Sunday, April 30, 2017

Fresh Strawberry Roulade and April's Apron Give-Away Winner

A little known, but much quoted writer, Ernestine Ulmer said, "Life is short. Eat dessert first." Boy, do I know that to be true!  A couple of my other favorite quotes are, "A party without cake is just a meeting," by Julia Child and "Dessert is like a feel-good song and the best ones make you dance," by chef Edward Lee.

Temperatures climbed to 91-degrees here in North Carolina and with fresh strawberries ready for picking, it made me want to make this luscious roulade.  A roulade is a dish rolled and can be either savory with meat or my favorite, pastry (sponge cake).  (Roulade comes from the French word, "rouler" meaning to roll.)   A Buche de Noel, that I make at Christmas, is a great example of a roulade.  The sponge cake recipe is baked in a flat baking pan and when done it is placed on a confectioners' sugar dusted towel and rolled while still warm.  When it cools, you can easily unroll it and fill it with a number of fillings~I chose a mixture of whipped cream/cream cheese and fresh strawberries.

Sponge cake is one of the first of the non-yeasted cakes and one of the first recipes of it appeared in The English Huswife in 1615.  Made with eggs, sugar, flour, melted butter and occasionally baking powder (although I don't use it) is in contrast to the batter cakes made in the United States.  Warming the eggs and sugar together slightly, then beating them until a thick, lemony colored ribbon forms is what will give the sponge its lift.  Victorian sponge, named after Queen Victoria who enjoyed a slice of sponge cake with her afternoon tea, is filled with jam and cream and is usually not iced or decorated.  A very nice cake, not to sweet, but perfect for adding fillings.

Fresh Strawberry Roulade
Sponge Cake:
6T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup cake flour
1/4 tsp. salt

Melt the butter over low heat. Remove and stir in the vanilla extract.  Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees and line a 12" x 17" baking sheet with parchment paper.

Start a large saucepan on the stove with two-inches of water and bring to a boil.  Lower to a simmer. Place the eggs and sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer, but use a hand-held whisk and whip them together, whisking constantly over the simmering water, just until the temperature on an instant-read thermometer reaches 110F-degrees.  If you don't have an instant-read thermometer, feel the mixture and when you don't feel any grains of sugar, place it on the stand mixer and using the whisk attachment, whip the mixture for 7 to 10 minutes--until ribbons form.
If you're using a hand-held mixer, it will take 4-5 minutes longer.

Sift the flour and salt and add one-half to the egg/sugar mixture.  Use a rubber spatula to fold in the dry ingredients, being careful not to deflate the volume from beating the eggs and sugar.  Once one-half as been completely folded in, add the remaining dry ingredients and fold once more.

Take a scoop of the batter and stir into the cooled butter and vanilla extract mixture. Once the butter is fully incorporated, add to the batter and fold gently into it.  Pour the batter and spread to completely cover the baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 13 to 15 minutes.  Test with a toothpick in the center; the cake should be a golden brown and pulled away from the sides.

Dust a cotton dish towel with confectioners' sugar and invert the cake on top. Remove the baking parchment paper.  I dusted the top with some more confectioners' sugar and rolled the short side, but you could also roll the lengthwise side.  If you do, you should double the filling!

Allow the sponge to cool completely.

2 pints of fresh strawberries (or your choice of berries) rinsed and sliced
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, cream together the cream cheese and sugar.  Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.  Turn the mixer on medium and slowly add the heavy cream.  When it's all incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until stiff.  Add the vanilla and mix just until mixed in thoroughly.

Carefully unroll the sponge cake and spread with half of the cream cheese/whipped cream mixture.

Sprinkle the fresh berries over the surface (notice I'm leaving about 1-inch all around).

Begin at the short side (or the way you rolled it when it was warm).  Place on a serving platter and use the rest of the cream mixture to spread over the roulade.  Add a few berries down the center to finish.

Chill until ready to serve or as Ernestine Ulmer said, "Life is short--eat dessert first!"  Enjoy!

Trying to keep on schedule, the winner of April's Apron is Roxy from "living from glory to glory."
Email me your address and I will get this apron sent off to you ASAP!


  1. Anything strawberry makes me happy! Lovely cake!

    1. Strawberries are early this year with the heat, but I'm not complaining!

  2. That's a lovely cake perfect for the spring party, Susan.

  3. What a delight ~ and strawberry season is nearly upon us too. Just another month or so now ~~~ I love reading the history of baking, it is both interesting and important, I do think.
    Do stop by in a day or two as I'm planning to bake a Skyr sponge! I have never baked with Skyr before, so I am quite excited.

    1. I will absolutely stop by...wish we lived closer 😊

  4. Susan, if your beautiful cake were in my refrigerator, I would eat it first for sure. Strawberries are my husband's favorite. He would be happy if I made your roulade.

  5. Yay for Roxy! Oh my, I do think this would be a heavenly dessert...must pin so I won't forget.

    1. Fresh strawberries are just he best and this cake really highlights them!