I have been MIA the past couple of weeks because I’ve been on a much needed vacation to the Oregon Coast. We had an absolutely wonderful time and I can’t wait to share photos in an upcoming post. I had family over for dinner before we left for the beach and tried this recipe for a chocolate roll that I found on King Arthur Flour’s website. My grandmother taught me to make cake rolls years ago and they are one of the most often requested desserts in my family. Making a vanilla cake roll has always been easy, but I’ve never tried a recipe for a chocolate one that hasn’t cracked when I filled it and tried to roll it up. This KAF recipe was no exception, but it was delicious and the whipped cream acts like glue to hold it together.
Strawberries and chocolate are meant to be together and a spread of lightly sweetened whipped cream makes it perfect. Be sure to set aside a few strawberries and a small bowl of ganache to make a few chocolate dipped strawberries to garnish the dessert plates.
KAF’s directions said to bake the cake in a jelly roll pan and, since I have 3 different sizes I emailed their customer help line and was told that the standard jelly roll pan is 9-1/2″ x 14″ x 1″. If a larger pan is used the cake can crack when it’s rolled, If the pan is too small the cake can crack, and if you look at it funny the cake can crack. Using the proper size pan is essential in this recipes. Line the pan with parchment paper and bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed, about 10-12 minutes. Flip the hot cake onto a tea towel dusted with powdered sugar, loosely roll it up towel and all, and let it cool on a wire rack. Don’t let the cracking problem scare you off. It’s easy to repair and the cake is so good that nobody cares if it isn’t perfect.
I added my own touch to the recipe by spreading the cooled cake with homemade strawberry rhubarb jam before I spread on the whipped cream. It helps the cake stay nice and moist and adds a delicious additional layer of flavor. The KAF recipe calls for chocolate extract, which I happened to have. I bought it to add to my favorite granola recipe to see if it would add a nice chocolate flavor…no luck. If you don’t have it in your cupboard just add a little extra vanilla.
This cake roll is wonderful without any fruit…just whipped cream…but I had some sweet, ripe strawberries so I nestled slices into the whipped cream. Carefully roll the cake on the short side and place seam side down on a dessert plate.
You can shape the cake as you roll it and the whipped cream will hold it together. Don’t worry about any cracks…the chocolate ganache will cover them up. At this point cover the cake with plastic wrap and chill it well. You can reshape it a little bit with your hands if necessary.
I haven’t mastered the art of stirring and pouring with one hand and snapping a photo with the other one, but this shows the consistency and pourability of the ganache. It’s thin enough to flow over the cake and drip (not too much) down the sides. I like to refrigerate the cake several hours or overnight so it can mellow and the cake can absorb the flavors of the whipped cream and strawberries.
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup (5¼ ounces) sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon chocolate extract, optional
- ⅔ cup (2⅝ ounces) All-Purpose Flour
- ⅓ cup (1 ounce) Dutch-process cocoa
- 1¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) buttermilk
- 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons Instant ClearJel*
- 1 teaspoon chocolate extract, optional
- ½ cup (3 ounces) finely grated dark chocolate
- ½ cup (4 ounces) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons (1⅜ ounces) corn syrup, light or dark
- 1 cup (6 ounces) chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, or chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with parchment pan and spray with non-stick vegetable oil spray.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs until thick and pale, then beat in the sugar, salt and extracts. Sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder, and fold gently into the egg mixture. Whisk together the oil and buttermilk, and fold in just until combined. Spread the batter onto the pan and smooth with a spatula. Bake the cake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the top springs back when pressed gently.
- Remove it from the oven, let it cool in the pan for 1 to 2 minutes, then loosen the edges with knife. Turn out onto a tea towel lightly dusted with confectioners' sugar, roll up loosely (starting with a short end), and let cool completely.
- Stir together cream and chocolate extract in a large bowl. Mix sugar and ClearJel, then sprinkle over cream. Whip on high speed until soft peaks form, and fold in the grated chocolate. Refrigerate until needed.
- Gently heat all of the ingredients until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes to thicken slightly.
- To finish the cake: Unroll the cake and spread with filling. Re-roll, and place seam-side down on serving plate. Trim edges for a clean appearance. Drizzle with chocolate glaze, using spoon or a squeeze bottle. If the glaze gets too thick for a squeeze bottle, gently reheat the glaze-filled bottle by setting it in hot water.
- *Instant ClearJel is a KAF product that stabilizes the whipped cream. Its use is optional.