It was my turn to bring dessert to our neighborhood potluck. We expected a large turnout -- 16 people -- so I needed to bring a hearty amount. But what to make?
For some reason I had it in my head to try a jelly roll, only not filled with jelly but with other stuff. Trouble is, I'd never made a jelly roll before. Quick, to the internet!
After a few minutes' searching, I came across this recipe for a vanilla cream roll and decided to give it a try.
First thing to do was find jelly roll pans (not something in my usual kitchen repertoire). I called a couple of neighbors to no avail. However I remembered years ago I'd bought two small cookie sheets for use in our old wood cookstove (which had a small oven). Since the wood cookstove was never used, neither were the cookie sheets.
So I pulled them out, dusty and dirty, and prepared to clean them up. It's worth noting -- ahem -- that Don was also sharpening the chain saw blade at the same time. Typical country kitchen scene.
Since the potluck group was so large, I doubled the recipe. Here's the batter ingredients:
⅔ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
I preheated the oven to 375F, then mixed the dry ingredients -- flour, baking powder, salt -- and put them aside.
I separated the eggs into whites and yolks.
The whites were whipped separately, gradually adding half a cup of sugar (remember, I doubled the recipe), then put aside.
Then it was the yolks' turn. Beaten, with one cup of sugar slowly added.
Adding vanilla and water.
Then it was time to combine wet and dry ingredients. The instructions say to add about half the flour gradually, mixing all the while, then dump in the rest and mix well.
Then fold in the whipped egg whites.
The recipe said to use parchment paper on the pans. Since I've never used parchment paper in my life, I simply greased and floured the pans (which worked fine).
While the cakes were baking, I took two clean cloths and sprinkled them with powdered sugar.
Here's the cakes, out of the oven.
The instructions said to loosen the edges with a knife while hot...
...then immediately flip them out of the pan onto the sugared cloths. This is the part where I thought the cakes would stick, but they didn't (phew!).
Then came the fun part: while the cake is still hot, gently roll the cake and cloth together.
The rolls are then placed seam-down on a cooling rack to cool completely.
While these first two cakes were cooling, I made two more (for a total of four cakes).
Then came the choice of what to fill the rolls with. I decided to fill one of the rolls with Cool Whip since one gentleman at the potluck is lactose-intolerant and can't have dairy. A second roll I filled with sweetened whipped cream.
It didn't come out as picture-perfect as the photo on the original recipe link (I presume jelly roll pans are longer and narrower, allowing more "roll"), but I figured it wouldn't affect how they tasted.
Since I had leftover whipped cream, I decided to fill the two remaining rolls with the cream mixture from trifle which consists of cream cheese, whipped cream, sour cream, and vanilla pudding.
I put everything in the freezer until it was time to leave for the potluck.
By the way, the trifle filling was by far the most popular. I sent the remainder of the Cool Whip filling home with the lactose-intolerant fellow, since no one else wanted it.
All in all, another dessert dish for my repertoire!