I hope you didn’t think I forgot about you! But moving from friend’s house to friend’s house and sleeping on an air mattress in this friend’s newly rented & empty apartment hasn’t really lent itself to a whole lot of cooking. Or enjoyment. In the last week, Adam and I have looked at 20+ apartments and all to no avail. So, please forgive me for taking some time to post.
It’s during moments like these that my heart starts to ache for Jerusalem, where you can check any rental site at 8 PM, show up at someone’s apartment at 8:30 and leave with keys in hand by 9 PM. And if you offer to pay slightly more, you can shave 29 minutes off that final time! But not here in SF. In adjusting back to American life, credit reports, lines and obeyed traffic laws, I find myself forced to recreate little pieces of my life in Jerusalem to make the move a much less forceful shock to the good ‘ol system. And lucky for you, that includes this roulade/jelly roll/swiss roll (call it what you want!) recipe.
When a Friday comes to a close in Jerusalem and you’re having guests for dinner, there’s nothing quite like the feeling that you a) haven’t made enough food or b) forgot a key ingredient for dessert. And at this point, you’ve missed the last running bus, the shuk is closed, and the panic begins to settle in. So, what do you do? Tell me, seriously. Because I just cry…or pick a fight with someone smaller than me. You however, being much more sound of mind, will remember that I posted this gorgeous, velvety roulade recipe that is baked in 15 minutes and requires ingredients most people usually have laying around! Very little goes into making one of these, yet they have the potential to look and taste truly professional.
Just some filling options to think about: your favorite jam or this one, nutella with nuts, honey, powdered sugar & cinnamon frosting, melted chocolate with dried fruit, or some simple berries with whipped cream. You could probably even go the savory route and use only 1/2 c sugar in the cake and the fill it with cheese and figs and then stick in back into the oven for a few minutes to soften the cheese.
You can keep the sponge cake part plain and simple as described above, brush the baked cake with rose water or drizzle some honey, or add some cocoa powder to the cake batter to make it chocolate-y. The options are truly at your discretion.
What you need:
For the cake:
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 c cup sugar
For the jam filling:
1 granny smith apple; chopped
8 strawberries; chopped
a few ounces of dark (or parve) chocolate for drizzling
a few strawberries and blueberries
ground almonds/nuts (optional)
How to do it:
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set it aside. In a bowl, mix the eggs until they are fluffy (if you don’t have a mixer, which I don’t, getting them 5 minutes or so beyond foamy will be just fine…but it will add some time to the overall cooking time). Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating for another 3 minutes or until the mixture becomes pale yellow.
Use a flat spatula to fold in the baking powder and flour. Try not to puncture too many of the bubbles or deflate the eggs because this is what gives the sponge cake its sponge-i-ness. Spread the batter evenly onto the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until center springs back when lightly pressed.
In the meantime, create your filling. If you’re following this recipe, then chop all the fruits and place them in a large frying pan with 2 tblsp of lemon juice and 1 c of sugar. Place a small plate in the freezer (we will use this later to “test” the jam’s consistency.) Over medium heat, bring the jam to a boil, stirring continuously. Skim off any foam. Once it boils, turn the heat to a low simmer and continue to stir for about 10 minutes. Remove the plate from the freezer and test the consistency. When you tip the plate, the jam should look like this:
Before you remove the cake from the oven, lay a dish towel vertically on the counter. Remove the cake from the oven and carefully lift the cake off the baking sheet while holding the edges of the parchment paper. Place it on top of the towel so that on top of the towel is the parchment paper and then the cake. Spread your filling onto the cake now, covering it completely.
Make sure the parchment paper and towel are lined up with each other on the edge closest to your body. Carefully lift up the edges of the towel and parchment paper to begin rolling the cake (from the short side). With two hands, roll the cake over until the towel comes over to the top. Return the towel back to the counter and continue rolling the rest of the cake into a fairly tight roll. Don’t roll the parchment into the cake! You’ll need to pull it over the top of the roll as you roll and roll until the whole thing is a giant roll. (Roll, roll, roll, roll…can a girl get a synonym here?) Place the cake seam side down on a dish. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave (for one minute). With a spoon, drizzle it over the top at all sorts ‘a angles and garnish with some fruit and/or nuts. Cut off the edges for a clean look. If not eating immediately, place in the refrigerator. Enjoy!