“If there’s any “trick” involved in making this chocolate rolled cake work, it’s to forego letting the cake cool while rolled into the towel. Rather, roll the cake up for a minute or two in the towel, unroll it and then let it come to room temperature.”
The good news is, you can skip right down to the recipe and instructions and make an absolutely mind and tastebud blowing chocolate roll cake oozing with raspberry preserves and homemade whipped cream filling. Your family will cheer, birds will twitter on your windowsill and cherubs will descend from the heavens holding a banner that reads “You are Awesome”. The bad news is, I dropped two would-be rolled cakes in the trash bin on my way to figuring out how to make one of these for our early Valentine’s Day.
As is usually the case around what we call “Hallmark Holidays”, one of us is going to be working or traveling on the actual “holiday”, so we pick a date before then and celebrate a little early. Dinner is planned, groceries are bought, cooking and baking is done, flowers are put on the table and the cat tries to eat the flowers. With no rolled cake recipe of my own, Angie’s humble request for a raspberry and fresh whipped cream filled chocolate roll cake for dessert should have been no more difficult than scouring the Googlesphere, emailing a few blogger buddies and commencing to a morning of sugar, flour, butter and pictures. Not so much. It seems the rolled cake is the bad boy of baked goods, with a history of failures in kitchens across the world. There are gluten free (too moist, stuck to the towel and fell apart), flour heavy (too dry, broke into pieces when I tried to roll it) and at least 1/2 dozen other basic rolled cake recipes that work in some kitchens but blow into smithereens in others.
Lucky you gets to jump right to the no-fail rolled cake recipe posted here. Hey, it’s part of what I’m here for, other than reaching up into the cupboard to get the toaster, removing splinters and being the guy that can calmly put a kid in the car when it’s time to get stitches. I’ll spare you the harrowing tale of eggs, time and tempers lost. With some help from the fine ladies at Hoffman’s who make a brilliant rolled cake into a traditional buche de Noel at Christmas (and you know I’ve swallowed the very last morsel of my pride when I call the bakery for help), and a basic recipe found at Cooks.com (adapted a bit), I present to you a very delicious, wont’ fall apart or suck the time out of your saturday, chocolate roll cake with raspberry filling and homemade whipped cream recipe. Happy Valentine’s Day.
Soundtrack: Josh and I were down to Spin Cycle again over the weekend, where I was able to come home with a few great finds on vinyl. I popped open The Who’s Greatest Hits and fought the battle of rolled cake for the morning. Substitue is my favorite track, though there isn’t bad one to be found on this album. Probably why they call it their greatest hits I’d imagine.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (f)/180 degrees (c). Put on some music and take a deep breath. Spray a 15X9″ jelly roll pan with non-stick canola spray and line with a piece of parchment paper, allowing 1″ to hang over each of the short (9″) ends. Yields, 9″ cake, enough for 8-10 generous slices. Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour (15 minutes bake time)
1/2 Cup organic all-purpose flour
1/4 Cup dutch Process cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
4 eggs, separated (eggs and yolks) at room temperature
1 Tbsp. cold water
1/2 Cup plus 1/3 Cup sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 Cup powdered sugar
16 oz raspberry preserves
1 1/2 Cups organic heavy whipping cream
5-7 Tbsp. powdered sugar (to taste)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
In an electric mixer, fitted with a wire whisk attachment, add the heavy cream and whip at high speed until soft peaks form. With the mixer still running, gradually add the powdered sugar and whip until spreadable (about 3 minutes). Lower the mixer speed to medium low and add vanilla. Continue to mix for 1 minute. Set aside. (and clean your mixer…you’ll need it for the cake)
Sift the first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Combine the egg whites and water and beat on high in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk attachment until frothy. Gradually add 1/2 cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks forms. In a separate medium mixing bowl, beat egg yolks by hand with a whisk until thick. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until combined. Add vanilla and beat for another minute. Fold into the egg whites (in the electric mixer’s bowl) 1/3 at a time, then fold in dry ingredients gradually. Don’t over mix, just fold until consistent in color and thoroughly combined.
Spread the batter evenly in pan with a flat spatula. Bake for 15 minutes or until the top is a little bumpy and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. It should spring back when touched lightly. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Run a straight edge knife around the edge of the cake to loosen the cake from the pan where any batter may have baked to the sides. Sprinkle a dish towel (slightly larger than your cake) with powdered sugar (or cocoa powder if you prefer the look of it). Turn the cake onto the towel, gently remove the parchment paper, then roll up the cake by gently lifting the towel and cake together from one short (9″) end to the other. The towel is rolled into the cake. Immediately unroll the cake and let sit flat (on the towel) for 10-15 minutes or until the cake is at room temperature.
Once at room temperature, spread the raspberry preserves evenly to the outside edges of the cake with a large, flat spatula. Spread the whipped cream over the preserves, again evenly and to the outer edges, about 1/2″ thick. Roll the cake from short (9″) end to the opposite end, this time without the towel (of course). Move to a serving plate and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
This cake will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days wrapped in plastic wrap and can be frozen for up to 2 months. To serve from frozen, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing.