Orange Poppyseed Rolls | Chopped at Home Challenge

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“Chefs – it’s time for the final round. You may open your baskets. Your mystery ingredients are: canned pizza dough, mandarin oranges, marshmallows, and cashews. You have thirty minutes to wow the judges – and that time starts…NOW!” Ted Allen flashes his beautiful smile – I daydream as I make the final dessert challenge.

This week’s challenge was “Mystery Ingredients” so I sent Nick to the store unsupervised to get me some fun ingredients. Even though he was my only judge, he definitely enjoyed the Chopped-style meal I made for us. In addition to the mystery ingredients, I also had access to my basic pantry.

I started by boiling the mandarin oranges with some brown sugar in hopes of making a caramelized-orange filling. I think I left too much liquid in the pan so it didn’t quite set up, so I quickly strained the oranges and mashed them into a simple jelly.

Then I spread the cashews and some poppy seeds across the pizza dough to give it some texture. I saved half of the cashews for garnish – hopefully the judges won’t take off points for that, we all know how much they hate basket ingredients as garnish!

Next I spread the orange-sugar mixture across the top of the pizza dough. I then rolled it into a log and cut it into eight evenly sized pinwheels and popped them into the oven.

While the rolls were cooking, I melted the marshmallows in a double boiler with a few tablespoons of corn starch to make the marshmallows creamier.

I whisked in some lemon rind and lemon juice to give the marshmallow cream a nice bright flavor.

With no time to waste, I spread the marshmallow cream across the tops of the baked orange rolls and sprinkled on the rest of my cashews. “Times up, utensils down!” shouts Ted Allen in my imaginary Chopped kitchen. Overall, my only judge determined my use of the marshmallow cream to be “delicious” and added a nice touch to the orange roll so that it tasted like “a creamsicle” – great success!

orange roll ingredients

Orange Poppyseed Rolls | Chopped at Home Challenge

The Starving Chef
A DIY episode of Chopped right in your very own kitchen. This is what I cooked up with mystery ingredients provided by my fiance.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Quick & Easy
Servings 4


  • 1 can sheet dough
  • 1 cup marshmallows
  • 1 cup mandarin oranges + juice
  • ½ cup cashews chopped
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 4 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  • Preheat the oven to 375 F. Strain the mandarin oranges, leaving about a 1/4 cup of juice from the cups. Stir together with the brown sugar in a skillet over high heat. Simmer until the juices have evaporated and the oranges have started to caramelize. Drain any excess liquid and mash the oranges.
  • Open the canned pizza dough and unroll. Spread half of the cashews and the poppy seeds in an evenly distributed layer across the dough. Next use a spoon to spread the mashed orange mix across the dough.
  • Roll the dough into a log then slice into eight evenly sized pinwheels. Arrange each roll in a greased 9×9 baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are golden brown and cooked through.
  • While the rolls are baking, use a double boiler to melt the marshmallows. Add the corn syrup, lemon juice and lemon zest to the double boiler. Stir until smooth and creamy.
  • Remove the rolls from the oven and allow to cool. Spread the marshmallow cream across the tops of the rolls. Serve warm and enjoy!
Keyword dessert, marshmallows, orange, poppy seed
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