Roll Cake

I’m making Asian style roll cake. Thin sheet, lots of whipped cream. Yum.

You can skim arm day for your  dominant hand when you make this, because there’s a lot of arm action.

Ingredients for the sheet:

4 large eggs, yolks and whites separated

40g fine sugar (for egg whites)

40 g sugar (for yolks)

40g cake flour

Optional: 1 Tbsp powder of choice (matcha, cocoa, etc.)

Ingredients for whipped cream:

Whipping cream

Icing sugar

Optional: Pinch of flavoring powder (matcha, cocoa, etc.)

Steps:

  1. First, separate the 4 eggs into yolks and whites into two bowls. Put the yolks in a bigger bowl. Eggs are easier to separate when they’re cold, so you can separate into two bowls right out of the fridge and leave them covered. Give them a few hours to warm up to room-temperature.
  2. When eggs are room-temp, measure out the dry ingredients.
    • When I say “fine sugar” in the ingredients section, I don’t mean the quality of the sugar, I mean the texture. I like to put the sugar that I will use for the egg whites in an electric grinder and blitz to a fine powder. You can skip this part and just use the white sugar as-is.
  3. Mix and aerate the cake flour and 1Tbsp powder by sifting them together at least 3 times. If not using any flavoring powder, just substitute the 1 Tbsp powder with cake flour.
  4. Line a long rectangular oven tray with parchment paper. Make snips in the corners of the paper, and fold the cut parts to cleanly cover the corners of the tray.
  5. We’ll whip the whites. Before whipping, it looks pale and gross like the below.20170128_173905.jpg
  6. After whipping until your arm starts to hurt from holding the mixer, it looks like this, white and glossy. You should be getting firm peaks. 20170128_175013.jpg
  7. You can use the mixers you used for the whites to whip the egg yolks and sugar together.  You cannot do this the other way. If you whipped egg yolks first, you must clean the mixer attachments thoroughly and make sure they’re completely dry before touching the egg whites with them. Otherwise, the fat from the yolks will weigh down the whites, and you will fail before you start.20170128_175022.jpg
  8. Whipppppp20170128_175334.jpg
  9. Stop when the color is pastel yellow. I like to turn the oven on at 350F at this point as it will take time to preheat.20170128_175603.jpg
  10. Pour in the sifted cake flour + 1 Tbsp powder.20170128_175704.jpg
  11. Fold. 20170128_175716.jpg
  12. It will feel tacky and heavy. That’s normal. Keep folding.20170128_175830.jpg
  13. Now, get approx. 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and put it in the yolk mixture.20170128_175847.jpg
  14. Mix. You don’t have to fold at this stage, but I like to fold. We’re introducing the light whites into the yolk mixture. The batter will feel lighter, and turn a lighter shade of color.20170128_175929.jpg
  15. When the first batch of whites is well-incorporated, do the same with another 1/3.20170128_180050.jpg
  16. Fold. Do the same for the last 1/3 of the whites. In the last stage, I like to fold at least 70 times. Your arm and hands will feel tired.In the end, you should end up with something like the below. 20170128_180503.jpg
  17. Pour out on to the parchment-paper covered pan. Level the surface evenly with a spatula. Put into the preheated oven.20170128_180814.jpg
  18. Bake for 12 minutes (depends on oven) and check. After the 12th minute mark, I like to turn the pan around and bake an additional 4 minutes, for more evenly baked sides. It’s important to not overbake the sheet, as it is thin and will crack as you try to roll it, if it’s too dry.
  19. When it’s done, take out of the oven and bang onto a table to prevent shrinkage of the sheet.20170128_182555.jpg
  20. Take the sheet out of the pan, parchment paper and all, and let cool on a cooling rack.
  21. The sheet will cool quickly as it is so thin. We can move straight onto whipping the cream. You should use 35% whipping cream.20170128_183523.jpg
  22. Whip, and add icing sugar gradually as you go. You can use regular white sugar, but icing sugar will stabilize the cream as it’s already got cornstarch in it.
    • I don’t have any measurements for the cream or sugar because I just measure with my eyes, and I have no clue how much they are in mL or g. I taste and flavor as I go, and I think that’s the best way.
  23. Oops, I forgot to add instant coffee granules early on, so I just added them later. I like coffee-flavored whipped cream. The white powder is the icing sugar. I put in batches at a time and stop when I think I put in enough.20170128_184018.jpg
  24. Whip until it gets thick and heavy….like whipped cream. Do not overwhip, as it will turn into butter. I stopped when it looked like the below.20170128_184456.jpg
  25. The sheet should be cool to the touch by now. Flip cake-side first onto the cooling rack, and start peeling off the parchment paper carefully.20170128_184637.jpg20170128_184703.jpg
  26. After you’ve peeled off the paper, put the cake sheet back onto the paper.20170128_184823.jpg
  27. Load with cream. Spread evenly. Spread a little less on the ends so they will roll better.20170128_185230.jpg
  28. Roll like you would a sushi roll. Roll carefully. If your sheet cracks, it’s either your sheet is too dry or you put too much strength into it. Do not use the Force at a time like this.20170128_185457.jpg
  29. Wrap with the parchment paper and put in a plastic bag to prevent drying. Store in a fridge for at least a few hours for the shape to set. These taste the best the next day.
  30. Cut with a proper serrated bread knife for a quick and clean cut. Serve.

I loaded mine with a ton of whipped cream and rolled just so that the ends of the sheet meet, like I’ve seen in Japanese bakeries. If you put less cream on the sheet, you can roll it so that it’s all swirly like a cinnamon roll.

20170128_202722.jpg   A cut piece.

Below is what I made last year with this recipe.

20151221_163847.jpg

A matcha one I made last year.

20160205_072604.jpg

A tea-leaf flavored sheet, with tangerine pieces inside.

20160217_075007.jpg

The possibilities are endless!

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