Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Family Circle’s Strawberry Jelly Roll found over at Recipe.com. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
This week’s recipe was Nance’s choice, and when I saw what it was, I was like “Yes, please!” I’ve never made any kind of Jelly Roll, and rolling up a cake seems like a life skill that would come in handy. I won’t deny, I was a bit nervous because I was sure I’d mess it up, but I was willing to give it a try!
Ingredients for the cake:
Egg whites, cream of tartar, granulated sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and cake flour (don’t be jealous of my fancy label. Hey, at least this one’s not written with a Sharpie on masking tape!)
Dump your egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl, and beat until foamy. Then add 1/4 cup of sugar (NOT the entire 3/4 cup, which I very nearly did because I can never manage to pay attention to anything I’m doing for more than 10 seconds) and beat until soft peaks form.
Do not be mistaken that this is going to be the quick and easy part of the recipe. I had to keep stopping the mixer to check for soft peaks, then start the mixer again, stop it a few minutes later to check, etc. When I hit the “I’m pretty sure I fucked this up and I am NEVER going to get soft peaks” stage, soft peaks finally formed.
Now here’s the part of the recipe that I refused to take pictures of. You’re supposed to use a jelly roll pan (10×15 inches), but I do not have a jelly roll pan, and I wasn’t about to go out and buy one. I whipped out the measuring tape and started measuring pans, and found that we had an old roasting pan the right size. So I used that, only it looks like complete and utter shit, so I’m not EVEN going to let y’all see it.
You have to spray the bottom of your jelly roll pan (or whatever kind of pan you’re using) with cooking spray, then cut waxed paper to the size of your pan, put that on the bottom, and spray THAT “lightly” with cooking spray. Here’s a tip from me to you: spray the hell out of that waxed paper or it’s going to stick to your cake. More on that in a minute.
Cook the cake for 12 minutes, then remove from the oven. Run a knife around the outside of the cake. Sprinkle 3 T of confectioner’s sugar over the cake, cover it with a clean dishtowel, cover THAT with a “slightly larger” pan (I used a cookie sheet) and flip the whole mess over. I managed it and I’m a klutz, so you should have no problems with that.
Then you’re supposed to remove the pan and the waxed paper. Except that my waxed paper stuck to the cake, and it did a good job of looking like it was PART of the cake, so I had a hell of a time getting all the waxed paper off. I think you can imagine how I did not swear at ALL.
I finally decided that since it was just Fred and I eating the cake, I wasn’t going to stress too much over whether I’d removed all the waxed paper. Obviously if I were bringing it to a party or something I would have been more careful, but in the end I think I only left a few shreds behind.
Once you get the waxed paper off the top (formerly the bottom) of the cake, start at the short end and roll up the cake. I thought for sure this was going to be where I ended up fucking it up, but it rolled up just fine. I left it seam side down on a wire rack, and wandered off to do other things while it cooled.
When the cake is completely cool, you mix up the filling. Ingredients:
Strawberry jam (from the pantry, made and canned by me, thus the fancy label), sour cream, room temperature strawberry cream cheese (I took it out of the fridge and left it on the counter once the cake was out of the oven), and chopped strawberries.
Dump the jam, sour cream, and cream cheese in a bowl, and mix it together well. Stir in the strawberries (which I chopped up in my onion chopper), then spread it on the cake, leaving about a 1/2 inch border on all sides (which I kind of didn’t).
Roll it back up, put it in the fridge for at least an hour, and then it’s ready to serve (or to stay in the refrigerator).
The verdict? It was… good. I have a serious sweet tooth, though, so I would have liked the filling to be sweeter. Fred thought it was okay, but thought a filling of whipped cream and chopped strawberries would have been better.
I probably won’t make this exact recipe again, but I can just about guarantee that I’m going to make the cake and mess around with different fillings. Maybe whipped cream, toasted almonds and… some kind of chocolate?
Even though I wasn’t super crazy about the cake, it’s nice to know that I can roll up a cake if I need to. You never know when there’ll be a cake-rolling emergency, and now you know who to call!
Nance’s take: I have no idea why I picked this recipe. There were a lot of things about it that annoyed me, but I had no idea because that would have involved me actually reading the recipe before choosing it. What? Do you think I actually research this shit? Hell, no! Robyn’s a tyrant (not to be confused with Dooce’s butler/assistant/whatever) about getting these recipes on the schedule. Don’t let that nicey-nice save all the kitty-cats in the world bullshit fool you, man. Y’all just don’t know.
The first thing that annoyed me. I hate depending on this stuff. I just don’t trust it even if it has been years since I’ve had a non-stick fail.
And then this annoyed me because I needed 8 egg whites and what the hell am I supposed to do with 8 leftover egg yolks? I don’t like wasting food and this could send a person like me right over the edge. What do you guys do with the egg yolks when you have a recipe that calls for only the whites? I will tell you that I actually stood in my kitchen and scrambled these bitches up for my dogs. And then I felt guilty. Not because I was standing there cooking food for my dogs, but because I was giving them yolks and everybody knows that the yolks are the bad part of the eggs and OHMYHELL, I may have just played a part in killing Fifi!
See that little hole in the cream of tartar jar? I needed 1/2 teaspoon and my 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon wouldn’t fit in that little hole. I was so disgusted that I just dumped it out until my 1/2 teaspoon spoon was filled up. Oh yes, I DID! And it felt good. That’s what being an adult is all about. My mother couldn’t yell at me because I was all, “Shut the hell up, Shirley. I’m a grown ass woman who can waste all the Cream of Tartar she wants, dammit!” And that’s exactly what I did…while fretting over egg yolks at the same time. Just hush. The crazy train has already left the station.
I have no idea what soft peaks mean. Seriously. It’s all soft to me because what the hell, it’s egg whites. I just quit when it looks like this. Y’all can explain the difference to me in the comment section (and don’t forget to include what you do with your leftover egg yolks).
While my egg whites were soft peaking (or over peaking) I read the rest of the recipe that mentioned the fact that I needed to beat some other stuff together. I lost count of how many times I’ve been annoyed so far. Trust me when I say that I was pissed that I had to go find my other mixer (since the KitchenAid was busy with the egg whites).
I started out by folding my egg whites into the flour mixture as instructed, but then I decided to throw caution to the wind and just tossed this whole mess into the big bowl of egg whites and folded it all together.
This is me dumping the whole mess into my jelly roll pan (which is really only a big cookie sheet). No, I am not anal like Robyn. I do not own a jelly roll pan (that I know of) and I sure as hell didn’t go measuring any pans to see if I had a match. I decided to play the game called close enough and hoped for the best!
Please note how I work in a neat and tidy area, putting everything away and cleaning up after myself as I go. Ahem.
This is what it looked like when it came out of the oven.
This is what it looked like when I inverted the whole mess. Didn’t stick. Didn’t break. I called that a win.
I don’t have a fancy dish towel like Robyn had to wrap mine in. I just had an old flour sack towel that Shirley hates with a passion because it’s too big for drying dishes and I refused to cut them. Good thing I put my foot down, huh?
After it was cooled and un-rolled. I noticed those cracks on the right and figured it was a disaster. Then I decided that the filling would cover it and focused my fretting on whether or not the cake part would be stuck to the towel.
The filling. I could have just ate that with a spoon and called it a day, but I had an obligation.
This was what it looked like when it was rolled up. I didn’t trim the edge like it said to because I didn’t want to waste any of it. Okay, that’s an outright lie. I didn’t trim it because I skimmed the recipe (too many words!) and only noticed the trimming when I saw that Robyn trimmed her edges (much nicer picture, huh?) and read the recipe before uploading.
It was pretty good and everyone here in the house liked it, but I would have preferred more cream cheese to give the filling more creamy thickness (fat fatties unite!). The cake itself was good and relatively fool-proof (if I can do it, anyone can) so I agree with Robyn that it would probably be a good base to use with just about any type of filling you could imagine. All in all, I would do this recipe again and that’s saying something considering how annoyed I was with it. Heh.
- 8 egg whites
- ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup sifted self-rising cake flour
- 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 container (8 ounces) strawberry-flavor cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup strawberry jam
- 1-1/2 cups chopped strawberries (about 1-pint basket)
- Confectioners' sugar
- Strawberries, sliced and fanned (optional)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick vegetable-oil cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with waxed paper; lightly coat waxed paper with cooking spray.
- Cake: Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in large bowl until foamy. Gradually add ¼ cup granulated sugar and beat until soft peaks form.
- Beat together oil and remaining granulated sugar in second large bowl until well mixed, about 1 minute. Beat in vanilla.
- Stir cake flour into oil mixture. Gently fold in a quarter of the egg whites until completely blended, then gently fold in remaining egg whites. Spread the batter evenly with a spatula in the prepared pan.
- Bake in 375 degrees F oven for about 12 minutes or until top is very lightly browned and springs back when lightly touched.
- Run knife around edge of cake to loosen. Sprinkle top with 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar. Cover with clean kitchen towel. Top with slightly larger baking sheet; invert. Remove pan, then waxed paper. Starting at shorter end, roll up cake in towel. Cool completely, seam side down, on wire rack.
- Filling: Stir together cream cheese, sour cream and strawberry jam in medium-size bowl. Gently fold in strawberries.
- Assemble: Unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake, leaving ½-inch border all around edges of cake. Carefully re-roll cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- To serve: Place cake, seam side down, on serving platter. Trim ends of cake. To garnish, sprinkle roll evenly with confectioners' sugar. Fan thin strawberry slices down center of cake, if desired.