Pumpkin Charlotte Royale

This stunning dessert is perfect for the holiday season. Pumpkin adds richness to the Swiss roll cake and creamy mousse center, while the warming flavors of pumpkin pie spice permeate the cake, mousse and cream cheese filling.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 6 hr 15 min (includes cooling and chilling times)
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

Cake:

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pans

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note) 

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 

4 large eggs, at room temperature 

1 cup pumpkin puree 

Confectioner?s sugar, for dusting 

Cream Cheese Filling:

6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature 

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar 

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

1 cup finely chopped white chocolate 

Pumpkin Mousse Filling:

1 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk 

1/2 cup pumpkin puree 

1 1/2 cups heavy cream 

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 

Pinch kosher salt 

Directions

Special equipment:
a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan; an 8-inch cake pan; a 2-quart deep bowl
  1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with a piece of parchment. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with a parchment round.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside. 
  3. Add the granulated sugar and eggs to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on high speed until thick, fluffy and lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Beat in the pumpkin puree. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low to incorporate. Scrape down the bowl and beat on medium for 1 full minute.  
  4. Pour about 3/4 cup of the batter into the prepared 8-inch cake pan and spread into an even layer. Scrape the remaining batter into the prepared jelly roll pan and spread into an even layer. Bake until the cakes spring back when gently touched, 14 to 17 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 2 minutes.   
  5. Loosen the edges of the jelly roll pan cake with a knife. Using a sieve, generously dust a clean kitchen towel larger than the jelly roll pan with confectioners' sugar. Flip the cake onto the towel and peel off the parchment. Starting on a long end, fold the towel over the cake edge and begin to roll the cake up with the towel as tightly as possible without cracking the cake. Leave the cake rolled in the towel to cool completely, about 30 minutes. When the round cake is cool enough to handle, run a knife along the edge and invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.  
  6. For the cream cheese filling: Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined. Add the confectioners' sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla and beat until the ingredients are incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.   
  7. When the rolled cake is cool, unroll it, leaving it on the kitchen towel. Spread the cream cheese filling over the cake in an even layer. Roll the cake back up tightly, this time keeping the towel on the outside. Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for 1 hour.   
  8. To assemble the charlotte: Line a 2 1/2-quart stainless steel or glass bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a few inches of wrap overhanging the outside of the bowl.   
  9. Trim the edges of the cake roll, then slice the roll into 20 rounds, each about 1/2 inch thick. Starting in the center of the plastic wrap-lined bowl, arrange the rolls next to each other tightly. Cut any remaining rolls to fit and fill the top edge of the bowl as best as possible. Trim the cake roll rounds to come 1/2 inch below the edge of the bowl.   
  10. Add the white chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each, until melted. Pour the chocolate into the cake-lined bowl and use an offset spatula to spread into an even layer and fill any cracks between the cake roll pieces. Refrigerate while you make the pumpkin mousse filling.  
  11. For the pumpkin mousse filling: Put 2 tablespoons cold water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it; stir to moisten and set aside. 
  12. Add the sweetened condensed milk to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the milk thickens to a paste-like consistency and just starts to brown, about 10 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, return to the heat and cook until the mixture just begins to bubble and sputter, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the bloomed gelatin. Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (see Cook's Note).  
  13. When the pumpkin mixture has cooled, add the heavy cream to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on high until the cream begins to thicken. Add the cooled pumpkin mixture, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form.   
  14. Spoon the whipped cream mixture into the center of the cake-lined bowl, smoothing the top to an even layer. Trim the 8-inch cake to fit on top of the filling. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 3 hours and up to overnight.   
  15. To serve, invert the charlotte onto a cake stand. Remove the plastic wrap and dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve cold.

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.) If your pumpkin filling mixture looks as if it might have some lumps in it, pass it through a strainer into the bowl at this point.