Holiday chat with a pastry goddess, part 2

Posted 12/30/20

This week, Julie Jengali is our holiday dessert guru.

I gave her a list of common N.C. desserts and she, in turn, gave me some garnish ideas to turn the presentation up a few notches. She also …

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Holiday chat with a pastry goddess, part 2

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This week, Julie Jengali is our holiday dessert guru.

I gave her a list of common N.C. desserts and she, in turn, gave me some garnish ideas to turn the presentation up a few notches. She also shared a couple of those recipes; included as well is her roulade recipe, a treat she grew up making with her mom.

So let’s go. Let’s start with Julie’s suggestions to dress up familiar holiday desserts:

Pecan Pie: “Cinnamon chantilly cream with bourbon caramel sauce,” says Julie.

Sweet Potato Pie: “Nice fluffy meringue on top with a sprinkle of any sort of crumble of choice. I would say spiced pumpkin crumble.”

Chess or Buttermilk Pie: “I would say fresh seasonal berries. You can even make a pumpkin caramel pecan compote for the holidays and serve it on the side. Maybe even a spiced pumpkin seed brittle on top.”

Coconut Cake: “Try it filled with rum chocolate buttercream or even a bourbon chocolate sauce on the side.”

Coca-Cola Cake: “I would say move it up a notch with some type of ice cream. Maybe a marshmallow pecan caramel ice cream?!”

Red Velvet Cake: “I love making cream cheese ice cream with a side of berries for my red velvet cake!”

Here are the recipes for Julie’s whipped cream, caramel sauce, and crumble. Use these to garnish your desserts and fancy up your holiday table.

Cinnamon Chantilly Cream

Yield: 2 Cups

1 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons powdered sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. Add heavy whipping cream in a chilled mixing bowl.

2. Add the cinnamon and powdered sugar to the whipping cream.

3. Whisk on medium until the cream reaches stiff peaks.

Caramel Bourbon Sauce

Yields: 2 Cups


2 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup bourbon


In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, water and corn syrup to a boil over high heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, washing down the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Continue cooking, without stirring, until an amber caramel forms, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and carefully stir in the cream. Let cool for 1 minute, then stir in the bourbon. Bring the mixture to a boil over moderate heat and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Let the caramel sauce cool slightly and serve warm or at room temperature.

Julie’s Crumble

1/2 cup butter

10 oz. all-purpose flour

5.5 oz. brown sugar

2 teaspoons salt


Combine everything together, put on lined sheet tray with parchment. Bake at 300F for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle on top of your finished pie and enjoy!

Strawberry Mascarpone Cream Roulade with Strawberry Consommé

Vanilla Bean Roulade

140g all-purpose flour

120g powdered sugar

2 tsp baking powder

2.5 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp. vanilla bean

200g eggs (room temperature)


Preheat the oven to 375F and grease a 10” x 15” x 1” pan then line with parchment paper and lightly grease top of parchment. Combine eggs and sugar in mixing bowl attached with whisk and beat on high for 2-3 minutes until thick and pale in color. Add vanilla extract and vanilla bean to eggs and continue to whisk for another 4-5 minutes until the mixture has doubled in size. While the eggs are whisking, sift the all-purpose flour, powder sugar, salt and baking powder at least five times. (This will give you a light and fluffy cake). Reduce speed to mixer and gradually add your dry ingredients to your eggs. Mix until just combined (DO NOT OVERMIX or you will get a flat cake). Immediately pour the batter in your prepared pan, using a spatula, gently guide the batter to all four corners making sure the entire pan is covered evenly. Bake for 8-10 minutes in preheated oven. (Cake is done when top is light golden brown and the center springs back to light touch.) Remove baked cake from the oven. If necessary, carefully take a knife all around the pan to separate the cake from the sides. Dust the top of cake with powdered sugar and cover the cake completely with a clean cloth. Flip the cake over so that it is on top of the cloth and gently peel off parchment from cake. Starting at the shorter edge, roll up the cake (along with the cloth) and let cool.

Strawberry Mascarpone Cream

170g mascarpone

120g heavy cream

2T granulated sugar

1T lemon juice

1/2tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

200g diced strawberries (have extra strawberries on hand for garnishing)


Place the heavy cream and sugar in a mixing bowl attached with whisk and beat until stiff peaks form. Add the mascarpone cheese, lemon juice, vanilla extract and salt and beat until combined and smooth. (Reserve 1/3 of the mascarpone cream in a pipping bag for plate-up garnishing.) Fold the diced strawberries into the remaining 2/3 of the mascarpone cream. Once the cake is cool, unroll gently and spread cake evenly with the filling. Starting at the shorter end, carefully roll up into a log shape with the seam side down. Wrap it up with a cling film and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before slicing and serving.

Strawberry consommé

250g strawberries

100g granulated sugar


Cut out the green tops and slice strawberries in half. Place the strawberries into a saucepan with the sugar, cover with lid and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat and push the mixture through a fine sieve. Refrigerate until cake is ready to serve.

Plating instructions: Place a slice of roulade cake on its side onto your plate of choice. Cut fresh strawberries crosswise in thin slices and cover sides of the roulade with the strawberries. Using the reserved 1/3 mascarpone cream, pipe extra mascarpone cream on top and garnish with fresh strawberry halves or decoration of choice. Pour the strawberry consommé around the prepared strawberry mascarpone cream roulette right before serving. ENJOY!


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