I always thought that roll cakes were the hardest things to make but when I came across this recipe, it seemed completely doable. So I set out to make this oh-so-simple roll cake but I completely underestimated the complexity of it! I not only had to make sure that the egg whites weren’t over-beaten and that the heavy cream was whipped fluffily but then there was the whole situation with the “rolling.” I was already unhappy with the rolling of the cake and all but I was completely freaked when I found out that I had to also unroll it, spread the cream on, and then re-roll it!
But to my relief, this cake was super elastic and bendable, making it very easily rollable with absolutely no breakage. It had a very spongy, light texture and completely dissolved when you took a bite of it, feeling as if I just bit into a cloud. The cream was also not overpoweringly sweet and complemented the fresh strawberries perfectly. But what I liked most about it was how aesthetically pleasing it was to the eye.
Strawberry Torte (adapted from Martha Stewart):
Yields 8-10 servings
- Unsalted butter for pan
- 8 extra-large eggs room temperature, separated
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
- 2 teaspoons sifted baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar plus more for work towel
- 1 quart strawberries washed, dried, and hulls removed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line a rimmed 15-by-10-by-1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper; set aside. (I just used my cookie sheet.)
In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar together until light in color, about 1 minute.
Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla.
Add cake flour and baking powder.
Stir until well combined.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. (It’s best to begin at a slow speed and gradually move up to high.)
(You can test for stiff peaks by lifting the beaters from the whites – the egg white peaks should stand straight up and if you tilt the bowl, the whites should not slide around.)
Gently fold into flour mixture. (Use beaten egg whites right away. Don’t let them sit.)
Pour cake batter in prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake until cake springs back when touched, about 20 minutes.
Lay a clean kitchen towel flat on a work surface with one of the short ends facing you. Generously sprinkle dish towel with confectioners’ sugar. Flip cake onto towel, remove baking sheet, and peel off parchment paper.
Using the dish towel, roll cake away from you; let cool.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the strawberries.
Place heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Beat on medium speed. Slowly add remaining teaspoon vanilla and 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar. Continue beating until soft peaks form.
Gently fold sliced strawberries into whipped cream; set aside.
Unroll cake. Evenly spread 3/4 of strawberry whipped-cream mixture over surface of the cake and re-roll.
Transfer cake to a serving plate and evenly spread top of cake with reserved whipped cream.