 2012


If I weren't an engineer-writer-decorator-photographer-aesthete, I might have been a baker.

I do love the pursuit of baking but I don't indulge myself as often as I'd like (who needs the calories?).

Over the holidays, I made my first proper Christmas pudding (a resounding success), but I also tried my hand at two pumpkin desserts which appeal to the non-lovers of chocolate in our family.

The first was this Pumpkin Ginger Roulade (a 5-star recipe from the Barefoot Contessa!) - a soft rolled pumpkin cake filled with crystallized ginger finely minced into mascarpone cream:
It was so lovely with vanilla ice cream and coffee, but I warn you, it is very, very rich!

I served it on a darling Limoges platter (one of my favorite things) that I bought at the Vanves flea market in Paris:
You can find the recipe here.
My next recipe is a definite family favorite:
~ Upside Down Pumpkin Cake with Cranberry & Pecan topping ~
I cannot say enough about this beautiful cake!

The recipe makes a soft moist pumpkin cake with a crunchy tart-sweet topping of beautiful cranberries and toasted pecans in a brown sugar-butter syrup. It is simply delicious served with whipped cream and coffee:
The original recipe calls for a 9x9 square pan, but I use a funnel pan...the wreath-like presentation is much much prettier for Christmas!

You can find the recipe, by pastry chef Emily Luchetti, here. Her book, A Passion for Desserts, is my favorite dessert cookbook.

I served the cake on my lovely pink and gold bone Limoges bird plates, which my mother gave me in October when I was home. Each of the six plates has a different bird, and the plates are very fine and appear to be quite old:
I think these two desserts make a lovely alternative to pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving or Christmas!


  1. Both are beautiful. I'm very impressed with the roll. It looks perfectly done. The upside-down one, though, is the one I'd love to dive in to.

  2. Anonymous8:08 pm

    Your bird plates are exquisite! And that upside-down pumpkin cake sounds fantastic. I'm going to make that next Christmas for sure!

  3. Such yummy treats...I made a roll up was so much fun. Happy baking. xoxo

  4. They are both gorgeous and I'm sure very delicious!

  5. They look like works of art, Terri! I had no idea that you'd be a baker if you were not who you are. ??? What kind of sentence is that? Oh I shall never make such delights, though they are delightful to see on your exquisite dishes. Your mother chose so well. I love how the plates are interrelated, but not the same.

  6. Pumpkin. check. Cranberries. check. Pecans. check. I think the next thing I bake will be that upsidedown cake. Both recipes sound and look delectable.

  7. Wow they look mouth watering. And I love your plates beautiful. I might have to try those recipes.

  8. The pumpkin roll sounds fabulous. I keep crystallized ginger around as grown-up candies for my husband and I. I have just discovered the joy of baking in the past few years but is is a once in a while thing as my husband tries to avoid carbs.
    I hope you show us more in the future.

  9. both desserts look and sound amazing. good work on the roll, yours looks beautiful. and the dessert plates with the birds? to die for! xo

  10. Oh my gosh - looks so delicious!
    Happy New Year and all the best for 2012,

  11. I love anything with pumpkin or chocolate, but truthfully...I'd eat anything you served off the gorgeous Limoge!It was if the platter was made for the pumpkin roll-exquisite.

  12. I am in love with these sweet dishes... they are darling!

  13. Anonymous2:18 pm

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