Swiss Roll with Concord Grape Jam and Whipped Cream

Vietnamese food

Weather is changing dramatically lately-Rainy, windy, cloudy, shiny.  Two days weekend was just enough for me to rest and save some extra for my sleeping bank.  This cake was made last week.  Its color and flavor is from concentrated homemade Concord Grape juice and jam.  The color is a little boring but it is matching the dreary weather quite well. I may add a few drops purple next time.

Rolled cake is one of my kids favorites. It is such a joy watching them eager to taste and devour these slices. It is a sponge/genoise cake baked in a shallow pan, filled with a thin layer of jam, fruit, whipped cream, buttercream, etc and rolled around the filling. It is called Roulade, Swiss roll, Jelly roll. Swiss /jelly roll in America is slightly different with extra baking powder to ensure the lift but I did not use it here.  Make sure to preheat oven early enough because the batter does not take long to made.

4 egg
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour, stir the flour briefly and spoon it into a measuring cup then level.
1/4 cup concentrated grape juice (being cooked down in half)
1 cup heavy whipped cream, cold
2 Tbs powdered sugar
1/2 tsp gelatin powder
1/3 cup Concord grape jam
10x15x1 inch jelly roll pan.

  1. Preheat oven to 375 oF.  Spread a little oil or butter at the corners help to keep liner paper in place.  Line the pan bottom  only and keep the side ungreased or extending the liner up to 1/2-1 inch above the rim.   If you do not have parchment paper, grease or oil and flour the pan bottom.  Make sure no blank spots at bottom or your cake will be stuck.  Do not worry about the side.
  2. Select a saucepan that can hold a large bowl without touching its bottom with 2 inch water in the pan. Bring it to a boil and keep simmering on low heat.  The hot water is used to speed up the thicken process.  
  3. Put eggs and sugar in the bowl, whisk briefly and vigorously to break the egg and start mixing them with sugar.  Put the bowl over simmering water, and whisk at high speed until  all sugar is dissolved and the mixture feels quite warm.  The whisk should hit the bottom and sides of the bowl. Rub a small amount of the warm egg mixture between your fingers and you should not feel any sugar crystal. Remove the bowl from hot water, wipe the bottom and continue whisking/beating at high speed until very thick and forming a ribbon trail on the surface when the whisk is lifted.      
  4. Sift 1/2 the flour  on the egg mixture  and fold in with a large flexible spatula.  Cut cleanly through (from the top to bottom and up to the side) to avoid knocking out the air while turning the bowl. Add 1/2 juice, fold it in  and repeat with remaining flour and juice.  Try folding quickly.  Pour batter into the prepared pan, spread evenly.  Tap the pan gently on the counter one or twice to even out the batter and to burp large air bubbles.  Bake at 375 oF until the top is nicely  brown and spring back when lightly touched in center. about 10-12 minutes.  Do not open oven before the minimum timing.  
  5. Loosen edges with a small knife, immediately cover the cake with a large piece of parchment/wax paper, and put another sheet pan, cooling wire rack on top and turn it over.  You can sprinkle powder sugar on a kitchen towel or a parchment and turn the cake onto it.  Peel off the lining paper. Start from the narrow end, roll up the cake in paper/towel.  Place on the cooling rack to cool completely
  6. Make the filling while waiting the cake cooling.  Put a medium bowl (with high side) and whisk/s in the freezer. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon gelatine powder over 1 tablespoons water in a small bowl and set aside about 5 minutes.  Melt gelatin by microwave it in 10-20 seconds or put the bowl in a small skillet filled with 1/2 inch of hot water.  Heat, stir constantly until  gelatin is clear and completely dissolved.  Let the mixture cool down to room temperature but still liquid.  If it becomes solid, reheat it again.  Whisk heavy cream and sugar in the cold bowl and whisk/s until start to thicken and form a soft peak.  Add cooled but still liquid gelatin in a slow steady stream while continuously whisking. Stop when a firm peak formed. 
  7. Assemble the cake:  Carefully unroll the cake but not completely flat.  The inner edge should remain curled.  Spread a thin layer of jam, start at the curled edge first, and top the jam with whipped cream. Spread it evenly over the rest of the cake as best as you can, leaving 1/2 inch border on the far side/edge.  Tuck the curled edge under and carefully roll up the cake, use the towel or parchment paper to guide.  Lift the towel/paper and continue rolling  Make sure the edge is underneath the roll.  Place the rolled cake on the platter.  Cover loosely with foil/wax paper or a cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.  The cake will be moister and more flavorful the next day. To get the nicest slices, let the cake rests at least 3-4 hours in the fridge.  If desired, sprinkle with powder sugar and serve. Cut into 8-10 slices.

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