When I was young, my mother would sometimes make jelly roll…not often, but I remember that the shallow baking pan she used was called a jelly roll pan in our house. I remember her trimming the edges of the flat cake to make an even rectangle for filling and rolling. I don’t remember the cake being filled with anything other than a thinnish layer of jelly. Jelly roll seems like a thing of the past…I never see it any more on restaurant menus or in stores.
Although I have two “jelly roll pans,” I’ve never made a jelly roll, so I was looking forward to baking this recipe from Baking With Julia. The cake is a sponge cake batter lightened and leavened with lots of beaten egg whites, spread into a thin layer in the baking pan. The baking took about 5 minutes longer than the 10-12 minutes the recipe indicated. It came out of the oven light and fluffy and then deflated by about 50%, the better for rolling.
This rolled cake has a walnut chocolate mousse filling instead of the jelly that I remember. The chocolate is fairly subtle, with the walnuts predominating in flavor and texture, a surprise as I think of mousses as having a smoother texture. Although it involved a lot of steps and required about every pan in the kitchen, the results were pretty amazing. It’s a recipe that can stand on its own without the cake.
The cake and filling rolled up easily and nicely. We didn’t wait for the two hour chilling, but tried it after about a half hour. Decorated with sieved cocoa and confectioners sugar, it was pretty and enticing. The recipe says that it serves six, but portions that size would have been 3″ thick slabs, much too decadent for a cake with so many eggs and so much heavy cream. It was delicious, maybe even better the next day, fully chilled.
This is half of the chiffon roll.
The recipe can be found on pages 277-279 of Baking With Julia. You can read about the experiences of other bakers with this recipe by following their links posted on Tuesdays With Dorie.