Baking: Strawberry Roll Cake

I never saw a roll cake before coming to Japan. They’re not as fancy as layer cakes, but they’re so much easier: easier to make, easier to decorate, easier to transport, and easier to serve.

The original recipe I was working with was actually for a vanilla roll cake, but I didn’t know where to find vanilla beans locally, so I decided to modify it for strawberries.

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Ingredients (complete list):

- 90 g egg whites and 60 g egg yolks (3 large eggs, separated)
- 155 g (11 T) castor sugar / caster sugar / superfine sugar / baker’s sugar (but it’s not confectioner’s / powdered sugar)
- 40 g (1/3 c.) flour (sifted once)
- 25 ml (2 T) milk
- 5 ml (1 t.) vanilla
- 100 ml (7 T) water
- 5 ml (1 t.) rum
- 200 ml (1 c.) heavy whipping cream
- 200 g (1/2 lb.) fresh strawberries

Pan: 8×10″ rectangle

 

Part 1) Syrup

- 100 ml (7 T) water
- 50 g (3.5 T) caster sugar
- 5 ml (1 t.) rum

Put water and caster sugar in small pot and heat while thoroughly incorporating sugar. Then cool. After cooling, add rum.

(Tragically, I forgot to take a photo of the mysterious art of mixing sugar in water…please forgive me.)

Part 2) Meringue

- 90g (3) egg whites
- 45 g (3 T) caster sugar

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Mix egg whites until soft peaks form…

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…then incorporate caster sugar one tablespoon at a time.

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Part 3) Sponge Cake

- 60 g (3) egg yolks
- 45 g (3 T) caster sugar
- 40 g (1/3 c.) flour (sifted once)
- 25 ml (2 T) milk
- 5 ml (1 t.) vanilla

First, heat milk and place in a small bowl. Mix in vanilla. Set aside.

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In a large bowl, mix egg yolks and caster sugar.

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Whisk in meringue from Part 2. (I was obviously feeling a bit lazy this day….but it turned out fine.)

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Whisk in sifted flour.

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Take a small amount of the mixture from the large bowl and mix it with the milk and vanilla in the small bowl, and then incorporate the small bowl’s contents into the large bowl.

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Part 4) Baking

Pre-heat your oven to 200*C (400*F).

Grease and flour / line with parchment paper a rectangular pan about 24x28cm (9″x12″). A thin cake is a good thing here.

Pour all of the batter in the pan and bake for 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it!

Remove and allow to cool after it passes the toothpick test.

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Part 5) Strawerry Frosting

- 200 ml (1 c.) heavy whipping cream
- 20 g (1.5 T) caster sugar
- 100 g (1/4 lb.) strawberries

First, wash and cut about 1/4 lb. strawberries. Puree in food processor.

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Then strain to remove seeds and pulp, which can be discarded. We want smooth frosting, after all.

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Next, use mixer to combine heavy whipping cream and caster sugar for about 8 minutes, gradually adding strawberry juice as you work.

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Part 6) Decoration

- 100g (1/4 lb.) strawberries

First, wash strawberries and cut up into small pieces except for a few that you may wish to use for decoration.

Next, working on a flat surface, lay the cake down with the browned side up. Brush with syrup from Part 1.

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Frost the top of the cake only with a generous layer of frosting…

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…then sprinkle cut strawberries over the frosting, distributing evenly.

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Finally, choose one narrow end to carefully roll your cake from.

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Move to a serving plate.

If desired, coat outside with syrup, frost, and decorate with any remaining strawberries. Or serve with a plain outside.

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