The Simple Things
April 16th, 2006

Regular readers surely have noticed that I have a weak spot for recipes my grandma used to prepare for me as a kiddo. I may be trapped in nostalgic feelings, but vivid memories of her luscious baked goodies and a cornucopia of savory delicacies keep calling out for me. Sometimes, well, a lot of times I surrender. Although I’m never quite certain whether my attempts to reproduce her fabulous recipes might damage the shiny and perfect memories I have or if my own results could possibly come even close to her wonderful creations. Anyway, on a more pragmatic level, you’ll never find out until you try!

Yumm!

Cook or baker? While most of the people I know typically tend to fall into one of these categories – based on the majority of dishes or baked goods they produce in their kitchens and their confidence in either one of these skills – my grandma was perfect in both of them. While “perfect” is a pretty absolute term, let me add that I haven’t seen her messing up a single dish throughout my childhood. And I was there, in her kitchen, right next to her, all the time! So if she ever had a flop, she must have been pretty clever about hiding it from her curious grandchild…

Not only did I inherit her favorite cookbooks but also countless random notes within those books. Some of them are stained with unidentifiable greasy spots, but I consider them normal wear and tear – simply a sign for an often used and thus well-proven recipe. One of the notes I came across a few weeks ago was titled “Biskuitroulade“. How could I possibly have managed to not think about this for so long? I started counting the years and quickly realized, that I haven’t had this kind of cake for way over 15 years. And more importantly, I never baked it myself!

adding marmalade...

While my grandma typically prepared it with different jam, another variation is quite well represented in traditional bakeries here in Bavaria: Filled with whipped cream and fresh fruits, like strawberries or peaches. Either way, the preparation is foolproof, super quick (perfect for surprise guests) and the outcome incredible fluffy and YUMMY! My first roll I made last weekend and it lasted less than 24 hours – and no, we didn’t have any visitors ;) The second one I baked today and only 4 hours later half of it is gone already. To my defense, I didn’t have any lunch today…

In a clean mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy and stiff. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).

Place the egg yolks along with the granulated white sugar in another bowl. Beat on high speed with your electric mixer for about two minutes or until thick and pale. Add one tablespoon of vegetable oil (I used sunflower), the flour and mix until evenly combined.

Gently fold about a third of the stiff whites into the batter to lighten it, and then carefully add the rest of the whites folding just until incorporated.

Pour the batter onto a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper), evenly spreading the cake batter with an offset spatula. Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown at 200°C (390°F), using the middle level for the tray. When done, a toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean and the cake, when lightly pressed, will spring back.

Take it out from the oven and turn it upside down on a sugar dusted (2 tablespoons) clean kitchen towel. Remove the tray and cover the parchment paper with a wet kitchen towel for a minute – this helps to separate the parchment paper from the sponge cake. Finally remove the wet towel and carefully pull off the paper.

Evenly spread the jam across the sponge cake, leaving at least 2 cm/~1 inch edge. Carefully roll up the sponge cake, ensuring that it is rolled pretty tightly and doesn’t trap too much air in it. On the other hand, squashing it too much will squeeze the jam out of it when finishing. Transfer to a plate, dust with confectioner’s sugar and you’re READY TO ROLL!

Roll it!

Raspberry Sponge Cake Roll

Recipe source: my grandma

Prep time: 15min., baking: 10min.

.

Ingredients (yield: about 15 slices):

7 egg whites

7 egg yolks

90g sugar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

90g flour

one or two additional tbsp of sugar to "drop" the sponge cake on

1 glass of raspberry jam (about 200g/7ounce, preferably seedless)

confectioner's sugar for dusting

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