I spend a fair amount of time shopping in Asian markets.
I love the fresh produce, meat and fish. The whole experience is an adventure for me as I discover new ingredients, flavors and snacks. One of my favorite discoveries are Japanese Cake Rolls. They are soft sponge cake filled with a delicate layer of lightly sweetened creamy filling. My husband, in particular, enjoys these and had been asking me to find a way to make them at home. Thanks to Rachel at La Fuji Mama I can!
Not long ago she posted a recipe for Japanese Strawberry Shortcake. Her cake looks lovely, and with the simple ingredients and foam cake method I wondered if it would make a good roll cake. The cake rolls we so enjoy are vanilla flavored with a soft, spongy texture. I decided to give this recipe a whirl, but rather than bake it in layers I would spread it into a jelly roll pan. The result is a lovely, spongy, slightly eggy cake that was almost exactly like the ones we buy … but better really because I filled mine with strawberry jelly AND fresh chocolate whipped cream!
Japanese Shortcake Jelly Roll with Chocolate Whipped Cream Yield 12 servings
Adapted from La Fuji Mama – Japanese Strawberry Shortcake
For the cake:
4 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
120 grams granulated sugar, sifted, divided
3 tablespoons whole milk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
120 grams cake flour, sifted 3 times
22 grams butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon dry gelatin
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup seedless strawberry jelly, at room temperature
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Cocoa powder, for garnish
Heat the oven to 350 F and spray a half sheet jelly roll pan with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper, then spray the paper with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl whip the egg whites until they form medium peaks. Slowly add in half the sugar and continue whipping until they hold firm peaks. Set aside.
In a medium bowl whisk the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until thick and pale yellow. Add the vanilla and milk and whisk to mix. Add the sifted flour and whisk until there are no lumps, about ten strokes. Do not over mix.
Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter and gently mix it in to lighten the egg yolk mixture. Add the second third of the egg whites and fold until no egg whites remain. Repeat with the last addition of egg whites. Pour in the melted butter and fold to incorporate.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Gently, and quickly, spread the mixture evenly in the pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the cake pulls away from the side of the pan and is just turning golden brown across the top. The cake will be pale.
Turn the cake out onto a clean kitchen towel that has been dusted with powdered sugar. Remove the parchment paper. then carefully, while the cake is still hot, roll the cake tightly in the towel. Allow to cool to room temperature.
While the cake cools prepare the whipped cream.
Pour the gelatin into the cold water and allow to stand for five minutes, or until completely bloomed. Heat for five seconds in the microwave, making sure it is melted, and cool to room temperature. Pour the cold cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Whisk on medium low speed until the sugar and cocoa are blended in then increase the speed to medium high. When the cream is softly whipped pour in the cooled gelatin. Whip until the cream forms medium peaks. Chill until ready to use.
When the cake is cool gently unroll. Spread the strawberry jelly evenly over the cake. Spread the chocolate whipped cream over the jelly layer leaving a 1/2 in border at the top of the cake. Gently roll the cake away from you, making sure not to squash the whipped cream out of the cake. Wrap the cake in plastic and chill for at least two hours.
When ready to serve dust with powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
Slice and enjoy!
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