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Pumpkin Spice Cake
1 cup (4 ounces) finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup (1 ounce) confectioners' sugar (to sprinkle on towel you are going to roll cake in)
4 large eggs
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
3/4 cup (7 1/8 ounces) pumpkin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 cup (3 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon corn starch or potato flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground clove or allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package (or 5 sheets) unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cold water
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup (1 5/8 ounces) finely chopped candied ginger plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prepare a 10- x 15- x 1-inch jelly roll pan by lightly greasing and flouring it, or by lining it with parchment paper. Sprinkle the pan with the nuts if you are using them.
Place a clean towel on a table and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
For the cake: In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until light and pale yellow-colored. Add the sugar a bit at a time and continue beating until the sugar crystals dissolve and the mixture is pale yellow and thick. Gently whisk in the pumpkin and lemon juice. Sift the dry ingredients together, then gently fold into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and level it with a spatula. Bake for 15 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched in the center. Remove the cake from the oven and flip it over onto the towel that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Use the towel to roll the warm cake into a log from one short end to the other. If you will not be filling the log soon, wrap the log in plastic wrap so it does not dry out. Cool.
For the filling: Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let sit for 5 minutes. Using the lowest setting on your microwave in 10 second intervals, warm the mixture until the gelatin dissolves. Set aside to cool slightly.
Beat the cream cheese until no lumps remain. Add the vanilla, confectioners' sugar, and minced ginger. Add the gelatin while continuing to beat the mixture at low speed. If the mixture is very soupy, refrigerate for 1/2 hour to firm up slightly.
Assembly: Gently unroll the log. Place a mound of cream cheese filling under the first curl to make a round center. Spread most of the remaining filling layer over the cake, stopping 1 inch before the end. Roll up and place on a serving plate. Use the extra filling to pipe a decoration or smooth over the log as frosting. Sprinkle with more candied ginger. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight before serving. Yield: 1 cake, 16 servings.