Sweet Roll

18 Apr

I’ve been upfront about my baking skills. So it’s understandable that I don’t often tackle intricate baking recipes. And yet….. when I found Ann Radin’s recipe for Chocolate Roll in the Minneapolis Jewish Community Center’s Cookbook (1998) I knew I had to try it. The cookbook is a collection of appetizers and desserts created in celebration of Israel’s 50th Anniversary.

But here’s the back story. The late Ann Radin was Howard Radin’s mother. Ann was an accomplished cook (and dancer) and she passed on her love for baking to her son, Howard, who happens to be my neighbor and very good friend (along with his wife, Beverly). And here’s the best part – Howard baked and served this cake to my husband and me pre-Covid and I was impressed not only how it looked – but how delicious it was. And I marveled at his baking skill!

If you’ve never made a cake roll, be sure to follow all the steps to the letter and be patient. This is a somewhat delicate dessert but oh, so worth the trouble. You can trim the unsightly ends prior to or right after that final roll if you’re aiming for perfection! Next time I’m going to try filling it with ice cream – reminiscent of the ice cream cake rolls my mom used to buy for special occasions.

Chocolate Roll

5 egg whites (room temperature)

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

½ cup sugar

5 egg yolks

½ cup sugar

¼ cup flour

3 tablespoons cocoa

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar stiff, but not dry. Gradually beat in ½ cup sugar. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks until thick. Sift remaining sugar (½ cup), flour, cocoa and salt. Stir into egg yolks and stir in vanilla. Carefully fold yolk mixture and egg white mixture together.

Line sides and bottom of a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan with lightly greased wax paper (use butter or margarine). Spread above mixture evenly in pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes or until it springs back when touched (mine was done around 18 minutes!). Cool for 5 minutes, then turn onto a tea towel, generously sprinkled with powdered sugar. Peel wax paper off (very carefully and slowly so cake stays intact). Cool to lukewarm. Roll cake with towel (Ann rolled it from the long edge for more servings). When completely cooled, unroll and fill with whipping cream to which some powdered sugar has been added. Reroll and chill.

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