I’m hesitant to call this a recipe; I think perhaps a “cautionary tale” is the more appropriate description.
(This poor lighting fits the sinister mood…!)
This is an incredibly ugly cake. Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually incredibly proud I managed to end up with anything in a vaguely cake-like form at all, but that doesn’t detract from the simple truth of it’s poor showing in the aesthetics department.
I didn’t realize it until I was done, but the appeal of roll cakes comes from a colour contrast between the cake and the filling. What other reason would it be sliced so as to show off the its whimsical spiral? However both my cake (due to the chestnut flour) and my filling (due to the poorly incorporated chestnut puree) turned out a mottled beige sort of colour, which is hardly pleasant on its own and even less so in two slightly different shades.
Had I been thinking more, I would have made either a chocolate sponge or added some chocolate to filling, which would have made some improvement in colour contrast.
In retrospect, I think I may have also rolled the cake the wrong way. I never actually thought about this until I actually got to the point where I had to roll cake. Since this cake had fairly low gluten and was a weak and flimsy disaster, I should have put the top crust on the outside—that probably had a bit more tensile strength that the crustless bottom (or at least in my case with such a fragile cake).
I wrapped the cake in a towel and then put it in a bag overnight; it would have been better to make the filling and completed the cake all in the same day–most of my top crust peeled off with the tea towel.
I also spread my cake batter unevenly, resulting it a cake with a wide middle and thin edges. I did have a fix for that however—once my cake was wrapped in plastic wrap, I squished the wider part, moving the filling to the thinner edges. It was not, all in all, the best!
Finally, happy Fiesta Friday! Hosted by the hospitable Angie, the Novice Gardener, and cohosted by the lovely Ginger from Ginger & Bread and the wonderful Loretta from Safari of the Mind. Last week was an unusual (for me) success, so I thought this week I should post one of my failures – after all, things rarely turn out well the first time for me! I’ve had it sitting in my drafts for a couple months now. It’s certainly a bit drab but I always find I have more to say and learn about a failure than anything else!
Not really a recipe worth taking note of, really. But as my first rolled cake, we all must start somewhere!
Orange and chestnut cream rolled cake
Orange chestnut sponge cake
Along the same lines as this chestnut sponge I made previously. This is what I did. I think it was somewhat disastrous. The cake itself was very weak-perhaps less chestnut flour (no gluten) would have helped. I also rolled it such that the top of the cake was on the inside of the roll (i.e. it was compressed) and the bottom of the cake was on the outside of the roll (i.e. it was stretched). I’m not sure if that was the right way to do it as the bottom of the cake cracked horrendously—perhaps I should have stretched the top of the cake with the crust instead.
90 g flour
30 g chestnut flour
80 g sugar
zest of ½ orange
Preheat oven to 350F.
Lightly butter the sides and bottom of a 9×13” pan. Line the bottom with parchment.
Beat the eggs until foamy, slowly add the sugar whisking. Whisk in the orange zest. Continue to beat until well tripled, light and fluffy.
Sift the chestnut flour over top and fold.
Fold in the flour in two additions.
Scrape into the pan, tilt to level.
Bake around 15 minutes or until the cake is only very lightly browned on top.
Let cool for 10 or so minutes before loosening the edges with a butter knife and then tipping over onto a piece of parchment paper on a tray. Peel the parchment off. Place a tea towel over top of the cake. Place another tray or cutting board overtop that and invert everything. The top of the cake should be face up.
Roll the cake up inside the tea towel – i.e make a jelly roll with the tea towel as the filling. Let cool completely.
Chestnut cream filling
Adapted from chestnut cake filling in Robert Peterson’s Baking. Because it was going into a roll cake I decided to add gelatin in hopes that it would help it stabilize.
105 g chestnut puree
sugar, to taste
150 g cream, divided
2 g powdered gelatin
6 g cold water
12 g hot water
Beat the chestnut puree in a bowl with the rum until smooth and loosened. Add sugar to desired sweetness.
Whip 130 g of the cream to stiff peaks.
Bloom the powdered gelatin with 6 g cold water. Add 12 g hot water and stir to dissolve.
Gradually whisk the remaining 20 g of cream into the dissolved gelatin mixture. Beat this into the whipped cream.
Fold one scoop of the whipped cream into the chestnut puree to lighten.
Then fold in the remaining cream.
Chill until ready to assemble.
I used the chestnut cream immediately without letting the gelatin set. This resulted in a rather sloppy cake rolling, but it firmed up nicely after being chilled. Perhaps it would have been easier to use the chestnut cream when it was cold.
1 bag roasted and peeled chestnuts.
Gently unroll the cake and trim the shorter (9”) ends. Spread the filling over the cake, leaving a small border on one 9” end (the end of the roll). Make a higher pile of filling right on the other 9” end (the beginning of the roll)
In the “piled” filling on one end, nestle a line of chestnuts, ensuring they are level with the filling.
Starting from that end with the chestnuts, roll up the cake, using the tea towel as necessary to help.
Wrap the rolled cake tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until filling has firmed.
Trim each end off before serving. Or don’t. It didn’t really look any better in my case.