Friday, 12 December 2014

Cocoa Cream Roll

I grew up with a copy of  the Toronto Star's "World's Best Recipes" in our kitchen. It came, I'm sure, as a freebie or bonus of some kind with the newspaper at some time, probably in the 1950's. It was actually a good little cookbook in its day; more cosmopolitan than most Canadian cookbooks at the time, although that's not saying much. Maybe it was actually a reprint of an American cookbook - that would explain much.  I can't say Mom (or anyone else) used it all that much, but there it was. I read through it quite a bit - it was quite an entertaining read. I think I may still have a slightly disintegrating copy (it was a cheaply printed little thing, after all) of it somewhere.

I was always intrigued by the recipe for Cocoa Cream Roll, which called for lots of cocoa, whipping cream, eggs, very little sugar, and no flour. This is not that recipe, although I have kept most of those features. Oddly, I have added sugar for once - it really was strangely skimpy with it. At any rate, the cake I have come up with is a rich, dense and chocolatey roll; a wonderful foil for the whipping cream. It would make a terrific Bouche de Noel, and as you may note, it is, like the original, potentially gluten free.

1 hour - 35 minutes prep time for cake
20 minutes prep time to frost
8 to 10 servings

Make the Cake:
4 large egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder

Line a 9" x 13" jelly-roll pan or cake pan with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Beat the egg whites until stiff with the salt and cream of tartar, being sure to use a clean, non-plastic mixing bowl.

In a slightly larger mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract for 3 to 4 minutes until very pale and light. You can use the same beaters from the egg whites, without needing to wash them in between.

Sift the cocoa powder and baking powder together, and fold about 1/3 of the cocoa into the egg yolks. Fold in about 1/3 of the egg whites. Then, fold in the remaining cocoa followed by the remaining egg whites. Be very gentle, and do not overmix. A few white streaks are okay. Gently scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and spread it out as evenly as possible.

Bake the cake for 23 to 25 minutes, until it will spring fully back when lightly touched in the middle. Let it cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then flip it out onto a clean tea towel. Roll it up across the short end, and let it cool completely.

Frost the Cake:
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
AND 1/3 recipe Chocolate Custard Frosting, Chocolate Ganache Frosting, Fabulous Chocolate Frosting, or Cocoa Buttercream Frosting

OR 1 recipe Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting

Beat the whipping cream with the sugar and vanilla extract until stiff. Use the smaller quantities and make 1/3 recipe of one of the suggested frostings if you want to have a chocolate frosting on the outside of the cake. Or, make the Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting according to the recipe for chocolate whipped cream throughout.

Gently unroll the cake from the towel, and loosen it from the parchment paper using a broad icing spreader or other very large, thin, flat tool. It may crack some; don't worry, it can be pieced back together but try not to let it crack much. Leave it sitting on the parchment paper.

Spread the inside evenly with half the whipped cream (or all of it if you are frosting the outside with something else) and roll it up again.  Frost the top and sides with the remaing whipped cream, or the other frosting of your choice. Trim off the ends to make a neat presentation. Lift the cake onto the serving plate using the parchment paper, then slide the paper out from underneath. Neaten up the frosting, and wipe any smears and crumbs from around the cake with a dampened paper towel. Spectacular!

Last year at this time my long dry spell came to an end, and I made Dressing (Stuffing) Flavoured Baked Beans


Marnie said...

This looks yummy but your post actually inspired me to try the Dressing/Stuffing Flavoured Baked Beans recipe. I have a pot of cranberry beans soaking right now.

Ferdzy said...

They were very good! I was thinking I should make them again too.