Monday, June 18, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake Roulade

A sliceable strawberry shortcake that can stand up to refrigeration. 

The cake tastes like the freshest ladyfingers you’ve ever had and the strawberry whipped cream filling is dotted with lightly poached strawberry slices. A pure strawberry syrup adds a deep stripe of ruby red. 

The cake portion is from the jelly roll recipe in Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book (2005 and other editions).  The whipped cream is stabilized with gelatin, the method professional bakers use to help the cream stand up to refrigeration without weeping. 

This is a small cake but many standards but will satisfy 4 people with ease.  If you are serving more, rather than double the recipe, make two cakes and bake them side by side.  Flipping and rolling up the cake is easily managed in the single recipe so it’s better to make two regular ones versus one large one. 

Strawberry Shortcake Roulade
Serves 4
4 eggs, separated
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
(Confectioners sugar for coating dish towel)

Special Equipment
Jelly roll pan or 1/2 sheet pan with rimmed sides (15” x 10” x1”), parchment paper, small fine meshed strainer. clean kitchen towel

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. 
  2. Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl and egg yolks in a medium mixing bowl.  Allow to stand at room temperature while you prepare pan and dry ingredients.  
  3. Grease baking pan and line with parchment paper cut to fit inside long edge of pan and hanging over shorter ends by two inches on each side.  Grease and lightly flour parchment paper lining.  
  4. Combine flour and baking powder in a small bowl. 
  5. Add vanilla to egg yolks and beat with an electric mixer on high for about 5 minutes, until mixture is thick and lemon yellow in color.  Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar while continuing to beat on high.  The friction will dissolve the sugar.  The mixture is ready when you can rub a bit between your fingers and feel no sugar granules.  Set aside and wash beaters in hot soapy water to remove all egg yolk (which will prevent whites from achieving good volume).  
  6. Beat egg whites with electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks form.  Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar continuing to beat until stiff peaks form.  Stiff peaks stand up on their own when the beaters are pulled away.  They do not flop over as they do at the soft peak stage.  
  7. Gently fold egg yolk mixture into egg whites.  
  8. Next sprinkle flour mixture over batter and fold in until combined.  Batter will be thick.  
  9. Spread batter into prepared pan.  Use a wide rubber spatula to smooth and even out batter.  
  10. Bake at 375˚F for just 12-15 minutes.  The cake is done when it springs back from a light finger touch.  
  11. Remove cake from oven and immediately run a knife around edge to loosen.  Lay kitchen towel down flat next to pan. Using the strainer, sprinkle an even coating of confectioners sugar on towel matching the size of the baking pan.  Flip the cake over onto the towel and peel parchment paper away.  From the short end, roll up cake in the towel and place on a rack to cool in its rolled shape.  Cool for 1 hour.   
Cake can be made a day ahead.  Cover lightly with pastic wrap.  No need to refrigerate at this stage.  Unroll cake and remove towel to add filling.  Re-roll and chill.   

Strawberry Whipped Cream Filling
1 teaspoon powdered gelatin
1 Tablespoon cold water
2 cups fresh or thawed strawberries
2/3 cup whipping or heavy cream
2-4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Stir powdered gelatin into cold water.  Set aside 5 minutes.  
  2. Meanwhile, hull and slice strawberries.  Microwave strawberries on medium temperature until slightly cooked and tender, about 90 seconds.  Remove and strain.  Reserve strawberry juice.  
  3. Heat gelatin in  a small pan or microwave until just melted.  Remove and cool.  
  4. Beat whipped cream  until beginning to thicken.  Keep beating and gradually add sugar to taste.  Add vanilla.  Stir in gelatin.  
  5. Fold in strawberries, reserving a portion to use as decoration. 
  6. When cake is completely cool, unroll and remove towel.  Spoon strawberry whipped cream onto cake within an inch of its edges. Gently re-roll cake and refrigerate at least an hour.   

Use a serrated knife to cut slices cleanly.  Serve cake with a syrup made from the leftover strawberry juices cooked with a few teaspoons of sugar or honey.  If there is not much juice, add a little orange juice to the mixture.