I can guess what you’re thinking right now. I hear you all the way through my computer. Another dessert recipe!? This blogger is definitely nuts…
Let me rephrase my about page for you: Hi, my name is Sharon, and I’m completely addicted to sugar. Sugar addiction is a real thing, as I discovered when I read this National Geographic article back in August 2013. I’ve talked about my sweet tooth in the past here, have covered several desserts so far — these amazing chocolate fudge brownies, these crazy moist coconut macaroons, and for the heck of it, I’ll also throw in these mouthwatering apple and all-bran breakfast muffins — and even began this blog with my first post being about these decadent peanut butter cookies stuffed with nutella. That choice pretty much showed that desserts always come first in my mind, so much so that they’re the first thing I plan when organizing a dinner party.
“If sugar is so bad for us, why do we crave it? The short answer is that an injection of sugar into the bloodstream stimulates the same pleasure centers of the brain that respond to heroin and cocaine. All tasty foods do this to some extent—that’s why they’re tasty!—but sugar has a sharply pronounced effect. In this sense it is literally an addictive drug.” – Rich Cohen, in Sugar Love (A Not So Sweet Story)
I’m pretty much convinced that sweets can solve even the most complicated dilemmas and will always cheer you up on a cold and rainy day. See, I grew up in a house where there wasn’t one meal that went by without ending on a sweet note. Apparently, my dad never used to have dessert — unless it was fruit — until he married my mother. After 29 years of marriage, my dad is now also part of the crowd of dessert lovers and always asks my mother “What’s for dessert?” when we still haven’t finished the main course.
From all the cakes I’ve ever made, this strawberry and cream roll is not the sweetest, but has enough sugar to make it one of my favorites. If you love fruit desserts, this one is definitely for you. Cake rolls are not the easiest desserts to deal with, as they have to be perfectly rolled up without cracking. After a bit of practice I learned to master the art of cake rolling and I’m happy to share my tips with you.
The base of this cake roll is made out of vanilla and was inspired by Betty Crocker’s Jelly Roll Cake. I always use Betty Crocker’s recipe as a basis to make any vanilla roll, which I then fill up with my favorite ingredients. Feel free to fill up your roll with any type of jam if you’re not into whipped cream, or with Nutella or any other chocolate spread.
To make the perfect roll, first line a rectangular baking pan with a greased sheet of parchment paper and then pour the batter over it, carefully pushing the batter with a spatula into every corner of the pan. Sounds easy until now, right? Bake the cake in a preheated oven at 190°/370°F for 12 to 15 minutes. While the cake is baking, take a tea towel and place it in vertical position facing you. The hard part comes now when you take your cake out of the oven. Sprinkle powder sugar all over the cake to prevent it from sticking and immediately turn the pan over onto the tea towel. While still hot, carefully remove the parchment paper and begin to tightly roll the cake in the towel from closest to you to furthest to you. Rolling up your cake in a tea towel when just out of the oven prevents the cake from sticking to itself and breaking when unrolled. Place the rolled up cake in the tea towel on top of a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour. The longer you let your cake cool, the less likely it will break when you unroll it.
Making the filling for this cake is ridiculously easy. All you need is thinly chopped strawberries, granulated sugar and whipped cream. Chop your strawberries into small pieces and place them in a bowl with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar to release all their liquids. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. When the cake has cooled down, unroll it and leave it on your tea towel. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream with a spatula on the cake and top with the strawberries. Roll the cake up, using the towel as a guide to lift it up, and place on a rectangular serving dish lined with parchment paper.
I always like to decorate my roll with whipped cream, as shown below. Feel free to use only whipped cream or to combine it with strawberries. Lining your serving platter with parchment paper allows you to spread as much whipped cream over the cake without worrying about dirtying your dish. When you’re done decorating the roll, simply remove the parchment paper and keep your cake in the fridge until ready to serve. This cake is at its best when refrigerated for 3 to 5 hours before serving.
One month ago on savormania: chinese stir-fry chicken with snow peas and mushrooms
vanilla cake rolls, found elsewhere: Dinner with Julie‘s vanilla cake roll with lemon mascarpone cream, The Daily Tea‘s earl grey roll with vanilla buttercream and BBC Good Food‘s vanilla & poppy seed swirl cake
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (0.8dl) water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup (95g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (30g) icing sugar
- 9 oz (250g) strawberries
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup (115g) whipped cream
- Begin by preheating your oven to 190°C/370°F. Line a rectangular baking pan with parchment paper. Make sure to grease your parchment paper properly so that the cake doesn't stick to the paper.
- Beat your eggs in a big mixing bowl with your electric mixer on high speed. Beat for 5 minutes or until the egg mixture turns to bright yellow and becomes thick. Gradually add in the granulated sugar while continuing to beat on high speed. Reduce the speed to low, add the water and vanilla and beat well to combine. Gradually add in the flour, baking powder and salt until your mixture looks smooth.
- Pour the mixture into your baking pan over the parchment paper, carefully pushing the batter to the sides with a spatula. Make sure that the batter is evenly spread across the pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 12 to 15 minutes. Check your cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, it means it is ready.
- Sprinkle powder sugar all over your cake to make sure that it won't stick. Take a tea towel, invert the pan over it and slowly pull off the parchment paper from the cake. Cut off any burned pieces from the sides of the cake. Place the towel with the cake in a vertical position and begin rolling the cake in the towel from closest to you to furthest to you. Place the rolled up cake in the towel on a wire rack for it to properly cool down. Let it cool for at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, slice your strawberries very thinly and place them in a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and set aside for 15 minutes until the strawberries release their liquid.
- When your cake has cooled down, unroll it carefully and leave it on the towel. Whip your cream in a mixing bowl with your mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
- Take half of the whipped cream and spread a thin layer with a spatula over the entire cake until 5cm from the edges. Lay the strawberries evenly over the whipped cream.
- Tightly roll your cake once again, using the towel as a guide to lift it up and making sure that it doesn't break. Line your serving platter with parchment paper and place the roll on top.
- With a spatula, spread the other half of the whipped cream over the roll, on the sides and on top. Decorate with whipped cream or with strawberries. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
FOR DAIRY-FREE VERSION: Choose a whipped cream that is dairy-free
HOW TO STORE IT: This roll can be prepared half-a-day in advance. It has to be kept in the refrigerator until ready to serve. This cake is at its best when refrigerated for 3 to 5 hours before serving.
How did your strawberry and cream roll come out? Share photos of your recipe on Instagram by tagging #savormania