GCC: Menu 2 - Ricotta and Arugula Roulade and Quindim

And its week two of the Gutsy Cooks Club.  

Our inaugural week was such a success, not only in participation but the choosen recipes were a total hit with the club.  Most of us are putting them on the repeat list.  I was also happy to see most of us get “gutsy” with the recipes by changing things around and getting creative.

That is the spirit guys!

And here we are in week 2.  These choices were actually ones that got my attention when I first got the book and was browsing through it, because a savory roulade? Really? And if there is anything that I like more is changing sweet staples into a savory spin off.  This was perfect; I have done so many sweet rolls before, so I was looking forward to it.

The best part of it is that my mother’s birthday was Sunday and I cooked a whole lunch for her, and this fit right into the menu nicely.  I was not even trying to make it fit, but this tells you how good this would go with any type of menu.

The roulade was pretty easy to put together, in fact I was so surprise how easy it came together.  And the taste before it went into the oven to cook was good.  So I was all sorts of exited.

This was going to be good, I thought…

Until the 20 minute mark, where according to the book “…until golden and the top springs back when pressed”.  Yep, it sprang back when pressed, but, golden? Not.so.much. In fact it was pretty pale and looked totally uncooked but, when I took a done test, it came dry.  

Uh? Yep, the picture of “clueless” may come to mind - because that is the look I had at this point.  Sort of like Rufus in this picture:

By now you know how I’m a sticker for following the recipes to the letter on the first try. So out it came out and I flipped it on my wax paper covered with parmesan (the expensive kind too!).  And here I realized that my roll was much thicker than the picture on the book.

Oh Oh.

I read over and yep, I did use the recommended 9x13 baking sheet, that is a quarter size sheet pan and that is what I used. The hell?

But I continue ahead. I had arugula and I decided to mix into the ricotta some chopped up sun dried tomatoes to give it a punch.  I also added nutmeg to it.  Spread it on top of the roll and then got to rolling, which unfortunately, due to the thickness of my roll was more “folding in half” than rolling.

I was mad at this point.  In 3 hours I was going to have six people over for lunch and one component was not working.

I figure, the taste will make up for it.

So, I cut the ends and tasted.

And it was “blah”. Ok it WAS totally “blah!!”

The texture of the roll turned out to be more of a “soufflé” like, instead of the bread like that I THOUGHT it was going to be.   I figure, maybe it’s just me?  But when Tom tasted it and his words were: “Yucky!” I knew we were losing this recipe to the scratch pile.  I even made my mother and his mother tasted it, because I just could not bring myself to write it off as a “Fail” just yet. But, their words were “it lacks flavor” and “I don’t care for the texture”. 

I was stumped.  What went wrong?  The picture looks like a crust develops and I did not have that.  In fact other Gutsy Cooks had the crust - Shandy, ShelleyRaymond liked his.  Steph echo Tom’s sentiment and manifested another “yuck”. Marie was not going to pin for it again.


But you know what that means right?  This is going to be a do-over in my book; I’m going to tweak it because cooking a savory rolls sounds just too good to pass it.  I’m going to start with this version and see if it will go over better.

In the meantime here is the recipe if you want to take a crack at it and make sure you email me with your thoughts.

Ricotta and Arugula Roulade
Yield 4-6 servings – from The Kitchen Bible

  • 4 tbsp butter, plus more for the baking sheet
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 packed cup coarsely chopped arugula
  • Special Equipment:
  • 9 × 13in (23 × 33cm) baking sheet

Prepare Ahead:  The roulade can be prepared through step 4 a few hours in advance of baking. The baked roulade can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter a 9 × 13in (23 × 33cm) baking sheet and line with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and let bubble for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook, whisking often, until the sauce comes to a boil. Remove from the heat again and stir in half of the Parmesan. Add the mustard and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool slightly, and then beat in the egg yolks.
  3. Beat the egg whites in a bowl until they form soft peaks. Stir one-fourth of the whites into the cheese mixture to lighten it, and then fold in the remaining whites. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden and the top springs back when pressed. Turn out on to a large piece of wax paper dusted with the remaining Parmesan.
  5. Peel away the parchment paper and trim off the crispy edges from the roulade. Spread the surface with the ricotta, leaving a 1in (2.5cm) border at the short sides. Cover the ricotta with the arugula. Roll up the roulade lengthwise, using the paper as an aide. Cut into slices, and serve.

Notes: Mix a pinch of nutmeg into the ricotta before spreading over the roulade. Replace the arugula with spinach and add 3oz (85g) roughly chopped sun dried tomatoes before rolling

Next up was the Quindim and as I wrote on here, this is a Brazilian popular dish.  It’s pretty easy to do this one too.  In less than 15 minutes I had them in the oven cooking away.

And this one did not fare better either.  Man I was in a total fail train!  Thank god the other stuff in the birthday menu were total hits.

I did not unmold them until the next day.  And when I did, it was crusty on top, but once I turned into a dish it was a bit runny sort of like soft boiled egg.  During my mother’s birthday lunch, my mother requested my Tres Leche Cake as her birthday cake (recipe to follow), but, they were all game to have a taste of this.

And oh boy! The sugar rush knocks you off your feet – so warning this is SWEET! The taste afterwards is yummy but only after you get pass the sweetness of it.  The verdict was that they all prefer the Tres Leche over it.

Yield: 4 servings from The Kitchen Bible

  • melted butter, for the ramekins
  • ½ cup sugar, plus more for the molds
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup canned coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • grated fresh coconut, toasted, to serve

The quindim can be refrigerated for up to 1 day before serving.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter the insides of four 4oz (120ml) ramekins and coat with sugar, tapping out the excess.
  2. Whisk the sugar and egg yolks until light and creamy. Add the coconut milk and desiccated coconut; mix well. Divide among the ramekins. Place the ramekins in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides.

Regardless of the outcomes of both of our weeks recipes, the birthday lunch was a hit, the rest of the menu came together the way it should and I will be posting some of those recipes soon.  I also learned to crack a coconut the fastest and easiest way from a fellow baker Patricia of BetterYum which tells you that being gutsy not only makes you try new things, but you learn new things as well.