I'd never made a jelly roll before. Mostly because more steps = more things that can go wrong, and I hate hate hate to waste time and ingredients on failures, so I've just been chicken. I saw a rolled cake made on Martha Stewart a few years ago and that probably helped scare me away. I watched them roll the warm cake in a towel to mold it, unroll, fill and reroll it, and I thought, "That would never work for me." So I just never went there.
Then last December I had a really magnificent Bûche de Noël from Hollin Hall Pastry Shop, and I thought, "I'd really like to be able to make one of these." But you know, the holidays are so stressful. I don't want my first attempt to be all this pressure, like if it doesn't work there will be no Christmas for my family! Summer, with its fresh berries and light flavors, was the perfect time for my first rolled cake attempt. Not bad, I'd say. It was conveniently my friend's birthday. My friend with a long-hours lawyer husband, four little sons, and a mid-week birthday. I thought it safe to assume none of them were making her a cake! I have to be careful about bringing her treats because she is very disciplined about watching what she eats. But I figured, if it's her birthday, and there is fresh fruit involved, she might indulge. I figured right.
And. Usually when I make a whole cake for someone else I don't get any, right? Great thing about this is that you have to trim it on the diagonal, so my little 4-year-old helper and I each got an end piece to sample! Delish. The cake is based on a French/Italian style cake called a génoise, which relies on air beat into the batter, rather than chemical leaveners, to make it voluminous - what you and I would call a sponge cake.
So with one big success under my belt, stay tuned. I may just take on the Bûche this year.
Raspberry Jelly Roll (print recipe)
1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting pan
4 T (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
6 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
Filling and Garnish:
3/4 cup raspberry jam
2 cups fresh raspberries
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar - OR - Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe below)
1. For the génoise - adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350. Grease the bottom and sides of an 18 by 12-inch rimmed baking sheet, cover the bottom with parchment paper, grease the paper, and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from the heat and set aside. Sift the flour and salt together onto a large piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
3. Whisk together the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer until combined. Place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and heat the egg mixture, whisking constantly, until warm to the touch, about 110 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat and beat at medium-high speed until the eggs are pale, cream-colored, voluminous, and form a thick ribbon of tiny billowy bubbles that falls from the whisk and rests on top of the batter for several seconds when the whisk is held about 4 inches above the egg mixture (this should take 6 to 8 minutes - see picture.) Beat in vanilla. Turn off the mixer and transfer 1 cup of the egg mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the reserved melted butter until combined; set aside. Grab the two ends of the sheet of parchment paper holding the flour mixture and, with the mixer at the lowest speed, slowly sprinkle the flour mixture into the batter until just barely incorporated. Add the melted butter mixture back to the batter in the standing mixer bowl and, with the mixer at lowest speed, fold gently to incorporate, being careful not to deflate the batter.4. Holding the bowl close to the bottom of the prepared pan, immediately pour the batter into the prepared pan, using an offset spatula to push the batter against the sides and into the corners of the pan and smooth the top. Bake until the cake is deep golden brown, springs back when lightly touched, and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 25 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, sift the confectioners' sugar evenly over a kitchen towel measuring at least 20 by 14 inches. When the cake is done, run the blade of a metal spatula around the edge of the pan and immediately invert the cake onto the towel. Remove the parchment paper the cake was baked on. With a serrated knife, trim a scant 1/8-inch strip of crust from all four sides of the cake. Fold one end of the sugared kitchen towel over a short end of the cake and, beginning at the short end, roll the towel and cake together into a spiral. Set the cake aside on a rack, seam-side down, until cool, about 10 minutes.
7. To assemble the cake - when the cake is almost cool, unroll the cake and, using an offset spatula, evenly spread a thin layer of jam over the cake, leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle half the raspberries evenly over the cake. Reroll the cake gently but snugly around the filling, carefully peeling off the kitchen towel as you roll. Trim both ends of the jelly roll cake diagonally. Sprinkle the cake with confectioners' sugar OR carefully ice with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting. Using an electric or serrated knife, cut the cake into evenly proportioned slices, garnish with the remaining raspberries, and serve.
Recipe from Baker's Illustrated
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (optional):
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
5 T unsalted butter, soft but cool
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
1 1/4 cup (5 oz.) confectioners' sugar
In an electric mixer using the whisk attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until light & fluffy. Add the lemon juice, zest and powdered sugar and beat until smooth and spreadable.
1 year ago: Fresh Raspberry Scones
2 years ago: Hazelnut Blondies