Friday, June 19, 2009
Strawberry roll cake
We picked strawberries, 6.5 lbs, which yielded enough for 4.5 pints of jam (still making the old-fashioned, long-simmered, no-added-pectin kind), plus the sauce for this strawberry roll cake, and some just for snacking. I still have plans to pick more in a few days. I want to be drowning in jam. Jon loves strawberry jam; I love making it. Good thing we're married.
Several factors contributed to the making of this cake:
1. I had a weird hankering to make a roll cake a couple of weeks ago, and told Arij maybe I'd make one for my birthday in a few months. (Planning ahead is so important, don't you think?)
2. The kids requested shortcake (complete with whipped cream), but I was pretty sure they were thinking "cake" and not "biscuit," so I thought I should make something cake-like for the base.
3. I consulted The Joy of Cooking for cake recipes; they suggested a sponge cake. My original intention (lacking little cake molds) was to cut it up into squares and layer them with a little strawberry syrup and top with whipped cream.
4. But then all three of these things coalesced and I thought, why not just roll that sheet of spongy-sweet goodness up with some strawberries?
The result was yummy.
The cake was moderately fussy. The recipe instructed me to beat 5 eggs with 3/4 a cup of sugar for 5 minutes (with a stand mixer) or 7-10 minutes (with a hand-held mixer). Well, since I don't actually BAKE cakes (or so goes the logic in my little brain), I don't own a stand mixer. Besides . . . where would I *keep* it?! But I was making this as I was stirring jam, sterilizing jars, supervising my kids, etc., so I couldn't very well stand there all that time. So I took breaks, and estimated, and tried to gauge whether it resembled "soft whipped cream." (Oh, I also worried if one could OVER mix it and ruin it irreparably.) So I finally just stopped beating it already and added the 3/4 cup of sifted cake flour, the teaspoon of baking powder, and the 3 T of melted butter combined with 1/4 cup of hot milk.
The baking was uneventful: I poured the batter into an 11x17 pan lined with the sil-pat (basically reusable parchment paper) and baked for 9 minutes. You have to invert it right away onto foil, wait for it to cool, and then peel off the parchment, flip it back over and peel the foil off. Then it's ready to go.