This strawberry roll cake is stunning. With a light dusting of powdered sugar, it looks magnificent and no heavy frosting to weigh it down. Just a delicious whipped cream and fresh strawberry filling to set it off perfectly. You can bake the cake roll one day in advance and store it (with the towel) tightly wrapped in plastic wrap in the fridge.
Let it sit on the counter to come back to room temperature while making the strawberry filling. The trick to rolling a cake successfully is making certain you are ready when the cake comes out of the oven. Use a clean cotton towel. Use a thin flour sack dishtowel. Lay the towel out on the counter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Once the cake comes out of the oven, invert the baking sheet right onto the towel. Then roll up the cake with the towel. You roll while the cake is fresh out of the oven.
The towel gets rolled right with the cake to keep the cake from sticking to itself. Once the cake is fully cooled, you can gently unroll, remove the towel and the cake will easily roll right back up again.
- 1 large egg white (30g)
- 2 tablespoons (16g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup (50g) cake flour
- 1 tablespoon (15g) vegetable oil
- food colouring
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75g) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (23g) whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup (67g) cake flour, sifted
- food colouring
- 1 1/4 cup (288g) heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 3 tablespoons (38g) granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon (8g) powdered sugar
- 1/2 ounce (14g) freeze-dried strawberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 15 by 10-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper.
- To make design paste, combine egg white, powdered sugar, cake flour and vegetable oil in a bowl, stirring until completely smooth and no lumps remain.
- Divide the pate into 3 bowls and add food colouring as desired.
- Transfer pastes into piping bags or plastic squeeze bottles fitted with small round piping tips.
- Pipe design onto parchment. Start with the green, then pipe the darker pink berries on top, and finish with the lighter pink dots.
- Place pan in the freezer to allow the design to set while you prepare the rest of the batter.
- Place egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup sugar and whisk until sugar is dissolved and yolks are lightened in colour.
- Drizzle in vegetable oil, whisking constantly until incorporated. Whisk in milk, almond extract and salt.
- Add food colouring as desired.
- Sprinkle sifted cake flour over batter and fold until incorporated.
- In a clean mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until frothy.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat on high speed until whites hold medium peaks.
- Fold a third of egg whites into batter to lighten it, then add the remaining egg whites and fold until just incorporated.
- Pour batter over top of the frozen design, spreading the batter into an even layer using a large offset spatula.
- Bang the pan a few times on the countertop to remove any air bubbles and level out the top.
- Bake for about 10 minutes or until the top is springy and edges are just barely starting to brown.
- Remove from oven. Carefully invert warm cake onto a piece of parchment backed by a solid surface like a large cutting board.
- Peel off parchment paper backing, revealing the design.
- Liberally dust a clean tea towel with powdered sugar and lay on top of the cake. Flip cake over so the design is facing down.
- Starting with the side of the cake without the design, carefully roll up the warm cake in the towel.
- Doing this while the cake is still warm will give the cake a ‘muscle memory’ and allow you to roll it up later with the filling without it cracking.
- Let rolled cake cool for about 1 hour or until completely cool to the touch.
- Meanwhile, to make the filling, in a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 1 tablespoon cool water and let soften for 5 minutes.
- Microwave the mixture, in short, 5-second increments until the gelatin is completely dissolved and liquefied. Let cool slightly.
- In a food processor or clean coffee/spice grinder, pulse freeze-dried strawberries together with the sugar until very finely ground.
- Place whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Beat on medium speed until frothy, then increase to medium-high and beat until the paddle starts to leave trails in the cream.
- Mix a spoonful of the partially-whipped cream into the bowl with the melted gelatin until completely incorporated, then, with the mixer running on low, add this back to the bowl with the rest of the cream.
- Add strawberry sugar mixture, and increase speed to medium-high, beating until the cream holds medium-stiff peaks.
- Carefully unroll cake and remove towel. You may need to hold it with your hand as it will try to roll back up.
- Spread filling into a thin even layer over the whole cake, leaving about 1/2 inch bare at the far end.
- Gently roll up the cake, taking care not to use too much pressure lest the filling squeezes out the sides.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight, until filling is set.
- If you happen to have a cardboard tube lying around, place your cake roll in the tube to keep the bottom from flattening out as it chills.
- Cut into slices with a sharp serrated knife and serve.
- Cake roll will keep, tightly wrapped and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.