Monday, June 20, 2011

Another Fail & Semi-Success?

Well, I said the point of this blog was to share my success and FAILURES with you so I'm keeping that promise.  On Easter I decided to give this cake a go.  As you can see above (and below) it was an EPIC fail!  I had never made any kind of roll cake before and since I woke up early that morning and had nothing to do until we went to my mom's for dinner (dinner in the south=lunch to everyone else) I got to work on this bad boy.
I thought I had been so careful with making this: I had taken my time and given myself what I thought was enough time for it to cool before rolling.  WRONG!  When I started to roll, things seemed to be okay.  You see you roll this twice and the first time it went just fine.  I then unrolled it (with only one small crack) then re-rolled with the filling and that's when it all went to down the drain.  You see, you have to account for the center of the cake (the part you can't really feel when you put your hands on top to see if it's still warm) to cool..DUH!!!!!!! I thought 1+ hours was enough for my cake to have cooled but OBVIOUSLY I was totally wrong!

Here are a few picture from before the disaster happened:


still lookin' good
heart breaking :(
But, I saw this as a challenge and gave it another go....

What better day to re-attempt this cake than on Father's Day? Actually there is no specific reason I chose this just happened to work out that I had time to do some baking.  So, just like my first attempt everything went just fine and dandy.  Once I thought the cake had time enough to cool, I waited another hour longer just to ensure it would be cool enough! I know that seems like a long time (2 + hours for a cake to cool) and perhaps you won't need this long, but I was taking NO chance this go around.

I did change a few things from the original recipe (the first time I tried this I stuck to Deb's recipe completely).  One change was by accident...ah well. 

My second attempt was definitely much better and the cake tastes awesome! However, when I went to put it on the serving platter I didn't get the seam down on the bottom so it's kinda lop-sided and when I cut into the cake it cracked on the other side...UGH! I might attempt this a third time but it won't be soon.  Do any of you have tips for jelly/cake rolls? I could sure use them!
the left side should actually be on the bottom

not quite the perfect circle but as you can see I still ate it :)

Heavenly Chocolate Cake Roll
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen
Printable Recipe


Cake layer
6 ounces semisweet bittersweet chocolate, chopped or 1 cup semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons water or strong coffee*
6 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

1 cup heavy or whipping cream
2 to 3 tablespoons powdered sugar (use more if you prefer a sweeter filling)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 to 2 tablespoons liqueur of your choice, such as Grand Marnier**

*I used 1/2 tbsp coffee extract & 2 1/2 tbsp water
**I again used 1/2 tbsp coffee extract

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 10-by-15-inch shallow baking or jellyroll pan. Line the bottom lengthwise with a piece of waxed or parchment paper (I used waxed) that extends up the short sides one inch.

Melt chocolate with water or coffee in a small saucepan over very low heat until it is 75 percent melted. Remove from heat and stir until the remaining chocolate is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
Beat egg yolks with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Add sugar gradually, and continue to beat until yolks are pale and ribbony. Gently stir the chocolate into the yolk mixture.

In another bowl with clean beaters, beat egg whites with salt until they hold stiff peaks. Stir 1/4 of egg white mixture into the chocolate-yolk mixture to lighten it. Fold the remaining whites into the cake batter in three additions. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cake layer feels dry (but very soft) to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. It will still seem a little underbaked.

Transfer to a cooling rack and cover the top with a light damp towel for 10 minutes. Gently remove towel; it will have a bit of cake stuck to them. Run a knife around the edges of the cake. Sift one tablespoon cocoa over the top of the cake*** and cover the cake with a thin tea towel that is a little longer than the pan. Place the back of a baking sheet or a large flat tray over the towel and invert the cake and paper onto it. Gently peel back the parchment or waxed paper that lined the pan. Sift the remaining tablespoon of cocoa powder over the top of the cake (that was, one minute ago, the underside). Using the towel underneath to help lift and roll the cake, roll the cake from short end to short end with the towel inside. Let cool completely, encased in its towel.

Once cool, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla (or other desired extract) until it holds stiff peaks. Get your serving plate ready and place it near your cake roll. Gently unroll chocolate cake and remove tea towel.  Spread whipped cream filling evenly over cake. Gently use waxed or parchment paper once again to reroll cake. Place on serving platter, seam side down.

You can now garnish it with shaved white or dark chocolate or even a drizzle of each, melted; raspberries are pretty too. Serve immediately in 1-inch thick slices or refrigerate until needed. This cake is best to serve on the first day it is made. It’s still delicious after that, but the whipped cream filling does begin to deflate a little into the cake spiral.

***I forgot to sift the cocoa on this side of the cake, but it still turned out just fine. I just added some cocoa to the top after I finished the cake. 

Hop everyone had a lovely weekend!

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