Vanilla Scented Biscuit Roulade Cake

  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 450
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Variation: Chocolate Cake Roll or Biscuit Roulade

Cake used with the Mojito Roulade or Jelly Roll Cake. Lots of zesty lime, a splash of rum with a touch of mint.

Cake used with the Strawberries and Cream Roulade or Jelly Roll Cake. Lots of fresh strawberries with whipped cream.

A jelly roll cake (American), also known as a biscuit roulade, roulade (Paupiette) or biscuit recipe (French) or Swiss Roll (English), is the name given to a light and delicate sponge cake that is baked in a sheet pan and then filled with another ingredient. It is then rolled into a tube-like or log shape and sliced to display the ingredients swirled into the rolled base of food. The best types of cakes used are foam cakes, such as a sponge, which is flexible enough to withstand being rolled without cracking. The Buche de Noel or Christmas Yule Log Cake, is a classic holiday cake, typically made from a Chocolate Cake Roll or Biscuit Roulade.

When you make this cake, try not to be distracted. You need to follow the steps one-right-after another to make the cake a success! Just ignor everything, unless it is a dire emergency....When I made this cake, when my kids' were younger, it never failed; it always seemed to be the perfect time they decided to punch each other and run around the kitchen fighting! Plus, of course, the UPS or FEDEX guy or someone else also rang the doorbell and the dogs started barking like crazy....But, the cake did turn out, nonetheless! (And, be creative if you happen to have any left-over rum and you are stuck home alone with the kids for a few more hours before hubby gets home...LOL!)

1/3 cup sifted bleached cake flour; do not use self-rising (SARAH SAYS: to measure flour for this recipe, sift cake flour into measuring cup and level to top*)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs
2 large eggs, separated
1 large egg yolk

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar or superfine sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

How to measure 1/3 cup sifted bleached cake flour:
1. Place a piece of waxed paper on the counter with the measuring cup on top.

2. Sift the flour into the 1/3 cup measuring cup.

3. Level off the flour evenly to the rim of the measuring cup with a knife.

4. Place excess flour back into the cake flour container.

How to separate eggs:

Two 17 x 12-inch jelly-roll pans
One large, clean smooth kitchen towel. Do not use terry cloth or anything else with texture.

1. Prepare the baking pan and preheat the oven:
A. Position the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
The oven must be VERY hot.

B. Prepare, one 17 x 12-inch jelly-roll pan: grease and line with parchment paper or a nonstick liner.

2. Mix the flour, cornstarch and salt:
A. In a small bowl, place the cake flour.

B. Add the cornstarch and salt to the flour and stir to combine. Set aside.

3. Beat the eggs and yolks together with sugar for a total of 5 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick, fluffy, and triples in volume:
SARAH SAYS: This is a VERY important step.
A. Fit the stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Do NOT use a whisk attachment.
Place 2 large eggs and 3 yolks (2 yolks from 2 large eggs, separated, plus 1 large yolk) in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer.

B. Add the 1/2 cup sugar.
SARAH SAYS: Do not let the sugar sit on top of unbeaten egg yolks for any length of time.

C. Beat the egg mixture on high speed for a total of 5 minutes or until it becomes thick, fluffy, and triples in volume:
SARAH SAYS: If your egg mixture does NOT achieve this, make a sweet omelet with it, and start again with new!
Here's how:
a. Start the mixer on low for a few seconds and then adjust it to high speed. Beat for one minute.
The mixture will start to look bubbly.

b. Stop the mixer. Scrape the side and bottom of the bowl without squashing the egg foam.
Be gentle.

c. Add the vanilla to the beaten egg mixture.

d. Resume beating on high for 3 or 4 additional minutes, or until thick, fluffy, and triples in volume.
You will have beaten the egg mixture for a total of 5 minutes.

4. Immediately fold the flour into the fluffy egg mixture:
SARAH SAYS: You don't want to smash any of the beaten air bubbles in the egg mixture, so be gentle, but make sure you fold all of the flour into it.
This is a tricky part; you do not want to see any streaks of flour showing, so you have to be gentle but bold at the same time!
And, don't let the egg mixture sit while you talk on the phone or run out in the yard to save your kid who just fell off the swing set; you need to work with it right away.
(Ok! You had better save your kid....Pop it in the fridge if you do....Refluff with a large balloon whisk; do not use the mixer.)
A. Sift 1/2 the measured flour over the egg mixture.
SARAH SAYS: Make sure it is ONLY HALF of the flour!

B. Fold it in gently but rapidly with a large rubber spatula until the flour has disappeared.
Make sure you scrape the side and bottom of the bowl as you do.

C. Sift the remaining half of the flour over the egg mixture and fold it in until the flour has disappeared.

D. Set aside just long enough to beat the egg whites.

5. Immediately beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form:
SARAH SAYS: I recommend using a hand-held electric mixer or a wire whisk for this step since you will be beating 2 egg whites and yopu
want the beaters to fully reach the whites.
A. In a medium size deep bowl, with straight sides, beat the egg whites (2 large egg whites from 2 large eggs, separated) on low until foamy.

B. Add the cream of tartar.
Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.

C. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

D. Continue to beat on high until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised.

6. Right after beating, fold the egg whites in the egg/flour mixture, until all the whites have been incorporated:
A. Using a large rubber spatula, add 1/3 of whites to the egg/flour mixture and fold it in.

B. Add in the remaining egg whites and fold in, until all are incorportated.
SARAH SAYS: No smashing the air bubbles!

C. Not done, yet! You do not want to see any egg white streaks.

7. Fill the prepared pan with batter and bake the cake for 7 minutes or until golden brown:
A. Carefully scoop the batter into the prepared sheet pan.

B. Use an angled metal spatula to spread the batter in the pan and level it.
Do NOT press down and smash any air bubbles in the batter.

C. Immediately bake the cake for 7 minutes, or until golden brown.
A wooden cake tester, inserted in a few places, should come out clean.
The cake should be springy to the touch. You should hear a few air bubbles popping.

D. When the cake is done baking, immediately loosen the edges with a small metal spatula or sharp knife.
Make sure you go all around the cake. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!

8. Roll the unfilled cake with a smooth kitchen towel, as soon as it comes from the oven while still hot. Then, let cool on a wire cake rack:
A. Unmold the cake:
a. Place a smooth kitchen towel on top of the hot, loosened cake.

b. Place another sheet pan on top of the towel, flat side down.

c. Flip both pans over at the same time, and the cake will unmold onto the smooth kitchen towel.

d. Remove the top cake pan and set aside.
While holding one end of the towel, slide the bottom sheet pan out from under both the towel and cake, keeping the cake on the towel.

e. Starting at one corner, carefully peel off the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake, which is now facing up.

B. Roll the cake up tightly, towel and all:
SARAH SAYS: Start rolling at the long end.
Question: What is the long end? I am so confused?
Answer: Here's how I think of it. When you look at a rug on the floor, the narrow ends are usually the ones with the fringe on it. The long ends are the sides of the rug.

a. With the cake still on the kitchen towel, fold the edge of the towel onto the top of the cake. Gently begin rolling the cake under.

b. Once you get the initial edge of the cake rolled, continue rolling to the other edge of the towel.
Make sure you keep even pressure and roll the cake tightly, but do not force it or press on the cake in any one place.

c. Cool the rolled cake, as is, on a wire cake rack.

Do NOT refrigerate the unfilled cake.
It can be stored at room temperature, rolled as is, and wrapped in plastic wrap for day or two.
Freeze as is, wrapped in plastic, for a month or more. Thaw at room temperature.

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